By JACK VAN ZANDT
With the election unfolding, there two fundamental views expressed; “We are going to make America great again” vs “America has always been great, we just need to bring us together.”
So what is it?
We have been told that our economy is doing great. Unemployment below 5 percent, 14 million jobs in the last seven years, and on and on.
But other government numbers tell us a slightly different twist on the story. Today there are 94 million able bodied Americans over 16 years old not working, and 135 million working and paying taxes to support them.
Yet, the decades old government reporting system for unemployment tells the percentage of unemployed is 5 percent. This may be a result of common core math.
This is the worst combination of economic factors since the Jimmy “Carter’s Crisis of Confidence” speech.
Currently, the growth rate of the economy since the recession officially ended in 2009 is 2.2 percent.
The joint Economic Council Committee reportedly estimates that had the economy grown at the previous average rate of approximately 4 percent for the past 6 years — the economy would have grown by an additional $5.5 trillion, created 5 million more jobs, and increased after tax income for families by $3,339.
Granted this period began in a recession, as did the Reagan administration. However, the path President Reagan took, following a disastrous Carter economic malaise of 15 percent interest rates and almost no growth, provided growth rates of 3.6 to 7 percent over the same time period.
Jobs are the problem. But because of the limits that have been put on our economy through a series of laws designed and implemented by the democratic Congress, job growth is not nearly what it could be.
Obamacare’s 2,700 page law redefined and cut full-time work from 40 to 30 hours per week, often reducing family income. It forced individuals to either buy healthcare with high deductibles and narrow choices or pay a fine. It added internal costs to the businesses which had to adjust their long and short term plans to keep the doors open. This adjustment often meant less hiring, fewer hours, fewer jobs.
The 2,300 page Dodd-Frank legislation revamped banking and assured banks that grew above $50 billion in assets would be bailed out by the taxpayers. This assurance left smaller banks having higher costs for paperwork and bailout insurance. It severely limited establishment of small banks, and many merged into larger banks.
This reduced local investment, business growth and jobs.
More costly rules and regulations for industry, higher corporate taxes, and expensive “clean” energy (deadly to animals) intensified the movement of industries and jobs to Mexico.
And while these costly regulations make us think we are creating an “Epcot world,” free of any minuscule pollutant, their impact on the our pocketbook assures few will be able to afford the ticket.
Now we have 40 percent of the populace not working, 50 percent of the populace not paying taxes, and record numbers on welfare and food stamps.
Most on these program recipients don’t want to be there; they would rather have good paying jobs.
We must not get involved in battles over “fairness,” “greed,” and “equality.” These are only symptoms of an underlying problem. As we vote in November, we need to consider what each candidate is proposing to solve “real problems” that are killing jobs (not the symptoms), and to unleash the economic power of America, and move us forward and bring us together.
We are a great country. Just untie our hands.