Monday, January 25, 2010
This chart gives an indication of the make up of the majority parties in the United States over the past few years. Starting 2006, when the GOP began to really lose focus on party ideology and evolved into "Democrat Lite". This in turn led to a change over in parties.
The mistake that Democrats have made, first after the 2006 election, and more recently after the national election of 2008 is that the country had shifted left. Nothing could be further from the truth. This became evident after Mr. Obama began to put forth his economic policies early last year.
Once the contents of the "stimulus package" became know to the public at large, the tide began to turn against the very far left liberal policies of the Obama Administration. While Mr. Obama ran as "pragmatic moderate" and won over huge numbers of independent voters, once he was sworn in shifted to the hard left. Mr. Obama was convinced along with the rest of the Democratic leadership in Congress that they had a mandate to fundamentally "change" American way of life. Thus, they believed that by greatly expanding the role of government in everyday life was what the voters wanted.
Nothing could be further from the truth. America is and has been a centre/right country politically, from its inception more than 234 years ago. This graph shows this to a significant degree, at least for the past several years that voter's have remained static in their political alignment. It has been much the same way for decades at least.
Unfortunately, the record spending that the Democratic majority has implemented in an attempt at a Keynesian solution to the current deep recession hasn't had much affect on anything other than public opinion. A sigficant proportion of those funds were targeted at propping up insolvent states such as California, New York and New Jersey in an effort to stave off those states pending bankruptcy. That merely postponed the deep, fundamental fiscal problems of those states . The majority of the funds went earmarked to public spending programs that liberals prefer, instead of tax cuts that even moderate Democrats and Republicans would have liked.
Even the Associated Press has admitted that the huge sums that have been spent have had zero impact on unemployment levels. Indeed, public opinion has reached the point where 73% now prefer that the unspent sums from the initial, pork laden "stimulus package" be returned to the treasury.
But, instead of curing the economy, the "stimulus package" that was forced through Congress by Harry Reid in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House, it has had the effect of siphoning off the credit desperately needed by businesses. This occurred as investors bought up government bonds instead of loaning the funds to business via banks and investment firms.
Additionally, the government took over the largest auto manufacturer, then bilked stock and bond holders by turning over a majority share of the company to the United Auto Workers Union. This has done nothing to reassure the stock market as well as the public that this administration and Congress are interested in reversing the downward trend of the economy. Then, instead of reassuring the country at large by tackling the issue of jobs, the Democratic majority spent the next 9 months attempting to pass a seizure of the health care industry. That industry makes up one sixth of the economy. All the while, unrest in public opinion has done nothing but grown.
Recent polls have shown that independent voters are abandoning support of the Democratic agenda in droves. The first rumblings of this occurred last summer at the height of debate of the misnamed "health care reform" bill pending in the House of Representatives. That bill was eventually passed by only 5 votes, 220-215 with zero votes from GOP members. This is the first time in our history that a major piece of legislation that would fundamentally alter the Americana economic system has been passed along strictly partisan lines. This has led to the rise of the Tea Party movement, a genuine grass roots movement that is independent of party affiliation.
Further signs of the Democrats loss of support of independents came last November when Democrats lost elections for the governorships of "blue" New Jersey and "purple" Virginia, when those candidates were strongly favored to win. Then came the earth shattering loss in Massachusetts this past week, when independents voted more than 60% for a Republican to fill the Senate seat left open when Ted Kennedy died last fall. Loss of the governorships set off a wave of retirements by Democrats in seats that are in tossup districts, but now more are expected in the next few weeks as more politicians make the decision to retire rather than risk losing close races.
One recent announcement was by Arkansas Democrat , Marion Berry (AR-1) who said in an interview with Politico.com, that Mr. Obama's comment on the big difference between the upcoming election and 1994, when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 50 years, was that he (Obama) is now President. Traditionally, American voters tend to turn against such arrogance in droves.
In the mean time, Mr. Obama has made plain his intent to continue to push his agenda, planning on a vote in the Senate on a huge new tax increases, both direct and indirect, hidden within the "Cap & Trade" bill that is intended to cap and then reduce CO2 emissions. This bill will put at least a $1700 per year increase on energy costs per households. Additionally it will dramatically raise the costs of gasoline by implementing significant new taxes. All through the campaign Mr. Obama reiterated his intention to force coal companies out of business, this bill will do so within 10 years. Unfortunately it doesn't, at the same time, encourage the construction of nuclear power generation plants, instead preferring much more expensive means such as wind mills farms and solar power.
The immediate effect of these initiatives has been to paralyze both large and small businesses. Small businesses are afraid to hire new workers, first because they can't obtain the credit, and secondly because they are afraid of massive tax and overhead increases that are inherent in Mr. Obama's agenda. The lack of credit when tied to possible significant increase in the cost of doing business has created a great deal of uncertainty across the country, and that uncertainty is mirrored by the loss of confidence that independent voters have in the ruling majority party.