There is no doubt that the Economy ranks #1 on most American's minds these days, far ahead of Health Care and sadly, the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. All the major polls say this.
There is also no doubt that Barack Hussein Obama's "rock star status" has burned out like a phoenix in the night. Less than 39% of American's "strongly approve" of Obama just one year into his Presidency. While the media won't tell you this little bit of truth, I will: That's Bush approval rating terroritory - at the end of Bush's 8 years in office.
Be that what it may, the key question for the 2010 elections will no doubt be "Are you better off now, than you were four years ago?"
To truly understand the damage that the Democrats have done to our economy we must look back to the only key, reliable metrics we had prior to the November 2006 elections when the Democrats took control of the United States Congress, that is both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
On election day, November 2006 America had a vibrant economy. The statistcs here simply do not lie.
Dow Jones: 12,176
Gold: $635 per ounce
Oil: $59.83 per bbl
Gasoline: $1.56 per gallon, National average
Unemployment: 4.4% ("Full Employment")
Net Job Creation: 132,000 (October, 2006)
Japanese Yen: 117 to $1 American
Canadian Dollar: .76 to $1 American
Following the Democrats takeover of Congress an all out assault on the American Economy began which included a run up in the price of Oil to a record $140/barrel in the Summer of 2007 before collapsing, spikes in commodity prices for key items such as food, energy, clothing, a collapse in the Housing market due to Democrat refusal to reign in Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, the Fed's continued loose money policy, and culminating this November with an unemployment rate that is more than double the last unemployment report under President Bush and a Republican Congress in November of 2006.
This is not to say that President Bush and the Republican Congress did everything right. Far from it. While one can reasonably argue the case against the War in Iraq, there is no doubt that millions of Iraqi's are better off today than they were living under Saddam Hussein. Then there' the "free drugs for Seniors" program under Medicare, the largest Socialist expansion of the Federal Government at the time, a failure by the Republican Congress to reign in Federal spending amid mounting budget deficits, and the Bush initiated banking industry bailouts (ironically with Obama's, Reid's, Pelosi's, and Hillary Clinton's votes of approval in Congress.) Pushing the economy "over the edge" was the Obama Administration's seizure of 2/3rds of the American automobile industry, $1,000,000,000,000 (that's one TRILLION) in "stimulus spending", continued meddling in the Banking industry and his attempted seizure of the Health Care industry forcing all American's under government health care.
By his own admission, Bush abandoned his free market capitalist principles in order to "save" the Banking industry and the American markets. His successor Barack Hussein Obama simply seized upon the opportunity to declare Capitalism "dead" and mashed the Socialism gas pedal to the floor, accellerating the country's momentum in the wrong direction to advance his far left wing agenda.
Given these facts, is it really any wonder we're still in the worst recession since the Great Depression? Some economists argue we're finally exiting the recession but is that true? I would argue it isn't and I have the facts to back it up.
Rather than give away the answer though, here's a question: If we were truly exiting the worst recession since the Great Depression, then why are tax revenues at the Federal and State levels continuing to fall? In every other economic recovery, the fortelling that recovery was underway were increasing tax revenues at the Federal and State levels. That simply isn't happening right now.
Here in Illinois for example, tax revenues are down year over year by more than 27%. The situation here is so bad that Illinois' budget deficit is 47% of revenue which is second only to California's 49%.
At the Federal level, tax revenues are down just over 12% year over year, which only goes to exacerbate the $1.9 trillion dollar deficit the Obama Administration has incurred for the Federal Budget year of 2009. At the current rate of spending vs. tax revenues, by the end of Obama's first (and hopefully ONLY!) term, that would place the Federal Debt somewhere between $15.5 and $17 TRILLION DOLLARS, more than double the National Debt when Bush left office earlier this year.
None of this should be construed as a defense of the Bush Administration or Republicans. There are no clean hands in this mess. Republican's were elected to take over Congress in 1994 to get the Country's fiscal house in order. In large part they did that by forcing Clinton to cut the size of the Federal Government and implement welfare reform after Clinton passed the largest tax increase in the history of the country while he still had a Democrat Congress between 1992 and January 1994. It was the offsets in the size of Government spending combined with the Clinton tax hikes that balanced the budget, even though those tax hikes actually reduced revenue to the Federal Government.
The 2000 elections saw George W. Bush elected during a time of economic uncertainty: a recession was already underway, the technology bubble popped, the stock markets were in decline, and Bush proposed and implemented the largest expansion of the Federal Government (at the time...) implementing "free drugs for seniors" on Medicare. Then came 9-11, a stock market crash, and the "War on Terror" or more specifically the War in Iraq in 2003. It was during this period thatthe Republican Congress passed programs such as "free drugs for seniors" that they'd have otherwise never passed because it was so fiscally irresponsible. Later it would be said that big government was ok, as long as it was Republican big government.
Color me crazy, but it was the Republican Congress' complete lack of fiscal restraint which caused them to lose their way, resulting in the Democrats taking back Congress.
So now that we can honestly acknowledge with the facts clearly on the table that both Republican's and Democrats are responsible for this mess, what do we, the average Joe Six Pack do about it?
Absent a full-on revolution at the Capital complete with guns, bullets, tar, rope and feathers culminating in 537 dead swinging bodies hanging from the gallows, the mission for 2010 couldn't possibly be more clear: drain the swamp.
There is simply no way any right-thinking voter in this country should even consider voting for, and returning their Congressman, Senator, local Mayor or dog catcher back to office. Everyone complains that "they're all corrupt!" yet is convinced their guy/gal in office is doing a good job. It's time to change that mentality and send each and every member of the U.S. House of Reprsentatives and the 1/3 of the Senate that is up for election this year packing for home.
In no way shape or form should anyone who hasn't had to sit at their kitchen table and balance their checkbook at the end of each month be elected to office next November.
My solution? Simple: Elect the mom's and dad's who've had to make the hard choices to cut their family budgets to pay for food, clothing, housing and gas during this recession because they are the ones who understand the value of money and the impacts this over-grown government has on each and every one of us.
That's my solution, its short, simple and I think effective. It's either that or a few million of us put down our signs and go back to the Capital armed and ready to do the job that a bunch of misinformed, ignorant voters have thus far refused to do.
Which do you want, America?