No Time for Cowardice in the GOP Presidential Field

This nation’s economic future is in shambles thanks in large part to the policies of Barack Obama and his fellow travelers in the Democratic Party.  In fact the current economy is, in many ways, the equivalent of the Great Depression of the 1930’s with one huge exception: massive government programs now bankrupting the country.

In 2015 the primary issue of concern to the American people is the economy and its impact on the future of the country and that of their progeny, a problem aggravated by massive legal and illegal immigration.  This issue is driving the anxiety of the American people on both sides of the political spectrum and is the catalyst for the surprising success of Donald Trump in the Republican field and of Bernie Sanders on the Democratic front. Yet the current crop of candidates, including Donald Trump, running for the Republican nomination are reluctant to point the finger at the current administration and the socialist policies of the Democratic Party as the catalyst for the nation’s economic problems.  There appears to be a fear of even mentioning the name of Barack Obama.  Further they are unwilling to offer viable and easily understood capitalist solutions to counter the extreme socialist proposals of Bernie Sanders and embraced by Hillary Clinton. 

Is that due to a fear of being tagged with the racist label by the mainstream media if they criticize Obama, or are the political consultants still living in the political world of the 1990’s, advising the candidates to simply pander to the various segments of the electorate?  This is not a time for cowardice or trying to replicate previous election cycles as that will only ensure the election of Democrat or at best a mushy moderate Republican willing to work with the now unabashedly socialist Democratic Party.

In 1935, at the mid-point of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate was 20%.  In that year it is estimated that 42 million Americans were unemployed or not in the labor force. In 2015 that number is 102.5 million. Factoring the population growth since 1935, the equivalent number for 1935 would be: 104.0 million.  Thus in 2015 nearly the same percentage of Americans are either not in the labor force or are unemployed as were in an era considered to be the bleakest economic period in the nation’s history.  The chief difference is that in the 1930’s there were no massive government programs subsidizing those unable or unwilling to work.  In fact the government spending at all levels (state, local and federal) in 1935 was (in 2015 dollars) $257.5 Billion or 4.0% of the total government spending at all levels of $6,500.0 Billion in 2015.

And what about the specific economic failings of the Obama presidency that no one seems willing to openly discuss and confront?

  1. Since September of 2008 the working age population has increased by nearly 17 million.  However the number of employed has increased only 3.3 million.  Meanwhile those unemployed or not in the labor force has ballooned by 13.4 million.
  2. There has been a net 3.3 million jobs created since 2008.  However, this includes the loss of 1.9 million goods producing jobs (which pay an average of $1,052.00 per week).  Meanwhile 2.1 million jobs in the retail and leisure & hospitality arenas and nearly 2.1 million health services jobs were created (three sectors that pay an overall average of $571.00 per week).
  3. The median household income of all Americans has declined by 3.1% (adjusted for inflation) since 2008.  In fact the income of the bottom 50% of all Americans has dropped by 4.1% (adjusted for inflation) since 2008.
  4. Another factor impacting the economic health of the American people is immigration. Since 2008 the immigrant (legal and illegal) population in the United States has increased by nearly 4.5 million or 12% as compared to an overall population growth of 5.1%. This substantial increase in the immigrant population has not only put pressure on a declining job market but it has also been a major factor in the erosion of median income in the country.
  5. In 2008 Federal Government spending was $2.9 Trillion in fiscal 2016 it will be nearly $4.0 Trillion-- an increase of 37.9%.  Further the national debt in 2008 was $10.7 Trillion today it is approaching $18.6 Trillion (with no end in sight) -- an increase of 73.8%. In the meantime the nation’s economy has grown by only 11.6% since 2008.
  6. In 2008 28 million Americans were on food stamps; today is over 46 million (an increase of 64%).
  7. Since 2008 the Obama cabal has added nearly 18,000 pages to the Code of Federal Regulations.  It is estimated that complying with regulations now cost the economy nearly $2.0 Trillion a year and is, along with high taxes and innumerable mandates, one of the principal reasons for the lack of new business start-ups and loss of jobs to other countries.

One of the primary hallmarks of the United States was that of a classless society wherein economic factors allowed the citizenry to take advantage of the marketplace in order to move up the social and economic ladder based on their efforts and willingness to work.  However, this scenario is rapidly disappearing as the opportunities for upward mobility cease to exist.  In its place a class driven society, similar to all other quasi-socialist countries past and present, is now becoming inevitable.

The American people of all political stripes are acutely aware that all is not well with the economy and their future prospects.  But they are, for the most part, not aware of the depth of the problems and why.  This is due in part to the Democrats and the mainstream media acting as if the seven years of the Obama administration never happened, and proclaiming whatever is not going well is the fault of capitalism and that the solution is a more pure form of socialism with an emphasis on expanded government largess and state control of the economy.   However, and more importantly, the primary reason for the ignorance of so much of the American electorate is due to an opposition party unwilling and too cowardly to forcefully and repetitively state the facts of how and why the economy is in downward spiral and point the finger at Obama and his party’s infatuation with failed socialist tenets.

This requires more than Donald Trump stating over and over, “I will make America great again” or the other Republican candidates issuing arcane and convoluted tax reform plans that sail over the heads of the American people and are irrelevant to their current daily lives.  Instead it entails demonstrating an understanding of what is happening to the average citizen today, explaining the failures of Obama and the Democrats and then offering solutions.  For example, explain why mountains of regulations and mandates have forced the closure of so many factories and compelled them to move overseas by discussing the deleterious impact that regulations and the bureaucracy have on the average person’s daily life (something they can relate to) and thus by taking an axe to the thicket of regulations and the tax code high paying jobs can be brought back to America.

If the Republican candidates do not aggressively attack the economic issues then the Democratic Party, in collusion with the media, will continue to convince a growing number of voters that the economic tribulations of the United States are the end-product of unfettered capitalism and the avarice of the rich.

Make no mistake the next election will be decided on economic issues (which includes immigration), and while extremely important, foreign affairs and social issues will not be the determining factor of who will be seated behind the desk in the oval office or what party will control Congress.