Romney-Ryan: Much Needed Innovative Thinking

The Congressional Budget Office recently reported that about $5 billion in new tax revenue could be generated over the next ten years if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) was opened for oil and gas drilling.  The CBO went on to say that some $2.5-$6.0 billion in tax revenues would be created over another 12-year period after the area had been further developed.

This report would not have been done had it not been for the request of none other than the House Budget Committee Chairman and Romney running-mate, Paul Ryan.  Ryan's request for this report underscores his innovative thinking regarding the need to get America's fiscal house in order.  By opening up a sliver of ANWR to exploration and discovery, jobs would be created and tax revenues would increase.  How different is that when compared to the Obama Administration, which keeps stating that the pathway to fiscal stability is to increase the taxes on the top 1% of taxpayers, those earning over $250,000, or whatever income level they choose for the day's tax and spend message.

What the CBO's report confirms is that we can grow America's tax revenues without increasing the level of tax rates on current taxpayers.  Instead, simply create more jobs so that there is a bigger pool of taxpayers-something that Obama has grossly failed to do during his term.  Ryan's ideas are forward-thinking, using our existing resources to create jobs and raise tax revenues. 

Compare Ryan's idea to grow our tax revenues and create jobs specific to the energy industry with Obama's failed $535 million government handout to the now defunct Solyndra.  Gone are those dollars with no jobs and no tax revenues to show for them.

Recall also Paul Ryan's "The Path to Prosperity", in which his fiscal manifesto proposes a $6.2 trillion reduction relative to Obama's fiscal policy over the next ten years.  Ryan also proposed a massive overhaul in the Medicare program to reduce the deficit.  Nearly all politicians, regardless of political party, tend to consistently consider Medicare as a Holy Grail and off-limits, too politically dangerous to address.  Yet Ryan stuck his neck out, put his ideas in writing, and has consistently defended their merit, not just with catch-phrases and philosophy, but with data and numbers...facts in other words.

Then there is Romney's innovative thinking and leadership which has produced success in challenging situations.  Twice he has been able to to turn around atrocious levels of overspending and bring back fiscal sanity, experience that is desperately needed to tackle the woeful overspending that has occurred under the Obama administration. 

Romney took a leap of faith and left Bain Capital in 1999 to help restore order and credibility to the 2002 Winter Olympics. When Romney took over as Chief Executive of the 2002 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, the committee was up against a near $400 million deficit, which Romney turned into a $100 million surplus.

Some were calling for the Winter Games, which were to be held in Salt Lake City, UT, to be moved to another location in the U.S.  Scandals and overspending had characterized the Committee before Romney took the helm.

According to Politifact, Romney was instrumental in restoring the confidence of corporate sponsors to the Games, a key ingredient to produce success for such an enormous event.

After he took over, he was able to turn around the fiscal insanity to the situation, and in less than a year since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the Winter Games were put on without incident.  That's leadership, period.

When Mitt Romney was sworn in as the Governor of Massachusetts in 2003, he had quite a fiscal mess on his hands.   There was a $500 million budget shortfall and a $3 billion budget gap for the fiscal year ahead.  Romney cut $343 million from the State's budget in the first month and managed to consolidate multiple agencies within the State to reduce the cost of government.  In his first proposed budget, he produced some $3 billion in cuts.

Romney, in working with a Democratic legislature, also raised a number of fees in the state to increase tax revenues.  Those fee increases and the cuts in spending led to the State receiving an upgrade of its credit rating in 2004.  Standard & Poor's, a major debt rating agency, stated, "...Massachusetts has taken certain actions that have reduced budget uncertainty, reined in spending, and prudently managed resources during a difficult national economic slowdown."

The same cannot be said of the U.S. government under Obama over the past few years.  Perhaps those words might characterize the U.S. government in a few years if the innovative, results-producing Romney/Ryan team is occupying the White House. 

Chad Stafko is a writer and political consultant living in the Midwest.  He can be reached at

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