It is a simple, yet definitive question that addresses the single biggest issue on most voters’ minds: the economy. And not the economy from a 10,000 feet up view of GDP, unemployment, and manufacturing figures… the economy as in “What’s in my bank account? Why am I still unable to find a job? Can I afford my kid’s education?”
The fact is, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have two very different approaches and track records when it comes to financial planning.
Mitt Romney got his start in life in business. Barack Obama got his start in life as a community organizer. By the time Romney was 30 years old, he was working at a management consulting business, financially advising businesses to become more efficient and profitable. At 30 years old, Obama was steeped in Left-leaning academia as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago.
Before running for office, Mitt Romney would go on to co-found one of the nation’s most successful private equity firms – a business that literally exists to buy flailing businesses and financially plan them into profitability. During his time at Bain Capital, the firm would purchase or invest in more than 100 businesses, creating tens of thousands of jobs at companies like Staples, Sports Authority, and Steel Dynamics alone.
In 1999 Romney would take a leave of absence from Bain Capital to accept a position heading up the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Crippled by scandals, mismanagement and a $379 million dollar revenue shortfall, Romney would accomplish the unthinkable, restoring both the honor and integrity to the games, and turning a budget shortfall into $100 million in profits. It was a feat of financial advising the Olympics had never seen.
Meanwhile, President Obama would spend his formidable years as a community organizer, professor, civil rights attorney, and state senator, embroiled in the political machinery of Illinois. Noble professions perhaps, but not exactly the ideal training or experience for the man who would eventually be tasked with turning around our nation’s crippled economy.
Once in high public office, both men would show their true colors in management, leadership, and financial prudence.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney balanced the budget every year and turned a $3 billion budget shortfall into an estimated $1 billion surplus by 2006. President Obama took a different course. In the first three years of his administration, deficits have averaged $1.3 trillion each year. According to the Weekly Standard, deficit spending during Obama’s four years in the White House (based on his own figures) will be an estimated $5.170 trillion.
The same contrast has played itself out with both candidates’ job records. Mitt Romney ended his term in office with 4.7 percent unemployment in the state of Massachusetts while unemployment under Obama currently hovers at 8.1 percent nationwide.
The story of each candidate’s ability to display leadership and prudent financial planning tells itself. So the question remains: Which candidate would you choose to be your Financial-Advisor-In-Chief?