The Real Reason the Dems are in Trouble

Recent polls have been stunning to anyone who hasn’t been watching them in awhile. Realclearpolitics.com has Obama’s disapproval above 50%, up over 30% from when he was elected.  Congress it sill hovering at an approval so low that more people probably think that Pokemon are real than approve of Congress.  People can (and are) talking all day about how Obama and the Democrats are out of touch, how he isn’t focusing on the right issues, how he isn’t being firm enough on progressive issues…and the list goes on.  But Obama’s real issue is much larger than Democrats and Progressives would like to admit.  When Congress passed the stimulus bill (or, as I call it, the American Drudgery and Divestment Act), we were told that it would fix the economy.  It didn’t.  The healthcare bill was a bit of a wake-up for many who believed the hype about the stimulus bill because, when you really look at it, you realize it’s just a big ploy to redistribute wealth.  By the way, premiums have been going up since the bill passed.  So once again a massive (read: absurdly long) piece of legislation that  no one can easily digest passed with assurances about how all the intricacies would improve things, and the end result is higher premiums and no improvement in the actual healthcare. 

Now, if Americans were stupid, we would just mill around with our hands in our pockets while Congress brews up another poisonous piece of legislation.  But we are neither stupid nor incompetent, and we have instead begun to educate ourselves on issues that we never paid attention to.  The Tea Party is now full of people who can quote the Constitution, know the vagueties in definitions of “commerce”, and differentiate between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams like they were night and day.  Senior citizens who were brushing off their golf clubs and already had staked out a condo in anticipation of turning 65 are now looking not only at the fine print in social security, but also face cuts in Medicare and looking into how to secure their retirement investments.  And then there are the people who never attempted to understand market economics, global economics or monetary policy are now well-versed in what role the Federal Reserve plays in the broader picture, what interest rates indicate, how pensions are paid for (or more often, not paid for), and the fact that no one in government makes a single dollar until someone in the private sector first creates it.  Add as a little cherry on top vignettes like Bell, California, ethics issues like those of Maxine Waters and Charley Rangel, and the fact that the average government worker is paid twice as much as those in the private sector earn, and people are rightly pissed off. 

But the real problem for the Democrats is that people aren’t as stupid as they would hoped for.  Many independents now understand that without confidence, a stable business environment and incentives to grow, the unemployment number will never start ticking down.  They understand that the Fed has been printing money like it’s going out of style, and it may soon lead to the mass devaluation of the dollar, and they understand that the absurd Keynesian tax-and-spend system of Democrats is just a ploy to get re-elected and retain power, and is dangerously unsustainable.  What’s more, people are beginning to think that an endless parade of Cash-for-Clunkers-style “tax cuts” leads people only to believe that they should buy something when government subsidizes it (because eventually, they will subsidize everything), that not allowing corporations and businesses to feel the pain of bad investment decisions by failing leads them to invest recklessly.  Once the general public begins to believe issues such as these are true, it is very difficult to change their mind.  The more people learn about how markets work, the more economically conservative they will become.  At the end of the day, the Democrats aren’t losing the political battle, because one doesn’t really exist.  Over-simplified analogies to the R and D on a  car’s gear shift are insults to the average American’s intelligence.  The Obama administration is losing the factual battle, and no spin they try to put on it will change that.

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4 Responses to The Real Reason the Dems are in Trouble

  1. Ben Hoffman says:

    While it’s true that people are not satisfied with Obama, much of it is because he’s continued too many conservative policies. The stimulus would have been better without the tax cuts, which do little to stimulate job creation. The health care overhaul was so watered down in order to garner enough votes that it does little to help the middle class. The finance bill doesn’t prevent another bank catastrophe. And we’re still dumping money into a war that has no definition of what it means to win.

    But, it’s better than having Republicans in charge.

    • Meghan says:

      …tax cuts do nothing to stimulate job growth? I suppose for those who have convinced that Keynesian trickle-around economics are infallible this would be true. And I’m sure many liberals and progressives on the left aren’t happy with the fact that we don’t have socialized medicine or a 75% top income tax bracket. But then again, only 20% of Americans even call themselves “liberal”. But let’s get one thing straight: no one in government gets paid until someone in the private sector first earns or creates that dollar. No one taking government “benefits” gets that money until someone in the private sector first earns or creates that money. Government does not create anything, it only “manages”, and has proven to generally be bad at doing that for the most part. But cake to taxes: what Obama calls tax cuts are farcical shadows of true tax cuts that actually would encourage job growth. One-off never-ending tax rebates do not function economically the same way true tax cuts do. Building a business and creating jobs has nothing to do with getting a trax break for a year and then deciding to hire someone. What Obama could do more than anything for this economy is to stop with the one-off tax breaks that do absolutely nothing for real, long-term investment and instead pledge to not change taxes at all, unless you’re cutting the capital gains rate or something equally as stimulative. Businesses need to be able to forecast into the coming years what their financial situation will be before taking a chance and new expenditures. Not to mention we need to throw out the window the ball-and-chain of massive over-regulation that is holding business hostage from growing.

  2. Carol Webb says:

    I do think this is the crux of the issue- that the left truly insults our intelligence. They underestimated our intelligence for sure- they are not able to pull it off as easily as they thought. One of the things I like about the Tea Parties is that you have people who are owners of $10m companies and shift workers alike- you don’t always know which is which. They all “get it.”However, those of us who realize this must act in a big way because not everyone can see what is going on, mostly because of their frame of reference. There are a lot of useful idiots who need to be educated and shaken till they wake up!

    • Meghan says:

      I think most people, on the right and the left, who do not agree with unleashing the free market and stopping over-regulation and spending are generally afraid of what they can’t control. But many tea party members respect one another’s right to do what they choose, without trying to control it. They also expect government to respect their right to keep what they earn, not take taxayer’s wages for granted and to spend every dollar as if they had to put in the work to earn it in the first place. Once you accept that no one is infallible, that government doesn’t really take notice or care about the thousands of dollars you send to it each year (other than making sure they can take all from you they can), and that there are, historically, always people who seek to control others that you must consistently be vigilant against will the so-called “useful idiots” (which is what the left considers most people) begin to shift their frame of reference. As you said, people aren’t stupid, they’re just asleep. Good thing we’re waking up.

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