Four years ago, Barack Obama was elected, with "Hope" and "Change" as his motto. He promised a better future, a unifying legislative agenda, a revitalized economy, a federal deficit that would be halved in four years.
Four years later, little of that has been realized. In fact, in many ways we are no better off or worse off than before.
Obama had the misfortune of taking office in the midst of a terrible economic crash. He has spent the past four years blaming the problem on the Bush administration, and taking credit for the slow, painful recovery.
Before we elect our next president, we must ask ourselves two questions:
First, is the United States better off today than four years ago? And more important, who will lead us to a better off four years from now?
We believe that leader will be Mitt Romney, a president who will bring real change.
Let's look at Barack Obama's record:
Fewer Americans are working today than when Obama took office. Millions have given up looking for work and are not on the official unemployment reports. Millions more are "underemployed" in low-wage or part-time jobs that are all they can find. This is not the American dream. It has become a nightmare for too many people.
Trillions of dollars have been wasted on "stimulus" programs and bail-outs of big businesses and irresponsible states.
The national debt has risen to $16 trillion, $5.4 trillion more than when Obama took office.
Obama has spent $90 billion on "green" energy- while attempting to dismantle the coal industry that provides an essential portion of our nation's energy.
If Obama is re-elected we do not look forward with hope toward the future. "Obamacare" would be fully. Health insurance would cost more for tens of millions of people. Some families would lose the insurance they have now.
Our economy, straining to hold its own, would be crippled by new taxes - at least $1 trillion, admits Vice President Joe Biden.
The world would become even more dangerous, thanks to an Obama foreign policy that refuses to recognize the resurgent threat of Islamic terrorism, snubs the leader of Israel and has done little or nothing to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons.The past four years have not been good. The next four would be worse under Obama.
Romney represents a real and realistic alternative. His economic policies will hold taxes low, allowing the private sector to create new jobs.
More important, Romney brings the predictability on government regulation and taxes that businesses need to create jobs - and families need to begin buying again and thus, growing the economy.
Romney will abandon the war on coal, which will help to hold electric bills down.
Romney will ensure programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid remain available to the many Americans who rely on them. Real health care reform, not a government takeover that will cost many families more for medical care, will occur under Romney.
Under Romney, our foreign enemies will face a strong, determined United States, not a nation second-guessing ourselves and our heritage.
It has become clear Obama's policies are expensive failures. Four more years of the same would be a catastrophe.
"You didn't build this," Obama said in an insult to scores of millions of hard-working people. Romney understands we indeed did build America - and need a chance to rebuild our nation's prosperity.
That makes the choice crystal clear. The Journal endorses Mitt Romney for president, and urges voters to elect him on Nov. 6.