November 4, 2012

The Post’s editorial page has been highly critical of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but its suggestion that Mr. Romney has contempt for the American people goes too far [“Contempt for voters,” editorial, Nov. 4]. We welcome a dialogue on substantive issues but have a far different view of what is insulting.

Twenty-three million Americans are struggling to find good jobs. Take-home pay is down $4,000 per person. The president’s trade agenda hasn’t created opportunities. We’ve had four years of trillion-dollar deficits. President Obama has not put forth a plan to address these issues and lead America back to prosperity. The Post wrote that Mr. Romney “seems to be betting that voters have no memories.” We beg to differ.

Readers may recall when this paper declared Walter Mondale “unambiguously the better candidate” over President Ronald Reagan, though Reagan had offered far fewer specifics in outlining his vision for tax reform that became law in 1986. Reagan’s 1984 State of the Union Address called for reform that “could make the tax base broader, so personal tax rates could come down.” While critics suggest Mr. Romney’s goal is impossible unless he provides a specific plan suitable for scoring by the Congressional Budget Office, that approach in a campaign would constrain his ability to work with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to reach an agreement.

This paper argued that his goal of capping federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product is unfathomable. Mr. Romney has proposed returning to pre-crisis spending levels. It is a stark contrast to spending 23 percent of our economy under Mr. Obama but hardly impossible; average federal spending was below 20 percent of GDP for the entire Clinton administration.

Four years ago, The Post acknowledged concerns over “Mr. Obama’s relatively brief experience in national politics” but overlooked those based on “enormous hopes.” President Obama now offers the same failed policies, but we shouldn’t expect a different result. Mr. Romney is offering a positive vision for the future of America and a pledge to work with both parties to solve major problems, and he will make building a stronger economy his principal concern. That is the promise of this campaign, and it will be the mission of a Mitt Romney presidency.

Pierce Scranton, Boston

The writer is economic policy director of Romney for President.