Like Mr. Romney, he has not said which tax loopholes he would close or how he would go about balancing the budget. But he has insisted on a balanced approach and shared sacrifice — cuts in spending, tax increases for the wealthiest. Mr. Romney, meanwhile wants to cut taxes, reduce the deficit and increase military spending. That’s magic, not real math. And it’s hard to see how any candidate who keeps much of his wealth stashed overseas — like Mr. Romney — could credibly ask Americans for sacrifice.
If he wins a second term, the president must get serious about reforming entitlements and mopping up the ocean of red ink. If spending money to avoid a second Depression was a priority in the first term, balancing the books should be his goal in a second one. To do it, he will have to take a more active role in working with Congress. The Affordable Care Act was a long overdue achievement. But leaving the details to Congress to work out the specifics was the wrong way to go about it.
Indeed, one of the more perplexing aspects of Mr. Obama’s campaign has been the failure to stump for a more reasonable Congress. Whether he gets one or not, if he’s reelected he must summon the skills necessary to persuade lawmakers to meet him halfway. That’s the kind of leader Americans want in the White House.
In the end, Mr. Obama’s policies across the board — the environment, social policy, taxes and immigration — offer a more generous vision for America. The issues he has fought for, coupled with the lingering doubts about Mr. Romney’s persona and his true intentions, make this a clear choice. In the race for president, The Miami Herald recommends BARACK OBAMA.