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Perugino: Turning point of the century
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This will be the last column that I write before the presidential election on Nov. 6. I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to beseech you to vote responsibly and with careful thought to the future of this United States. This is not an election to be corrupted by personal racial bias, mindless party politics or mind numbing ignorance of the issues and what's at stake with your vote.

Unless you have been lost in the wilderness for the last four years you are aware that our country has been plunging into irreversible destruction.

This administration has failed to respect the Constitution, maintain fiscally responsible spending, protect our sovereignty and continue the American Dream for all Americans.

If our country is to survive with a modicum of prosperity and opportunity for Americans we must elect a candidate who will stop the bleeding and put our economy in a direction of financial recovery with plentiful jobs and energetic business growth. Mitt Romney is the person who can bring our country and the American Dream back.

Let me point out some facts concerning the performance of this administration and what we must run away from on Tuesday. You owe this to yourself, your children and the future of your country.

In an unprecedented fall, the U.S. dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in the 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index that was published today.

The index benchmarks countries in eight categories: economy, education, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, health, personal freedom, safety and security and social capital.

Legatum's latest findings are further proof that the American Dream is in jeopardy. After clinging to 10th place in the 2011 index, America has dropped to 12th position in the worldwide prosperity rankings-with weakening performance across five of the index's eight categories. Significantly, the U.S. fell eight places in the measure for entrepreneurship and opportunity.

The Legatum findings confirm earlier analysis in the Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. It has reported steadily declining scores for economic freedom in the United States for the past four years.

On this Halloween, a truly frightening specter is looming.

The highest tax increase in the history of our country.

A horrifying combination of expiring pro-growth tax policies from 2001 and 2003, the end of the once-temporary payroll tax cut, and just a few of Obamacare's 18 new tax hikes, this will be the largest tax increase EVER to hit Americans. It's nearly $500 billion in one year, starting Jan. 1. That's two months away.

The average family will see a tax increase of $4,138 or 5.9 percent based on an average joint income of $70,662 and a low-income wage earner will see a tax increase of $1,207 or 4.7 percent based on an average income of $24,757. The next president can reverse these tax increases.

We all have been struggling with $3.50 gas prices, 8 percent unemployment, a 30 percent crash in property values, no job opportunities, an increase to 47 million people on food stamps and at least a 10 percent increase in the cost of groceries and household goods. We cannot sustain this crippling economic environment.

The most disgraceful performance of the Obama administration has been the Benghazi terror attack where they abandoned an American ambassador and four brave soldiers and agents. The facts now prove that the Whitehouse knew of the terrorist attack and the transmissions pleading for help. There is no doubt that Obama was aware of the critical situation and the danger our people were facing. He chose to stonewall the incident for political gain through the election. What happened to our sacred creed; "Leave no one behind"? Every American should be demanding that the facts be addressed and those responsible held liable. Obama showed our country as being weak and brought shame on us. It took less than 24 hours after the Bin Laden raid for Obama to be publishing complete details of the operation and start taking bows. This is sadly a cover up for political gain.

We cannot take another day of irresponsible and incompetent governing by this president. We must have a change.

Vote Tuesday and remove this president from office.

William Perugino is active in local and regional politics and can be reached at