President Reagan put in place a very different set of stimulus measures -- emphasizing private-sector leadership -- and when he faced the voters in 1984 the jobless rate had fallen to 7.3%. During his recovery, GDP growth was averaging a brisk 6.3% in contrast to President Obama's 2.2%.

Growth is weak and jobs are in jeopardy because temporary tax cuts, stimulus spending, large federal deficits, expensive but ineffective business regulations, and costly health care mandates championed by President Obama do not address the structural problems holding back dynamic growth and jobs creation: the huge trade deficit and dysfunctional energy policies.

Oil and trade with China account for nearly the entire $600 billion trade deficit. Dollars sent abroad that do not return to purchase U.S. exports are lost purchasing power. Consequently, the U.S. economy is expanding at 2% a year instead of the 5% pace that is possible after emerging from a deep recession and with such high unemployment.

Governor Mitt Romney has promised prompt efforts to produce more domestic oil, redress the trade imbalance with China, curb health-care mandates and costs, and relax burdensome regulations would create up to 12 million new jobs, and lower unemployment to more palatable levels.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.

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