LEESBURG, Va. – President Obama’s recent remarks regarding private equity should, at minimum, stir incredulity, as it has with some in his own party like Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker and former “car czar” Steve Rattner.

Perhaps the semantics of the president’s remarks appeal to his political base and their preconceived, incorrect notions about the sinister nature of the American system of finance.

Furthermore, President Obama’s suggestion that the government is a better arbiter of fairness than the mechanisms inherent in the free market contradicts everything we know to be true about economics and prosperity.

The placement of private capital is and has always been the distinctive feature of American finance. In fact, in his recent book “The Next 100 Years,” George Friedman suggests it is the American system of private finance that will, in the long run, prove more sustainable than the government-controlled Chinese method of finance.

China’s centrally planned system of financing is meant merely for the effect of “window dressing” in which projects are carried out more for the outward effect and less for their economic viability.

We also now know, from testimony of former Soviet central planners, that despite having more natural resources than the United States, the former Soviet Union’s centrally planned economy was unable to compete with the much more efficient U.S. system, although the United States had fewer people and fewer natural resources.

The two economic views were perhaps best illustrated by Thomas Sowell in his book “Basic Economics” when he wrote about a simple but revealing exchange on economics between the last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Gorbachev asked Thatcher: “How do you see to it that people get food?” The answer was: She didn’t. Prices did that.

In contrast, the U.S. system of finance more efficiently determines “winners and losers” based upon the merits of one’s business plan and the viability gantlet that must be survived in order to receive financing. Thereby, Friedman rightly concludes, the U.S. system is much more sustainable than the centrally managed Chinese system.

In fact, when government gets more involved in a particular market — the way it did in the housing market, by encouraging subprime loans and the “implicit guarantee” — the subsequent cronyism between Washington and Wall Street creates the greatest systemic risk.

The by-products of our system of free market-based finance benefit workers and consumers in the form of greater choices, more jobs, lower prices and the reduction of systemic risk.

It is of little wonder why private companies are currently sitting on significant amounts of cash while government debt is now north of $15 trillion.

Private companies are microcosms of our system of private finance, while government is reflective of the spoils and inefficiencies of central planning. It is as Reagan said: Government agencies are “the closest thing to eternal life on earth.”

In fact, now more than ever, Washington could learn from someone who’s been involved in private equity and been forced to make decisions based upon free market principles.

Three years ago, when I was trying to raise capital, I met with 50 potential investors. The most prominent investor suggested that we wait a few years to fund the venture, because the current administration was just creating “too much uncertainty.”

Investors can assess risk, but they cannot assess uncertainty. The investment community doesn’t like the tremendous uncertainty that the Obama administration has created. As a result, investment capital has stayed largely on the sidelines.

The continued demonization of private equity only serves to increase uncertainty. A change at the top is necessary.

Finally, I understand that many people think that a president can create jobs. He can’t. A president cannot create jobs. A president’s job is not to “create jobs” or “ensure fairness.”

Ideally, a president’s job is to, along with Congress, create a globally competitive regulatory and tax environment that will provide certainty for the “rules of the game,” so entrepreneurs will invent, investors will invest and dreamers will dream.

However, simultaneous to that — and perhaps more importantly — the next president and the next Congress will be compelled to turn the finances of this country around.

Without a doubt, Mitt Romney, precisely because of his background, not despite it, is uniquely qualified to be president at this precarious economic crossroads in American history.

Dean Scontras was the 2010 GOP nominee for Maine’s 1st Congressional District seat. He is now regional director of a privately owned “cloud services” company and a Leesburg, Va., resident.