Obama, Romney, the 2012 Presidential Election and Outsourcing

June 15, 2012

We are fast approaching the 2012 presidential election, which promises to be a tense, tightly contested battle between incumbent President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The outcome of the election will likely hinge on the health of the US economy and the overall economic trajectory from now until election day. If the economy seems to be improving and adding a substantial number of jobs each month, the advantage goes to Obama. If the economy appears to be weakening and job growth is miniscule, Romney holds the edge. “It’s the economy, stupid” was one of the more memorable campaign slogans produced by Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign and it holds true today.

As a result, outsourcing will be and has already become a major issue this election cycle. Outsourcing essentially means sending work elsewhere where cheaper labor can be found. This is an excellent strategy for companies seeking to cut costs and increase revenues. However, outsourcing has absolutely devastated American workers. As a result of a host of trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), American workers must compete with desperate workers from around the world who are willing to work at slave labor wages.

President Obama’s re-election campaign has recently attacked Romney over outsourcing. The Obama re-election team purchased a $10 million ad buy targeting the following pivotal battleground states that will likely determine the election: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The ad claims that Romney outsourced call center jobs to India while he served as Governor of Massachusetts and that he cost the state 40,000 manufacturing jobs. The Obama ad claims that job creation in Massachusetts “fell to 47th under Romney.” The Romney campaign has contended that Obama is simply attempting to divert attention from the terrible state of the economy today.

According to FactCheck, a non-partisan “consumer advocate” for voters that sets the facts straight, the Obama ad distorts Romney’s real economic record as governor of Massachusetts. The claim that Romney outsourced call center jobs to India is not exactly true. Romney actually vetoed a measure that would have prevented the state from doing business with a contractor that was locating state customer-service call centers in India. The Democrats could have overridden the veto, but chose not to. Also, the ad’s claim that job creation in Massachusetts “fell” to 47th under Romney is highly misleading. Job creation in the state ranked 50th before Romney took office and improved to 28th after his tenure.

Obama’s own record on job creation has been abysmal. The current national unemployment rate stands at 8.2 percent. This doesn’t even take into account the millions who have simply left the work force. Perhaps the Romney election team has a strong point when it criticized the Obama team’s outsourcing ad as nothing but a diversion from the current state of the US economy.
What do you think? Is the Obama attempting to divert attention from real state of the economy? Also, do you think that outsourcing has hurt the US economy in the grand scheme of things?

Chris Hannity an online political instructor for The College City.com. Chris is closely following the 2012 presidential race and believes that outsourcing will be a hot-button issue.


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