BOSTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Saturday America "can't afford four more years like the last four years."
Romney, in his weekly podcast, cited an economic study that indicated middle-class families face a $4,000 tax increase to pay the interest on the debt President Obama has incurred during his first term, calling it a "very heavy, unacceptable burden for families who are already stretched too thin."
The self-described "severely conservative" former Massachusetts governor discounted the Labor Department's report Friday showing the unemployment rate, at 7.8 percent, was at the lowest point since Obama took office in January 2009.
"If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11 percent," Romney said.
"The results of President Obama's failed policies are staggering -- 23 million Americans are struggling for work, nearly one in six are living in poverty, and 47 million people are dependent on food stamps to feed themselves and their families.
"What we need is a real recovery -- and, unlike the president, that's exactly what I'm offering."
Romney said Obama's second-term plans include "more taxes, more borrowing and more spending."
"I will cut spending, restore our AAA credit rating and balance our budget within a decade," he said.
"The choice in this election is clear. Under President Obama, we will have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency and chronically high unemployment. But if you elect me as president, we'll have pro-growth policies that foster upward mobility, strengthen the middle class, and lift people out of poverty."