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Itís strange to hear Republicans touting the business acumen of the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket.

Romneyís business experience is confined to borrowing huge sums of money to buy controlling interests in vulnerable companies, then forcing those companies to pay off his loans.

If a company had difficulty making payments, he would charge millions in consulting fees to tell them who to fire and what assets to sell to generate cash.

In short, he added no value to the companies he raided. He looted them.

Ryan is a longtime Washington insider with virtually no business experience.

His economic philosophy derives, in large part, from the fictional works of author and ardent atheist Ayn Rand.

In ďAtlas Shrugged,Ē her laissez-faire economic model defeats all comers. Of course, thatís pretty easy to make happen in a fictional world.

President Barack Obama might not have had much business experience when he came to office, but heís proved himself a capable leader.

Under his leadership, the American automobile industry was saved from extinction, the 401(k) accounts of millions of Americans were brought back from the brink, the collapse of our financial institutions was halted, economic growth was rekindled, and rising unemployment was arrested.

The flow of initiatives that put the American economy on the road to recovery was choked off in 2010 by a Republican majority in the House.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) declared the No. 1 priority was not jobs, not arresting economic collapse; no, the Republicansí stated No. 1 priority was to prevent the presidentís re-election.

Itís clear now they hoped to do that by blocking any legislation Obama proposed that might spur economic growth.

After that demonstration of bad faith, they have the temerity to say the president has failed to lead. The leadership failure lies with Republicans who choose to make defeating the president their highest priority, even if it means stifling economic recovery.

Republicans say they can do better than Obama, but their economic plan is not new. It was tried by President Herbert Hoover after the devastating collapse of 1929.

In the ensuing three years, not only did the economy not grow, it also continued to shrivel. Unemployment topped 20 percent.

It wasnít until after Hoover lost his bid for re-election that the country began to claw its way back under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Republicans cynically criticize Obama for not growing the economy fast enough, while blocking his legislative initiatives. Meanwhile all they have to offer is a course of action that failed 83 years ago.

Keith Selbo, Warrenton