Liberal policies have failed this nation and its people.
— Vermonter (@ConservativeVT) June 1, 2012
President Obama Pursues The Failed Economic Policies Of The Past forbes.com/sites/charlesk…
— T.L.V (@The_Last_View) June 5, 2012
We hear this claim from a lot of conservatives. They like to remind everyone how liberal policies, particularly liberal economic policies, have damaged us in the past, present and future. It's a shame that's a blatant lie.
Since JFK's inauguration in 1961, a total of 66 million private sector jobs were added. 42 million of them, or 63%, were created under Democratic Presidents. To make it worse, Republican's were in the Oval office for 28 of those years, compared with just 23 for Democrats.
Republicans - 55% of the time in office, 37% of the jobs
Democrats - 45% of the time in office, 63% of the jobs
But here's the rub,
Voters are stupid (well, sub-optimal) and Democrats are socially awkward.
I'll ignore the part of the chart that shows President Carter creating jobs at a more rapid pace than Ronald Reagan (188k per month vs 153K). Just take a look at the only bar in the negative - President George W. Bush. He enjoyed a political climate far more suitable to governing and was able to accomplish much of what he wanted; No Child Left Behind, several armed conflicts and of course the Bush Tax Cuts. Bush may have not been a small government conservative in the Ron Paul model, but he did believe in "Trickle-down" or Voodoo economics - and he was able to put it into practice.
For 8 years we saw lower taxes and deregulation. It freed up capital, allowed millions of American's to experience the dream of home ownership, sparked a revitalization of America and rejuvenated the middle class.
Oh wait. Nevermind.
In reality we saw only a mirage. For Wall Street, for corporations, for many before the housing bubble burst, times were good. Unfortunately the perceived growth was built on a rotting foundation - the American Middle Class. The 2000's were a microcosm of the last 50 years. As middle class wages have stagnated, GDP continues to move forward, and more wealth is created, but as we've seen - little trickles down.
After racking up a Trillion dollar tab bailing out the banks and with the elevator not yet at rock bottom, President Bush stepped off and President Obama took over. The recession was worse then anyone thought, producing a stimulus bill that was half the size it needed to be. And from the moment the law was passed, Republican's lambasted it as wasteful government spending that didn't create any jobs.
It is astounding how little regard some conservatives have for the facts. Romney, Boehner and company will continue telling the American people that liberal policies have always failed, that the stimulus didn't create jobs and that the way forward it lower taxes and less regulation. History has shown the opposite.
We need only look to Europe to see the path forward under conservative led austerity. David Cameron is leading the UK in to a double dip recession and that's exactly where we'll be under President Romney. As President Clinton put it recently, "They are at 11% unemployment - with President Romney, we can catch up!"
But for some reason this nuance escapes voters. They aren't stupid, but they are poorly informed. They make decisions based on wildly varying criteria, often rejecting facts and they display an incredible level of cognitive dissonance.
Voters hear Speaker Boehner rail against President Obama, but they don't see the local, state and federal budget cuts and layoffs that, if they hadn't taken place, would see the unemployment rate around 7%.
With a 7% unemployment rate, would this be a competitive election?
So we passed a stimulus bill that was too small. Republican's immediately, and wrongly, declared it a failure and since have slashed jobs from the economy, while failing to act on any significant measure of the President's jobs plan. I don't know if it is their intention to sow unrest and purposely stall our economy to win an election - but they are doing a really good job of it.
So if Romney and the Republicans win in November we know what we'll get. We'll invest less in our children, we'll buy fewer textbooks, we'll leave more schools dilapidated and we'll continue paying teachers a menial wage, while they have to buy supplies for the classroom. We'll see more bridges collapse, more roads in disrepair, as our decades old infrastructure doesn't get the investment and resources it needs. We'll be left behind in technology as other governments make the necessary R&D investments, allowing business to develop new products at lower costs. We'll see more stagnation of our middle class, more outsourcing of labor and a lot less of the American Dream.
But the Dow will go up and so will corporate profits.
We'll make our society more unequal and we'll make it harder to climb the ladder.
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