Mitt Romney in No Apology, by Gov. Mitt Romney (R, MA)

On Abortion: Abortion decision should recognize TWO lives involved

There are cultures where life is cheap, but thankfully, ours is not one of them. We have long respected life, at its beginning and at its end. In part, this is the product of our Judeo-Christian heritage. The debate over abortion puts two of our fundamental values in conflict: our respect for life and our love of personal freedom. Arguments in support of abortion generally revolve around the right of a mother to make decisions about her own body. But in any decision about whether to end a pregnancy, we must remember that two lives are involved, and own this point, courts have been long and conspicuously silent. Because the fact is that two lives, not one, is involved. I am unapologetically pro-life. Both mother and child are human beings, but only one does not yet have a voice to defend itself.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.264-265 Mar 2, 2010

On Budget & Economy: Our lack of vision led to financial collapse & loss of $12T

I'm reminded of the words from Proverbs, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." If a nation simply doesn't SEE a threat, it is unlikely to do something about it.

Our own lack of vision led to the collapse of our financial markets and our economy. It precipitated a global recession, triggered the loss of $12 trillion of our citizens' net worth, and dealt a sharp blow to world freedom. We simply did not see that so-called subprime home mortgages, liar loans, and nonqualified loans had the potential to cause such destruction.

There may be a dangerous strain of self-interest among the citizenry in democracies as well. If citizens in a democracy foster short-term self-interest rather than promoting the long-term interest of the nation--placing themselves above their descendants--there is little likelihood that they will vote for visionary transformative leaders who advocate difficult change and sacrifice.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 42-45 Mar 2, 2010

On Budget & Economy: Strong economy makes superior defense AND citizen prosperity

Americans can only be as secure over the long term as our economy is strong. An inferior economy cannot indefinitely support a superior defense. Mathematically, the scale of our military can be no longer larger than the product of our total economy--the GDP--and the percentage of that economy that is spent on defense. And the size of our economy is a function of the number of people in the workforce and the PRODUCTIVITY of that workforce.

As virtually every American discovered beginning in fall of 2008, a strong economy is also the foundation of our citizens' prosperity: Americans have experienced the impact of a weakened economy. But beyond the lows of recession and the highs of expansion, the sustained wealth of our families and communities is also driven by workforce productivity.

Whether you are interested in spending more on benefits or you want to add to defense, achieving your objectives depends on the nation's productivity.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.101 Mar 2, 2010

On Budget & Economy: US didn't bail out Wall St.; we prevented financial failure

I understand why so many people were and remain outraged at the emergency measures [in mid-2008]. They are offended by the idea of a bailout, and they don't much like Wall Street, either. The suspicion of bailouts is entirely sound. It doesn't make sense to bail out individual companies or banks or financial institutions that get in trouble. Creative destruction is part of a growing, productive economy. Subsidizing failure doesn't stop failure--it merely prolongs the final act.

But Secretary Paulson's proposal was not aimed at saving sick Wall Street banks or even at preserving jobs on Wall Street. It was intended to prevent a run on virtually every bank and financial institution in the country. It did in fact keep our economy from total meltdown.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.127-128 Mar 2, 2010

On Civil Rights: Marriage is not just quaint custom; recognize critical role

Proponents of same-sex marriage have attempted to characterize its opponents as being universally antigay. That has sometimes been an effective campaign tactic, but it is untrue. And because most Americans know it is untrue, same-sex marriage has repeatedly been rejected by voters. For me and for many others, opposition to same-sex marriage stems from the strong conviction that the ideal setting in which to raise a child is in a home with both a mother and a father. Regardless of whether one's opposition to same-sex marriage is rooted in religious beliefs or social considerations, the marriage relationship has been the cornerstone of the institution of family since the beginning of time. Marriage is not just a quaint social custom. It is critical for the well-being of our children and therefore fundamental to the future strength of the nation. It's time for us to recognize its critical role and finally act to preserve it as the institution that nurtures and protects our next generation.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.269 Mar 2, 2010

On Corporations: Corporations won't send jobs overseas if tax rates lowered

There's a good deal of rhetoric today from liberal politicians who say that we need to tax those corporations that "send jobs overseas." I'm afraid they don't understand that companies with subsidiaries in other countries pay taxes there. Requiring them to pay still-higher US taxes would make them less competitive in those markets, making it bad for their business overseas, and also for jobs here. Sales made by subsidiaries of US companies are often supported by high-paying jobs in finance, research & management at home. And if a company's tax burden under such legislation grew too high, it could simply move overseas to avoid it--resulting in a loss of tax revenue for the US, not a net gain. Those of us who want to see corporate tax rates lowered aren't trying to fill the pockets of executives. We're trying to keep businesses--and jobs--here in the US, and to expand savings and investment, personal incomes, and our entire national economy--all of which are very good things for everyone.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.133-134 Mar 2, 2010

On Crime: Hire private companies to manage our state prisons

When I was serving as the governor of Massachusetts, I suggested that we look into the possible benefits of hiring a private company to manage our state prisons. But almost uniformly, I was met with a very negative reaction. People invariably presumed that if we did, the state's cost would rise because a private company "would have to make a profit." It was hard to convince people that the private companies that manage prisons have learned how to safely do so with fewer workers than state-operated prisons--and the money they save through productivity innovations more than makes up for what they earn in profit. In fact, it's the profit motive that led them to find ways to improve their productivity. The tax dollars we would save could either be returned to the people who paid them or be spent on additional government priorities. Either way, productivity would increase. Organized labor made sure that private sector productivity would never disrupt government jobs in Massachusetts prisons.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.106 Mar 2, 2010

On Education: China & India graduate more science & engineering PhDs

Increasing productivity begins with innovation and innovation begins with good ideas. More often than not, good ideas come from educated minds. America's post-WWII commitment to public higher education directly contributed to the burst of productivity that rocketed our economy beyond every other. But other nations have made as great or greater a commitment to higher education than we have, particularly in engineering, computer science, and information. 15 years ago, China and India awarded about half as many master's degrees in these fields as did the US. Today, they graduate more than two times the number of students in these fields as we do.

While our annual number of degrees has hovered around 7,000 to 8,000, China's has risen from 1,784 to 12,130--50% greater than ours. This is a stunning reversal of global preeminence in the priority attached to the highest level of educational attainment. Not surprisingly, China, Japan, and Taiwan claim a growing share of the world's patents.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.120 Mar 2, 2010

On Education: Failure to educate minorities is a civil rights issue

The "achievement gap" has been lamented for decades but distressingly little has been done to combat it. About half of African American and Hispanic American students drop out before receiving a high-school degree. The result is that we are virtually assuring the creation of permanent underclass. It is an inexplicable human tragedy when millions of American children barely attain a third-world education in a nation that offers all its citizens access to free public schooling. Our current failure to educate our minority populations is the foremost civil-rights issue of our generation.

The minority proportion of the US population is projected to rise from 26% today to 34% by 2030, and if the achievement gap and dropout rate among minorities continues, the average educational level of the nation's entire workforce will continue to decline dramatically.

There is no greater indictment of American government than the sorry state of American education. It is an epic failure.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.198-199 Mar 2, 2010

On Education: 2003: Bold reforms: required H.S. graduation test

In 1993, the Supreme Judicial Court ordered the state to raise education funding levels in low-income school districts to a minimum acceptable level. Funding in low-income districts would be dramatically increased, but all students would be regularly tested in math and English. And the agreement provided that in 2003--my first year as governor--students would have to pass a test in order to graduate from high school. And finally, the state opened the door to the creation of charter schools.

Objections to the graduation requirement became increasingly intense as the first school year of my administration was drawing to a close. 92% of our seniors had passed the test, and those who had not would be entitled to summer school and another try. The parents of the 8% of students who failed to pass the test were vocal & angry. Despite the program's apparent early success, the Massachusetts teachers' union launched a $600,000 ad campaign, calling the graduation requirement "flawed and unfair."

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.201-202 Mar 2, 2010

On Education: Teachers' union has deadening impact on student achievement

Teachers' unions do their very best to secure insulations from performance for their members, and the results are lack of accountability, rising pay as a simple function of years on the job, and near-absolute job security. These have a deadening impact on student achievement. I don't blame teachers' unions for asking such gold-plated benefits; the unions'' job is to work for their members. I blame administrators, school boards, and parents for saying yes, even when schools are manifestly failing their students.

It is not the unions' job to fight for our children. That job is our job, and it's the task of the people we elect to represent us. Our elected representatives' role is to sit across the table from the unions and bargain in good faith in the interest of children and parents. But the teachers' unions long ago discovered that they could wield influence--and, in some cases, overwhelming influence--over the selection of our representatives on school boards and in state legislatures.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.217 Mar 2, 2010

On Education: Vetoed abandoning three new Massachusetts charter schools

The provision for new charter schools came under attack during my term. The legislature passed a bill that put a moratorium on any new charter schools--a law went into effect immediately. Yet because the bill was enacted at the beginning of summer, it would force the abandonment of three new charter schools only recently constructed and scheduled to open in the fall. The teachers for these schools had already been hired. The students had applied, been accepted, and had notified their regular public schools of their decision to attend the new charter schools. It was an egregious exercise in special-interest-driven legislation, and evidence of how fervently the teachers' unions oppose school choice. I vetoed the bill. And while Republicans made up only 15 percent of the legislature, enough Democrats joined with me to uphold my veto, and the new schools opened as planned.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney,p.203, Mass.Voting Record Sec.312 Mar 2, 2010

On Energy & Oil: Climate change is occurring, with SOME human contribution

I believe that climate change is occurring--the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor.

I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral US cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on the climate but could cripple economic growth.

Oil is purported to be one of the primary contributors to rising global temperatures. If in fact global warming is importantly caused by our energy appetite, it's yet one more reason for going on an energy diet.

Scientists are nearly unanimous in laying the blame for rising temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions. Of course there are also reasons for skepticism. The earth may be getting warmer, but there have been numerous times in the earth's history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.227 Mar 2, 2010

On Energy & Oil: No-regrets policy at home; reduce greenhouse emission abroad

As nations like China and India make available to their citizens the automobiles and appliances that we take for granted in the West, their energy demands--and their emissions--will rise dramatically. If developing nations won't curb emissions, even extreme mitigation measures taken by the US and other developed nations will have no appreciable effect on slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

These considerations lead me to this: We would pursue a no-regrets policy at home, and we should continue to engage in global efforts--not just US & European efforts--to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. By no regrets, I mean that we ought to take unilateral action on emissions when doing so is also consistent with our objective for reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Internationally, we should work to limit the increase in emissions in greenhouse gases, but in doing so, we shouldn't put ourselves in a disadvantageous economic position that penalizes American jobs and economic growth.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.230-231 Mar 2, 2010

On Energy & Oil: Nuclear power is a win-win: no CO2 and no imports

As nations like China and India make available to their citizens the automobiles, home heaters, air conditioners and appliances that we take for granted in the West, their energy demands--and their emissions--will rise dramatically. Internationally, we should work to limit the increase in emissions in global greenhouse gases.

Whether global warming or energy security is one's primary concern, everyone agrees that finding substitute fuels for oil is a good thing.

Nuclear power is a win-win; it's a domestic energy source with zero greenhouse emissions. Nuclear power poses the single largest opportunity to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Without increased nuclear generation, global temperatures cannot achieve the two-degree Celsius goal. So if you're serious about global warming, you have to say yes to nuclear; and if like me you're serious about energy security, you get to the same place.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.230&239-240 Mar 2, 2010

On Families & Children: The Worst Generation precludes children from American Dream

In his 1998 book, Tom Brokaw coined the term "the Greatest Generation." These men & women simply believed that vision, sacrifice & success were vital for their children & to the generations that would follow them. I fear that if we remain on our current track, history will come to know us as this nation's WORST generation--because we will force our children & their children to bear the brunt of our recklessness and the willful neglect of the problems we created.

Avoiding the fate of becoming "the wors generation" won't be easy, particularly given how long we've been on a collision course with debt and decline. But I'm convinced it will be worth it if we face this stark truth: The debts & financial obligations we are on track to leave the next generations will be so huge that they will preclude our children from achieving the American dream. Never before has there been a generation of Americans that has imperiled the following generations' opportunity for achievement & advance as we have done.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.150-151 Mar 2, 2010

On Foreign Policy: In long term, Chinese reforms lead to demanding freedom

The strategy pursued by China is based on free enterprise. Unlike the West, it is also based on authoritarian rule. On its face the strategy is contradictory: the oppression of an authoritarian regime that severely limits individual freedoms must surely stifle entrepreneurship and enterprise. The conflict is so apparent that many Western observers have predicted that as China`s economy and trade develop, the country will trend toward democracy and freedom.

China's leaders see things quite differently They believe that the economic vitality produced by free enterprise, combined with the stability and vision of wise leaders, unaffected by popular whim, creates the winning strategy. Autocracies of the twentieth century were often wedded to socialism; its abject economic failure doomed these governments. But China is banking that having embraced a form of free enterprise, their autocratic future will be very different than their past failures.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 13-14 Mar 2, 2010

On Foreign Policy: Post-WWII role: defeat threats to progress of freedom

At the end of World War II, the US executed a dramatic and profoundly meaningful shift in our relationship with the rest of the world. After a long tradition of guarding our own hemisphere while deliberately attempting to stay isolated from the affairs o Europe and Asia, the US found itself the greatest single power amidst a world in chaos and disrepair. Visionary leaders set out to help create a new international order with the US in the permanent lead

So the president and the leaders of both parties shifted America's foreign policy. America took on the task of anticipating, containing, and eventually defeating threats to the progress of freedom in the belief that actively protecting others was the best way to protect ourselves.

Broadly construed, the new order had three pillars: active involvement and participation in world affairs; active promotion of American and Western values including democracy, free enterprise, and human rights; and a collective security umbrella for America and her allies.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 23 Mar 2, 2010

On Foreign Policy: American Exceptionalism means America need not decline

In a world composed of nations that are filled with rage and hate for the US, our president should proudly defend her rather than continually apologize for her. I reject the view that America must decline. I believe in American exceptionalism. I am convinced that we can act together to strengthen the nation, to preserve our global leadership, and to protect freedom where it exits and promote it where it does not. What is ahead of us now will not be easy. It will be difficult to overcome the challenges we face, to maintain our national strength and purpose even as China, Russia, and the jihadists pursue their own ambitions. It will be difficult to repair the damage from the economic panic of 2008 and the intemperate actions that have been justified as steps to remedy it. I don't worry about our ability to overcome any problem or threat. But I do wonder whether we will take this action that is timely, and that we will act before the necessary correction is massively disruptive.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 29&33 Mar 2, 2010

On Foreign Policy: Different countries' paths to decline came from isolation

The Ottoman Empire spanned 700 years. But while Europe embarked on the early stages of manufacturing, the Ottomans did not. The Ottomans' growing isolation was reinforced by the conviction that their holy scriptures provided all the knowledge that was necessary.

Like the Ottomans, the Spanish and Portuguese achieved wealth through plunder, and then shut their borders--and their minds--to innovation, technology, and learning.

China declined [because] as ships from foreign lands docked in their ports, the Chinese feared cultural contamination. China's cultural and economic isolation continued in the 20th century: Mao saw learning and innovation as threats.

By 1860, Britain's economy was the biggest in the world, But whereas other nations embraced new technology, Britain reversed course and tried to contain it.

The different countries' paths of decline [all included] isolation; most important, isolation from knowledge. This is a lesson that shouldn't be lost on us.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 37-41 Mar 2, 2010

On Foreign Policy: National turnaround requires leadership; consensus; strength

Throughout history, there have been fortuitous reversals of national decline. One or more of four conditions or catalysts have been present when corrective action was successfully undertaken.
  1. The occurrence of a catastrophic event that is alarming enough to spur action but not so large that it dooms the nation.
  2. The presence of a great leader--a person of uncommon vision, political courage, statesmanship, and persuasiveness.
  3. National consensus, spurred by either crisis or national leaders
  4. The final conducive condition for turnaround is when a nation enjoys deep, broad-based national strength--a productive and inventive economy, an educated and entrepreneurial population, and an extensive bench of able leaders.
The lessons from past powers can inform our prospects for preserving America's place in the world. The good news is that America possesses the qualities that have allowed great nations in the past to reverse course and to overcome challenges.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 47-49 Mar 2, 2010

On Free Trade: Trade is good for the nation, but not good for everybody

US companies faced with innovative and less costly products from overseas have to make one of two choices. They can invest in new technologies, innovations, and productivity improvements themselves and beat the foreign competition at its own game--a process that often requires unions and suppliers to make adjustments.

Alternatively, US companies can argue for protection, hold on as long as possible, and slowly watch their market share wane

The case for trade makes good economic sense--trade improves the wages and standard of living for the average citizen. But trade can disrupt and devastate those individuals directly affected. Owners and shareholders may lose money, of course. But it is the employees and managers, from the shop floor to the drifting tables to delivery trucks, who take the brunt of the pain. Trade is good for the nation and for the average citizen, but it is decidedly not good for everybody.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.114-115 Mar 2, 2010

On Free Trade: Protectionism stifles productivity, under Bush AND Obama

When a country has artificially held down the value of its currency, we must act. Government should also act to stem dangerous foreign environmental policies and to block products produced by child labor. In some cases, an industry may request short-term --VERY short-term--breathing room so that it can adjust to new competitive threat. Such requests should be granted only when it's clear that the affected American industry can and will act decisively to regain a truly competitive position. But for every request for protection or subsidy that is warranted, a hundred or more others are not. The Bush administration's decision to protect the US steel industry is a case in point--I agree with those who have concluded that it did more harm than good. Pres. Obama's action to defend American tire companies from foreign competition may make good politics by repaying unions for their support of his campaign, but it is decidedly bad for the nation and our workers. Protectionism stifles productivity.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.119 Mar 2, 2010

On Government Reform: Dynamic regulations: forward-looking & consistently applied

Excessive regulation slows the creation of new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses. At the same time, in order to provide the structure and predictability that business needs and to protect against abuses, we need dynamic regulations, which are up-to-date, forward-looking, consistently applies, and free of unnecessary burden.

We certainly suffered from the absence of dynamic regulation in the 2008 economic collapse, particularly in the area of housing finance. While some outdated regulations had been eliminated, modern replacements had not been put in place. The wholesale failure at the federal level to revise and refine outmoded regulatory structures even as the ever-aggressive private sector sought out new profit centers allowed the risks in the system to overwhelm the collective good. We know the bill we have all paid as a result. What is odd is that some are looking to the same people in Congress as source of wisdom on how to avoid a repeat of a fiasco.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.138 Mar 2, 2010

On Government Reform: 1960s large donors avoided union influence in politics

When I ran for the US Senate in 1994, I worked hard to raise the millions I would need. My father spent six months helping on the campaign. Recall that my dad was one of the most successful politicians of his era. But after seeing how much time I had to spend fund-raising, he was convinced that the system made no sense at all. In his race for governor of Michigan on 1962, he explained, his finance chairman raised all the money they would need in a single night. 15 or 20 people were invited to an event-- each check probably totaling $25,000 or more.

I asked dad whether accepting large contributions encouraged corruption; surely the contributors wanted something in return. He replied that not once during his three terms in office did one of his contributors ask for a favor. They were some of Michigan's most prominent citizens, and instead of favors, they were looking for good government. I'm not defending the old system; I'm sure it had its share of abuses. But so does the current one.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.274-275 Mar 2, 2010

On Government Reform: Measure American success by series of cyclical indicators

During the 1930s, economists began compiling a series of figures they hoped would predict the future direction of the American economy. Today, the Composite Index of Leading Indicators is composed of ten components, from weekly jobless claims to building permits to consumer sentiment. I believe that we could identify useful signals what would inform us of conditions that are likely to exist over a much longer time horizon, from 25 to 50 years. We might call it the Index of Leading Leading Indicators. Such an index ought to include the following indicators:
  1. The Prevalence of Freedom
  2. National Security Assessment
  3. Relative Productivity
  4. Relative GDP and Growth Rate
  5. Trade Share of the GDP
  6. Relative Market Shares in Growing, Traded-Product Industries
  7. Innovation Index
  8. National Debt and Liabilities
  9. Tax Bite (percentage of all taxes)
  10. Health-care Funding Gap
  11. Energy Burden
  12. Children Born Out of Wedlock
  13. Relative Educational Attainment
  14. Citizen Engagement
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.282-286 Mar 2, 2010

On Health Care: 2006 lessons: involve everyone; demonize none; transparency

The debate over health care raged Washington during most of 2009. Sadly, that consensus as to the problem did not result in a consensus as to the solution. The real tragedy was that it wasn't the sort of bipartisan and genuine search for solutions that I experienced in Massachusetts in 2006 and 2007. Our reforms in Massachusetts didn't produce a perfect system, just one that was much better than what had been there before, and it taught us all valuable lessons on how to work collaboratively to reform health care. But the most important lessons--involve everyone, demonize no one, and be transparent--were never adopted by President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid, and their surrogates. As a result, we have not achieved the kind of reforms that will tame health-care cost inflation.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.163 Mar 2, 2010

On Health Care: People without insurance already receive care via E.R.

We had a collective epiphany: the people in Massachusetts who didn't have health insurance were, in fact, already receiving health care. Under federal law, hospitals had to treat people who arrived at their emergency rooms with acute conditions. That meant that someone was already paying for the cost of treating people who didn't have health insurance. If we could get our hands on that money, and therefore redirect it to help the uninsured BUY insurance instead--before acute conditions developed--the cost of insuring everyone in the state might not be as expensive as I had feared.

Massachusetts insurance regulations also didn't help. The commonwealth required insurers to offer only benefit-rich policies--and consequently, such policies were very expensive. Further, the state didn't allow insurers to adequately discount policy premiums for young healthy people. As a result, premiums for individuals who were not part of a pool were excessively high, & young healthy people declined to pay for them.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.171-172 Mar 2, 2010

On Health Care: 2006: Compromise with Ted Kennedy to make RomneyCare reality

The plan we ultimately constructed & proposed to the legislature relied on three basic components:
  1. Those who could afford insurance would either buy it pay their own health-care costs--no more free riders showing up at the hospital expecting to ge care at tax-payers' expense
  2. For those who couldn't afford health insurance on their own, the state would pay a portion of their premium with the amount of the subsidy determined on a sliding scale by income
  3. To make it easier to insurers to service individual customers, the state would create a "connector" or "exchange" that would collect premiums and pass them on to the insurers.
Our first stop was the office of Ted Kennedy. He saw an opportunity to work on a bipartisan experiment that might become a model for other states. He quickly grasped the structure of our program, and he agreed to support our approach. The bill wasn't perfect; nothing that groundbreaking could be. But it was a big improvement over what we had.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney,p.173-5, Mass.Voting Record Ch.58 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: Increase defense spending to at least 4% of GDP

In the face of Obama's approach and foreign policy agenda, we need to do several things. The first is fairly elementary: We should treat our allies like the allies they are. That means, for starters, not being harder on them, or demanding more from them, than we do from our adversaries.

To ensure that America remains safe and maintains its role as a defender of freedom, we also need to increase our defense spending to at least 4% of our GDP per year, including substantial and increasing support for missile defense. Under Pres. Obama, our defense spending will decline as a share of our economy and of the federal budget. And it will fall far below what is required to meet our global commitments.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 30-32 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: Recognize the scope and reality of the jihadist threat

Radical, fundamentalist Muslims--Islamists--are estimated to number about 200 million people. While most Islamists do not condone the tactics of the violent jihadists, they share the same vision for the course of the Islamic world. Every non-Muslim state is to be removed from every land that was once under Muslim control--including part of Western Europe, all of northern Africa, and the Persian & Arab lands of the Middle East.

Even after the attacks of 9/11, some Americans cannot bring themselves to recognize the scope of reality of the jihadist threat. Others have concluded that the burden of preventing future attacks is too great.

But jihadists see the world in starkly different ways from most Americans. For example, while Western nations take care to separate church from the state, for the Islamists, religion and government are to be one. The founding fathers of Islam proclaimed that "Islam is a religion and a state." Thus, Islamists would replace secular systems of justice with sharia.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 64-69 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: Strengthen soft power because it is real power

It is long past time for America to strengthen and effectively deploy our soft power. There should be no misunderstanding of the fact that soft power is REAL power; that it can and does affect world events. The Lebanon War in 2006 is one example.

When conflict broke out between Hezbollah and Israel, many observers were surprised to see Hezbollah garner so much support among the Lebanese people. Hezbollah was launching rockets from Lebanese neighborhoods, making them the open targets of Israeli retaliation, but nonetheless, the Lebanese people cheered Hezbollah.

A good deal of the support for Hezbollah stemmed from deep-seated anti-Israel resentment. But it was also the result of Hezbollah's long effort to help the Shia community by building village schools and other social services. Israeli officials explained that Hezbollah contributed only a few million dollars a year to this effort, but it was money very effectively spent. In this instance, soft power meant real power for the Hezbollah.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 78 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: China's military is over half our size (not one-tenth!)

Reports of America's share of worldwide defense spending can be misleading. According to official budgets, we are responsible for about 48% of the entire world's defense spending--approximately ten times the amount spent by China. But, reported numbers do not tell the real story. First, some countries simply do not report all their military expenditures. China does not include expenses for strategic forces, military purchases from foreign countries, or the cost of military-related research and development. So while its reported military budget in 2007 was $46 billion, its actual annual spending is estimated to be in the range of $100 billion to $ 140 billion.

China's lower troop cost is largely the result of conscription and the nation's low wage rates. If China's cost to employ a soldier and to purchase an item of military hardware were identical to those that are paid in the United States, its budget would be closer to half the size of ours, not the one-tenth that is reported.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 83 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: Defense cost comparison US vs PRC

It costs the United States $129 billion a year to field 1.5 million troops. China, by contrast, can raise an army of 2 million troops--33% more men and women than our combined services--for only about $25 billion annually. If their cost per soldier were the same as ours, instead of spending $25 billion for their troops, they would have to spend $172 billion. China's lower troop cost is largely the result of conscription and the nation's low wage rates.

For all these reasons, if you were to accept the argument of the activists opposed to the defense budget's size and you were to look at reported defense spending figures as a measure of the military strength of the two countries, you would get a very inaccurate impression. If China's cost to employ a soldier and to purchase an item of military hardware were identical to those that are paid in the United States, its budget would be closer to half the size of ours, not the one-tenth that is reported.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 84 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: Our nuclear arsenal must be updated comprehensively

America's strategic defense relies on credible nuclear deterrence. Accordingly, our nuclear arsenal must be updated--comprehensively and soon. While other nations have been testing and updating their nuclear capacity, we have done little to maintain our deterrent power.

Russia insists that nuclear reduction talks encompass only strategic nuclear weapons, not theater nuclear weapons, which are currently configured for short-range deployment. Their position is understandable, as they have many times the number of theater nuclear weapons as does the US; they'd like to cement that superiority into place

We must develop and install a robust missile defense system. Progress achieved in the Bush years in building a shield to protect the US from the missiles of rogue states and in preparing for a missile shield in Europe was a good start.

Ideally, we would rid the planet of nuclear weapons. But we are unlikely to be successful in doing so, at least within the coming decades.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 88-89 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: Allies must increase defense spending to a fair share

America alone is strong. America standing with its allies is a good deal stronger. But our allies are disarming at the same time that our potential foes are rearming. China & Russia are spending more than 4% of their GDP on their military, but France & the U.K. spend less than 2.5%, Italy 1.8%; Germany only 1.3%, and consistent with its postwar commitments, Japan spends less than 1.0% on defense. Raising the US defense budget from 3.8% to 4% of our GDP would add about $30 billion to defense. Raising defense spending by these 5 allies to 4% of their GDP would add TEN TIMES that amount to our combined defense. It is time for our allies to increase their investment in national and global security in order to assume their fair share of the load and to strengthen our combined capabilities.

When added together, the troop-strength and armament figures of our allies appear quite competitive. But they do not fool our potential adversaries: our allies [are not] a coherent collective military power.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 97 Mar 2, 2010

On Homeland Security: Strong Economy; Strong Military; Strong People

There are three pillars that sustain a free and strong America:
  1. A Strong Economy
  2. A Strong Military
  3. A Free and Strong People
The action steps to secure each of these include those noted in this Agenda for a Free and Strong America:
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.301 Mar 2, 2010

On Immigration: Immigration practices are upside down: more hi-tech visas

We should eagerly welcome individuals from other countries who are educated & experienced. But our current immigration policies do not. In order for some foreign students to come to America to earn a degree in physics, for example, they have to agree to LEAVE the US when their degree has been awarded. That doesn't make sense.

We follow the same deeply counterproductive course when we strictly limit the number of visas we award to scientists & technicians. If we want to continue to lead the world in innovation, we need the most intelligent & educated individuals. What we now do instead is strictly limit how long and how many highly skilled foreign applicants can be admitted and how long they can stay. At the same time, millions of people without these skills enter the country illegally. Our immigration practices are literally upside down. The best and the brightest wait in line to come here, but those with only little education are permitted to stay.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.123 Mar 2, 2010

On Immigration: Ardent proponent of English immersion

Massachusetts once took pride in pioneering bilingual education. The concept made sense--many feared that foreign-language-speaking immigrant children would be left behind if they were thrust into a standard English-speaking classroom & English-speaking society.

There were a number of advocates that remained fierce defenders of bilingual education. In speaking to immigrant parents, I was surprised to learn that many of them had wanted their child to attend regular English-speaking classes.

I became even more ardent proponent of English immersion and sought to rapidly implement it throughout the state. Under the immersion program , recent immigrant children who spoke no or little English would initially receive instruction in their native tongue, but would be moved into English instruction as soon as possible, Time and again, I heard from parents in the immigrant community who applauded the decision to scrap bilingual education in favor of English.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.204-205 Mar 2, 2010

On Jobs: "Card check" is a massive imposition on worker freedom

The most naked pro-union power play in decades is the AFL-CIO demand to change the process by which a union enters a company's workplace. The proposed statute, known as "card check" legislation, would represent a massive imposition on the freedom of workers to choose whether or not to become part of a union. Currently, the decision about unionization is made by a secret-ballot vote by the company's employees, but because unions haven't been winning a lot of elections, they want to change the rules. Under the AFL-CIO plan, the union would collect pro-unionization signature cards from a majority of employees, cards that could be collected over an extended period of time and without the knowledge of the employer that an organizing effort is under way; thus, employees could be targeted and pressured, one by one. This is a remarkable departure from the one of the prerequisites of any democracy--that of a secret ballot. It's easy to imagine how this system could lead to employee harassment and coercion.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.112-113 Mar 2, 2010

On Jobs: Incentivize hiring jobless: cover $2000 in training costs

I have seen that the best training often occurs in the workplace where it is targeted to a job that is actually needed. That is one reason why I favor programs that incentivize employers to hire and train people who have been out of work for an extended period of time, who have disabilities, or who have been affected by the failure of a company or industry. As governor, I was able to establish a program that paid employers $2,000 toward the cost of training anyone they hired who had been out of work for more than a year. For all the benefits that productivity improvements bestow on the many, we need to make sure that the cost is not borne by the few.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.116 Mar 2, 2010

On Jobs: Opposes "25-75": 25 years of service then 75% pension

I got the big question from the union leadership: Would I support "25-75"? Someone explained that it was shorthand for a proposed state law mandating that after 25 years of service, firefighters could retire and receive annual pensions that would equal 75% of the average of their highest three years of compensation, plus inflation--a pension that would be paid regardless of whether the retired firefighter got another job.

I did a quick calculation. A firefighter who was hired at 20 years of age would retire at 45, then be paid for the remaining 30 years of life expectancy. The state would actually pay this person more during retirement than during their employment years. It made no sense--not just the money, but also the notion that a public employee could retire at 45 with a full pension. I declined to offer my support for "25-75." It would have been easy to say yes and win the union's support because the cost to the state wouldn't have become significant until many years after I'd left office.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.155 Mar 2, 2010

On Principles & Values: Hard times made us the people we are today

Today the US faces daunting challenges, and I am convinced that if we confront them and overcome them, we will remain a strong and leading nation. Just like individuals, companies, and human enterprises of every kind, nations that are undaunted by the challenges they face become stronger. Those that shrink from difficult tasks become weaker. Consider our nation's history and the strength we developed as we faced our greatest threats.

I can remember only one time during my life when most Americans presumed that we didn't really have any great challenges. It was during the period that largely coincided with the Bill Clinton presidency. Bush & Reagan had pushed the Soviet Union to the wall and won. Here at home, there was talk of a "new economy" that sent the bulls running on Wall Street. In some ways, we advanced as a nation on these years. The Internet boomed, and the pockets of millions of Americans grew deeper. But did these years of ease make us stronger, more free or secure nation?

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 7-9 Mar 2, 2010

On Principles & Values: President should proudly defend US, not apologize for her

President Obama's presupposition is that America is in a state of inevitable decline. A recurring theme in Pres. Obama's rhetoric is that "more than at any point in human history, the interest of nations and peoples are shared" and that the "common interests of human beings"--ending global warming, stopping nuclear proliferation, achieving peace and prosperity--is stronger than the differences among nations. Pres. Obama envisions himself as the world's great bridge builder and synthesizer.

In a world composed of nations that are filled with rage and hate for the US, our president should proudly defend her rather than continually apologize for her.

I reject the view that America must decline. I believe in American exceptionalism. I am convinced that we can act together to strengthen the nation, to preserve our global leadership, and to protect freedom where it exits and promote it where it does not.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 28-29 Mar 2, 2010

On Principles & Values: America is freedom and freedom must be strong

Compared with workers in European countries, those in America have greater opportunities at work for taking initiative, take greater pride in their jobs, and have higher levels of satisfaction not only with their jobs but also with their lives. So promoting innovation and productivity undergirds a good share of our happiness.

But there is much more that compels us to pursue a productivity and growth agendas--it is essential to preserve the America we know. For if Washington were to continue to depart from this strategy, acting in ways that depress productivity and growth, America would decline. We would be surpassed as the world's leader, and lament as freedom is stealthily stripped from our descendants and from our friends around the world. It was not for this that the Founding Fathers established the nation, nor for this that hundreds of thousands of our brave men and women shed their blood. America is freedom, and freedom must be strong.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.149 Mar 2, 2010

On Social Security: So-called "Trust Fund" has defrauded American people

A fiction that's often used to obscure the extent of the crisis is the so-called Social Security Trust Fund, which the American public is assured has a large positive balance. Yet it is not a fund in the conventional sense of the world. From the fund's inception, money collected from payroll taxes hasn't been "locked away," but rather has been used to pay benefits of current beneficiaries. There simply is no "fund" safely invested somewhere, and therefore entitlement programs will consume an ever larger share of our economic output. There is no fund, and there is no silver bullet.

To put it in a nutshell, the American people have been effectively defrauded out of their Social Security. In 1982, the government raised Social Security taxes with the intention of creating a surplus that could be set aside in some fashion for the baby boomers when they retired. But for the last thirty years, the surplus has been spent, not on retirement security, but on regular budget items.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.157 Mar 2, 2010

On Social Security: Add individual retirement accounts as option

Individual retirement accounts offer an option that would allow today's wage earners to direct a portion of their Social Security tax to a private account rather than go entirely to pay the benefits of current retirees, as is the case today. The federal government would make up for its lost Social Security revenue by borrowing the amount through the sale of treasuries, just as it currently does for the rest of its deficits. Owners of these individual accounts would invest in a combination of stocks and bonds and--presuming these investments paid a higher rate of return than the new treasuries--the return on these investments would boost the payments to seniors. I also like the fact the individual retirement accounts would encourage more Americans to invest in the private sector that powers our economy.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.160 Mar 2, 2010

On Tax Reform: Eliminate taxes on dividends & interest but not via FairTax

If we want to make more capital available for investment, we will have to lower taxes on saving and investing, either at the corporate or the individual level, or preferably both. A lower corporate tax rate would accomplish all that the myriad special tax breaks do, and improve the incentives for investment and entrepreneurship as well. Personal taxes on dividends, interest, and capital gains for all middle-income families should be completely eliminated.

Some people advocate the "FairTax" as a means of boosting savings, a system that would entirely replace income taxes with a consumption tax--a kind of sales tax. FairTax proponents estimate that a tax rate of 23% would be sufficient, but detractors claim that it would be closer to 40%. The enormous amount saved by the wealthiest under the FairTax would be made up by a higher tax burden on the middle class. This is not an outcome that will or should gain traction with the American public.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.129-130 Mar 2, 2010

On Technology: Two-part innovation: improve the old; invent the new

Raising the productivity of a nation and the prosperity of its citizens depends on two types of innovation--one that improves existing goods and services and another that invents new ones. The former may result in reduced employment; the latter generally adds employment. It's a two-part system; improve the old, invent the new.

In an effort to make existing products better and to make them more efficiently, innovation in the use of capital has long been major source of productivity growth. A great deal of what had previously done by hand was now performed by robots. Capital innovation had led to fewer workers, better product quality, and greater productivity.

Innovation may also improve the way in which labor is organized and utilized.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.104-105 Mar 2, 2010

On Technology: National R&D spending OK; picking winners not OK

Government funding for basic science and research in universities and research laboratories has been declining for years. It needs to grow instead, particularly in engineering and the physical sciences. Research in energy, materials science, nanotechnology, and transportation are vital to the economy and to our nation's competitiveness. Government should not, however, attempt to pick winning ideas or technologies in which it would invest funds for development and commercialization.

The realities of that marketplace sort out those that have potential for growth and sustainability and those that do not. Attempting to substitute government for the roles carried out by entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists while also bypassing the unforgiving test of the free market is a very bad idea indeed.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.124-125 Mar 2, 2010

On War & Peace: American resolve in Iraq counters jihad with fortitude

The jihadists' history with America justifies their confidence that we will abandon the fight. In 1983, jihadists attacked US marines in Lebanon--and we withdrew. The again in 1993, jihadists attacked US marines in Somalia--and we withdrew. Next, jihadists placed bombs in the World Trade Center, but they were arrested and tried as if they were street criminals, not a real and present threat. In 2000, jihadists audaciously attacked the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors, but once more, we did nothing.

With all this history as a backdrop for their lectures to the young, jihadists have become quite confident in the knowledge that, time and again, we have underestimated their threat, their capacity to kill, and their steadfast resolve. This is a lesson they pass on to the young radicals in the making. Only in recent years has American resolve in Iraq and Afghanistan provided a counterexample of Western fortitude in the face of jihadist attacks.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 71 Mar 2, 2010

On Welfare & Poverty: Entitlements: focus on future beyond next election

The entitlement liability can be rectified, and the first step is to create public awareness that pushes the issue to the front burner. That will require political leaders who believe that their next election is less important than their children's future to speak out. It will also require able and relentless investigative voices in the media to refuse to let candidates off the hook who do not confront this issue. Prior to the 2008 economic collapse, there was reason to be hopeful that these voices would emerge. But the turbulence and uncertainty surrounding the financial crisis may keep the entitlement emergency in the shadows, allowing politicians to continue to ignore it for a while longer. Unfortunately, President Obama has done nothing in his first year in office to call attention to this looming crisis or to advance any solutions.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.156 Mar 2, 2010

The above quotations are from No Apology:
The Case for American Greatness
by Gov. Mitt Romney.
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