Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
On Thursday, January 4, 2007, Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives and the Senate from Republicans. As we approach the midterm elections, with nearly four years of Democrat rule in Congress under our belts, the most important question to ask is:
Are we better off now than we were four years ago?
Well, are we? Is an unemployment rate of 9.5% better than the 4.6% the Republicans left to Democrats in January of 2007? If you are employed, do you feel safe in your position or is the possibility of a layoff still in the back of your mind? Do you feel like Democrats have made this country business and employment friendly, or do you believe that their anti-business rhetoric and legislation have crippled the economy past the point of recovery?
How about your 401K? Is the nest egg you have spent so much time contributing to and nurturing doing well, or would you rather turn back the clock to a Dow Jones Industrial Average that closed at 12,480.69 on Thursday, January 4? Do you even feel like you can ever retire, or have you adjusted your plans to include some amount of work until the day you are physically unable to?
Are you more confident, the natural disposition of Americans? Or do you believe the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, which stands at 73.6, down from 96.9 in January 2007? Have you decided to buy the new home, or car, or start the new business, or are you waiting for some clarification from a Congress and Administration that seem more and more confused, leaderless and out of ideas?
Have you decided to spend less and save more? The government sure hasn’t. The annual budget deficit, which stood at $248 billion at the end of 2007 has grown to an estimated $1.555 trillion in 2010. The national debt has grown by $3.403 trillion since 2007, and that is before you tack on the deficit of 2010. When that math is complete, the total government debt has increased by nearly 60% – sixty percent* – since Democrats gained control.
On January 5, 2007, the New York Times wrote:
The first order of business for the new Democratic-led House was a series of measures designed to more tightly regulate relations between lawmakers and lobbyists and to remove the odor of corruption from the halls of Congress.
Do you feel that Congress is less corrupt than it was in 2007? With Cornhusker Kickbacks and Louisiana Purchases to buy votes to pass legislation that the majority of Americans don’t want and the majority of Democrats didn’t read? Job offers to candidates in order to clear the field in Democrat primaries, and the attempt to outright sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat? Elected officials who accepted sweetheart mortgage deals being allowed to write new financial regulations? Democrat tax evaders at every level of government, even as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee? Are lobbyists less of an influence, or have they taken up residence with the Democrats in Washington, all the way to the West Wing of the White House?
If you are not better off than you were four years ago, you are not alone. But we all have a choice to make – do we turn in a new direction, remembering why we first relieved Democrats of their power after forty long years, or do we trust a Democrat party that has spent the majority of the last two years trying to convince us all that they just arrived in Washington and had nothing to do with everything that has happened since they took control? Should we trust a party has spent the last four years demonizing Americans, from our troops in the field to those who believe in free enterprise and risk everything to improve their lives and the lives of others?
I know the answer to the question, and I pray that every other American will answer the question honestly and have the courage to do what is right this November.
* From the Treasury Department “Historical Debt Outstanding”