It turns out that the U.S. mid-term election really was about the economy.
Now that the dust has settled, and everyone has thrown their two cents in, there’s one thing missing from all the analysis and speeches: the Economy. The democrats, especially President Obama seems completely disconnected from the economic realities of most people. The party that brought us Steve Carville’s “it’s the economy, stupid!” seems to have forgotten about the economy.
In the run up to the elections, several news outlets were pumping the Democrats with low unemployment, lower gas prices, and a better economy. Except that the low unemployment was because people became too discouraged at finding a real job, or took part time jobs, the government has nothing to do with gas prices, and if you’re going to measure the economy by Wall Street alone, then I guess they have a point.
Cases in point: four GOP states voted on a referendum to raise the minimum wage. In those four states, the voters overwhelmingly voted for a wage increase. Then they turned around and voted Republican, the very party that has denounced increases in the minimum wage since 1968. Not a peep from the Dems, or the President.
In San Francisco, the very epicenter of liberalism, voters had to vote for a minimum wage increase (to $15 per hour) in a referendum because their democratic leaders wouldn’t. Not a peep from Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, or the President.
Four states and 16 cities had ballot measures to require employers to pay employees for sick time; something that every other advanced economy (G7) has been able to do, except, of course, in the United States. One of those states was New Jersey; controlled by some heavy weight republicans. Not a peep from Dems, or the President.
And in Kansas, after their Governor took the state to the brink of bankruptcy through fiscal austerity programs, Gov. Sam Brownback was expected to have no chance of winning re-election. Except that he did win re-election. Not a peep from Dems, or the President.
President Obama didn’t seem to get it. When he laid out his lame duck agenda for congress, he mentioned ISIS, Ebola, immigration reform, and passing a budget. Nowhere in that speech was anything that addressed the economic conditions that people had just voted for. There was no mention of minimum wage, Wall Street regulation, consumer protections, housing recovery (which has stagnated), or the $1.6 Trillion student loan mess. Yet, Obama proclaimed that he “heard the American people” in the election results.
Other than a vague reference about passing a budget, there was not one single mention of any economic issue on the President’s agenda for the Lame Duck Congress. The Dems must start comprehending Carville’s famous saying by 2016: “It’s the Economy, stupid!” The economy for everyday folks has been dismal since 2007, and there’s little hope, or change in sight.