Since the recovery began, annual exports to China are up $37 billion but imports are up $160 billion, because a few complaints in the World Trade Organization notwithstanding, Obama has failed to stand up to Beijing's currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property, and import barriers to competitive American-made products.
With each passing day, Beijing's mercantilism becomes more brazen, because they sense American weakness -- consumers who would rather throw millions into unemployment rather than give up subsidized, cheap clothing and electronics at Walmart, and a president reluctant to even admit China manipulates its currency.
The oil deficit is up $77 billion because President Obama has slowed development of onshore resources in places like South Dakota with lawsuits, and drilling remains outlawed on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and severely constrained in much of the Gulf and Alaska.
Gov. Mitt Romney's policies could boost oil production by more than 50% and cut imports in half, without increasing environmental risks -- or shifting those to developing countries where those are managed less effectively.
Of all the things Romney promises -- standing up to China and developing U.S. oil, instead of sending petro dollars to Middle East nations who finance terrorism, would deliver the 12 million new jobs he promises.
By the end of President Obama's first term, his economic recovery will have delivered about five million new private sector jobs. A Romney first term could easily deliver twice that number. That's the choice Americans face.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.