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Romney: Mr. Fix-It for America

By Brian J. Bolduc and David A. Lorch

All candidates claim to represent change—some by talking a good line, others by waving their résumés. But only one candidate, Mass. Gov. W. Mitt Romney, can deliver. With experience to prepare him and vision to guide him, Romney will be the president who rolls up his sleeves and gets the job done.

He’s done it before. In 1975, Romney earned both a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School, where he ranked in the top five percent of his class. After school, Romney played the whiz kid at the management-consulting firm, Bain & Company, where he fixed failing companies. Six years later, Bill Bain tapped Romney to lead the private equity firm, Bain Capital. There, Romney helped build household names like Staples, Domino’s Pizza, and the Sports Authority. During his tenure, Romney returned an average annualized return of 113 percent—nothing short of spectacular.

Known as a turnaround artist, Romney later became Chief Executive Officer of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. True to his name, Romney cleaned up the scandal-ridden Organizing Committee and put on one of the most successful Olympic Games in history.

He then brought his business skills to government. As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney cut spending, increased the number of charter schools, vetoed in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, fought for the traditional definition of marriage, and instituted universal health insurance—all without raising taxes.

Although Romney has a stellar record, this election is, after all, about the future. Romney has outlined a plan to prevent the spread of terrorism, and strengthen our economy.

Romney believes that radical jihad is the greatest threat facing our nation, and he understands that it is an ideological war not won solely through military force. He has supported the troop surge and would seek victory in Iraq—a victory involving the establishment of a liberal, stable central government for Iraqis that could expel the terrorist threat.

In addition, Romney will support moderate Muslim states with a new type of Marshall Plan, which will ensure our allies in the Middle East have adequate public schools, micro-credit and banking, the rule of law, competitive economic policies, and human rights.

Of course, Romney’s top priority will be America’s troops, who deserve our gratitude. To rebuild our military, Romney will recruit 100,000 more soldiers and commit at least four percent of our GDP to defense.

In addition, Romney will ensure better care for our veterans by keeping the Montgomery G.I. Bill up to date with education costs, and calling on every state to extend in-state tuition to military dependents whose parents are stationed there. It’s time for Washington to get serious about the threats we face, and respect our troops.

To remain a military superpower, however, Romney knows that America must keep its economy strong. This will require ending Washington’s splurges. Romney will cut spending, promising to veto any budget in which non-defense discretionary spending grows faster than inflation minus one percent. He’ll dry out his veto pen, which he used over 800 times in Massachusetts. Furthermore, Romney will make the Bush tax cuts permanent and allow middle class families to save money tax free with a zero percent tax rate on interest, capital gains, and dividends.

Romney also believes that our economy needs a healthy dose of market competition, not populism, to maintain its strength. Romney’s America will compete with China not by erecting trade barriers, but by keeping taxes low and regulations few.

While he recognizes that immigration was an integral part of this nation’s pas, he is also committed to today’s fight against illegal immigration by securing the border, opposing amnesty, and holding companies accountable for employing illegal immigrants.

Simultaneously, he will encourage legal immigration by streamlining the visa system and increasing the number of H1-B visas. Finally, Romney will tackle rising healthcare costs by cutting insurance mandates that inflate costs, and redirecting federal spending on “free care” to help low-income Americans buy private insurance. Romney won’t pity the American worker; he’ll get government out of his way.

As Harvard students decide which candidate to support, we hope they choose Gov. Mitt Romney, for he will take good care of the country that we will inherit. To help students decide, we also hope that the people of New Hampshire vote for Gov. Romney on Jan. 8.

The Granite State’s motto is “Live Free or Die,” and Romney shares that sentiment. America is a land of opportunity, and now that it faces challenges, it cannot shrink from them. Isolationism won’t dissuade our enemies, and populism won’t cure our economic woes. Only strength through freedom will overcome these challenges.

It’s time for Washington to get back to work, and who better than Mr. Fix-it to set it right.

Brian J. Bolduc ’10, a Crimson editorial editor, is an economics concentrator in Winthrop House. He interns at Mitt Romney for President. David A. Lorch ’08, a Crimson news editor, is a history concentrator in Lowell House. He is president of Harvard Students for Mitt Romney.

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