By Mitt Romney
I am running for president to help restore the greatness of America, with prosperity and good jobs at home and respect for our country abroad.
President Obama says that he wants to "fundamentally transform" America. He has endeavored to do so, by making us more like Europe, with government playing a larger and more intrusive role in our lives and in our enterprises. But Europe doesn't work in Europe, and it is not working here.
The president's breathtaking deficits, 34 months of 8 percent or higher unemployment, depressed home values, the rising cost of food and health care and the high price of gas are ample evidence that his plan to transform America has hurt America.
don't want to transform America; I want to return America to the principles that have made us the greatest nation on earth. In the vision of the Founders, the Creator endowed each of us with unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America would be the nation where citizens would be free to pursue their lives as they wished, not as the government directed. America would be the land of liberty and the land of opportunity.
And for more than two centuries, we have been a land where individuals, through education, hard work, risk taking and good fortune, can achieve their dreams. Free people pursuing happiness have made America the most prosperous nation on earth.
President Obama wants to change America from an opportunity society to an entitlement society, in which government takes from some to redistribute to others. His aim to create equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity requires a massive and assertive government that regulates an ever-increasing dimension of our economy and our lives.
To restore our economic vitality, to restore the strength and superiority of our military and to rebuild our free opportunity society, I will as president take the following actions:
*  Repeal Obamacare and return to the states their rights and responsibility to craft the health-care solutions that suit their citizens best.
*  Remove union stooges from the National Labor Relations Board and reverse the union-dominated agenda of the Obama administration.
*  Open new markets for American products and services, and confront trade cheaters such as China.
*  Secure our borders, and crack down on employers who hire illegal aliens.
*  Unlock our energy resources, including oil, gas, coal, nuclear and renewables.
*  Lower the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent.
*  Repeal job-killing Obama-era regulations and cap future regulations.
*  Eliminate the tax on savings and investment -- no tax on capital gains, interest and dividends -- for those making less than $200,000 a year.
*  End the massive deficits by cutting government spending, capping it and balancing the budget.
*  Rebuild our military with more ships, a modern air force, more troops and better care for our veterans.
The path I lay out is not one paved with ever-increasing government checks and cradle-to-grave assurances that in life's crisis, government will always be the solution. If this election is a bidding war for who can promise more benefits, it's a battle I'm not going to join.
I'm confident that Americans will refuse to be bought off by cheap promises that turn into never-ending debts for our children and grandchildren.
Nearly two and a half centuries ago, an idea called America was born. Farmers and merchants, aristocrats and blacksmiths put aside their fears to take up arms against the greatest power in the world. There was not a single reason to believe they could succeed.
But they believed in themselves. They believed that the guiding force in their lives should not be the fear each of them must have deeply felt, but a brighter, stronger belief that life without freedom is slow death, and an abiding hope that they could build a better world.
That world is America.
Across America we are at the beginning of the democratic process that those early patriots risked all to secure. This is the moment when we can reject failure and commit to make the failures and disappointments of the past few years only a detour, not a destiny.
This is time to bring America back, to restore the principles of freedom, merit and opportunity that make America great. I believe in that America because I have lived in that America.
Mr. Romney is a businessman and former governor of Massachusetts making his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Learn more at mittromney.com.