4. Repeal health care reform. Like Dodd-Frank, the Affordable Care Act is a lengthy, complicated statute -- and its passage is one of President Obama's proudest achievements. Candidate Romney has said that, if elected, he would issue executive orders excusing the states from compliance and push for the act's immediate repeal. Again, though, a blanket repeal would deprive consumers of needed care without offering better options. Romney would do well to develop an alternative proposal before scrapping the act altogether.
5. Drill indiscriminately for oil. Romney believes that, to lessen the nation's dependence on foreign oil, oil producers should drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Pacific Outer Continental Shelves. He has promised "day one" to pen executive orders to issue permits as quickly as possible. However, as we learned from the Exxon Valdez shipwreck in Alaska and the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, it's a lot easier to spill oil than to clean it up. Instead of rushing to authorize oil drilling that could do lasting harm, President Romney should slow down and make sure that any drilling in environmentally sensitive areas will carefully managed before it begins.
6. Execute terrorists. Some of candidate Romney's statements on the death penalty suggest, as president, he might execute terrorists who launch attacks on the U.S. While that position may play well with some U.S. voters, it fails to take into account the likely impact such executions would have abroad. We've just seen two U.S. soldiers and at least 13 civilians killed during protests after our officials burned copies of the Koran; just imagine the conflagration that would ensue if the U.S. were to start public executions.
If the war on terror is intended to demonstrate who we are as a nation, it would be better to give fair trials to accused terrorists and, if they're convicted, humanely incarcerate them.7. Defund Planned Parenthood. Romney made headlines last week when he proposed defunding Planned Parenthood as a step toward balancing the federal budget. Given the size of the national deficit, defunding Planned Parenthood would make about as much difference as chucking pennies down a well. If President Romney wants to take on Planned Parenthood and all the good it does, he needs to do so directly, not by playing funding games.