What can we do? (The biggest effect of all would be to handle the coming debacle of Social Security and Medicare - it is larger than all of these put together, though a better economy will help to increase our ability to afford what we want. )
Yes, there are a myriad of other things that can be done, but we need to focus on priorities, where we will get the most impact for our efforts. We cannot afford to scatter ourselves into trying to do too many things all at once...poorly. We need to do well in a few things that are vital and of the greatest impact.
And, it's obvious who is the best choice to do these, without having an alternative agenda!
#1. Increase oil and gas drilling to self-sufficiency
This would have the largest direct economic effect (and would likely reduce global warming because the oil and gas would be produced elsewhere anyway, and they tend to control emissions less).
$252 billion imported (2010)
100's of thousands American jobs would be created
Reduce trade deficit, less reduction in dollar value (so goods will not be more expensive for consumers)
Raise revenue for government (taxes and royalties)
Provide funds for alternative energy reseach and development, speeding it up; stop wasting money on forcing excessively high costs of energy on consumers.
Positive net effect on reducing global warming, as the oil would otherwise be produced in countries where higher pollution is incurred.
#2. Remove, reduce, streamling regulations to only the most effective and needed
Indiscriminate and injudicious loading on of regulations has slowed business growth down considerably
#3. Streamline the permitting process and setting up businesses and projects
Do what Romney did in streamlining this process in Massachusetts. Brilliant. It cut lead times dramatically, thus creating less risk and less idle funds in the creation process.
The worst example of all is the slowing of permits under the Obama administration. Very harmful.
#4. Lower cost burden and uncertainties on business
We need to return to self-responsibility, while still assuring the citizens of safety against lack of health care and inordinate financial threats. If businesses have to provide more benefits than a low cost high deductible catastrophic health insurance coverage, then there will be a disincentive toward hiring.
The tax burdens must be predictable, certain. Businesses have enough uncertainties and don't need more.
#5. Lower corporate taxes to a global competitive level, stop outflow of capital and jobs
This would pass if Obama pushed it, as everybody accepts this. It should be done separately without trying to force in other things to fight about. Immediately. No need to delay.
#6. Remove incentives to not bring profits back from foreign operations
More money in the US = more invested here = more jobs
#7. Reduce trade deficit with China
Putting our foot down and working out "deals". We have the power, as we are a huge source of surplus for them. This would mean more jobs here and a better trade balance.
#8. Match the training to the skills needed for the right jobs; "Bridging the skills gap"
Romney is a master at bringing the systems and the thinking into fruition to do such a thing. This would reduce the number of unemployed that continue to be unemployed while higher skill jobs go begging. It would also increase average incomes.
#9. Higher immigration standards; and solving the illegal immigration
If we look at the causes of Inequality And Poverty, the lowering of education level is a major factor. Illegal immigration causes a large decrease in the percentage of adequately educated workers. Systematic integration of workers from Mexico, with a work permit system, will actually be better for hispanics overall. Romney's plan to hugely increase the employer penalties for hiring illegals is a breakthrough strategy, harming no one yet effectively stemming the bulk of the tide. And it will reduce the welfare rolls and poverty at the same time.
#10. Infrastructure with a lasting impact
Rather than waste our money on high cost, low pay off "good ideas for the future", it is best to put money into things with a guaranteed, long term, lasting benefit. Whatever is needed here must be done, but not willy nilly. Identifying place where there can be private enterprises would help. No more "trains" that have poor economics (but a "good idea"), such as those rejected by some governors. Practicality and payoff must be determined absolutely.
Alternative energy research to reduce costs down to where it is feasible, and not foolish, is a program that will be sustained, but the effect will not come about for 10 years, unless there is a miracle, which I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for. The moneys would be provided from the oil production royalties - kind of like "the enemy" providing the solution to the problem it is seen as creating.
In my opinion, only Romney is capable of implementing these. While Obama speaks of some of these, his actions are most like his treatment of the 3 trade treaties sitting on his desk from the prior administration, lying there for over 3 years before being submitted to Congress, which immediately approved them.