Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

March 20, 2012

WE THE PEOPLE: Are you better off now?

CROSSVILLE — Are you better off now than you were four (two) years ago? In this campaign season, at least one GOP candidate reiterated that question originally posed by Ronald Reagan, the “economic wonder” president of the 1980s. According to some leading Republicans and economic experts, the answer is “YES!”

In January, responding to the State of the Union address, Republican Mitch Daniels said that we are all “soon-to-haves.” The many of us who are not wealthy used to be “have nots.” Now, Daniels assures us, we will be rich soon. How wonderful! Don’t those Republican spokespersons have a way with words?

How will that happen? Maybe you are included in the will of an unknown billionaire Great Aunt. Perhaps you’ll have a winning lottery ticket (18 million to one against you, at best), or an about-to-explode financial investment. If so, you MIGHT be rich tomorrow! No wonder we don’t want to tax the super-wealthy. We will soon be among them, at least according to Mitch.

Get real! If you work in the hospitality or health care or service or manufacturing industry, or own a small business, your chances of joining the Fat Cat Club are very slim. A college education might help, although Republican Santorum thinks that is a snobbish attitude. (By the way, he has three college degrees.)

But, even Santorum and Romney have decided that you are better off now than you were. Both of them are abandoning the economic argument and shifting to foreign policy issues to defeat our President (despite his offing both Bin Laden and Kaddafi). Apparently the front–running GOP candidates are at odds with Speaker Boehner, who is repeatedly alleging that our President’s economic policies have failed.

Boehner is wrong, of course. A recent survey of well-respected economists indicates that the nation’s economy is improving faster than expected. Many measures support this fact. Consider a lower unemployment rate, more job creation, higher consumer spending and confidence, more output in the manufacturing industries, stabilizing housing prices and better retail sales. A growing economy provides opportunities for all.

In fact, President Obama’s economic policies have created a record job growth surpassing Ronald Reagan’s (the guy who first posed the question — are you better off?) Nearly two full years after Reagan took office, the unemployment rate had soared to 10.5%, higher than it ever has been since President Obama was elected.

Furthermore, Reagan enjoyed a cooperative Democratic Congress. Republicans elected in 2010 have screamed a dinning “NO” to any and all administration policies. Current GOP congressional members even refused to vote for helpful measures they once proposed.

Thankfully, President Obama continues to fight for average Americans, traveling the country promoting the jobs bill. If this is “campaigning,” as the GOP charges, then keep it up. The Republicans, feeling pressure from us who “don’t’ have and may never have” were forced to relent.

It’s comforting, if not realistic, to believe that you are a “soon to have.” But vote with your head, not your heart. The current administration’s policies are working and deserve support. The alternative brings us GOP policies favoring the rich, ensuring that we “have nots” will never be "better off," either now or anytime soon.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
Parade
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar