In a time of economic crisis, 52.9% of Americans chose Barack Obama and the Democrats to turn the country around. On inauguration day (January 20, 2009), only 8% of the country said things were headed in the right direction. Almost 20 months into the Obama administration, this Comparative Analysis shows quantitative proof that the economy has indeed changed course, and is headed in the right direction. Economic growth 4 straight quarters, private sector job gains 8 straight months, weekly unemployment claims in steady decline, properties entering foreclosure down 7 months in a row, trade deficits at a 17 year low, manufacturing sector growth for the first time in years, auto industry rebounding, consumers paying down debt and saving 6% of income, and stock market gains of 2291 points on the Dow is significant progress after the worst recession since the Great Depression [economists description; not mine]. Still, 8 million jobs were lost during this recession, 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty, 1 in 10 is unemployed, and 1 in 6 has no health insurance. Those who argue that more needs to be done should argue with Republicans who filibuster and vote against every proposal from the administration.
The bottom-line on the economy is this: President Bush and a Republican Congress grew the U.S. National Debt and Deficit at an unsustainable rate for 6-8 years. Now some want to attribute that long-term debt and deficit to the Obama administration. After adding $4.4 trillion to the Gross National Debt, bailing out Wall Street with $700B, providing $17.4B to auto companies, and seizing Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, Republicans said NO to helping you and me. NO to economic stimulus targeting the middle class, NO to reforming Wall Street, NO to credit card reforms, NO to the Consumer Protection Agency, NO to extending unemployment insurance, NO to pay-as-you-go on federal spending, and NO to the bipartisan debt commission. They said NO to reforming the student loan program, NO to rebuilding our roads and bridges, NO to health insurance reforms, NO to equal pay for women, and NO to tax cuts for small businesses and working families. They basically said NO to everything that would help you and me, and YES to everything that helps big corporations and the wealthy. This is not my opinion… just check the congressional records on each of these issues. The notion that they were operating on principle (i.e. they simply did not want to increase the deficit), is dispelled by their new proposal to add $3.9T to the deficit by extending the Bush tax cuts, including $700B to extend tax cuts for millionaires & billionaires. Republicans who fought against food stamps, healthcare, and extending unemployment benefits during a recession, now say we should borrow $700B for the wealthiest among us. NO to policies for the poor and middle class… YES to policies for the rich.
Though I am a registered Democrat, I am an independent voter willing to support any candidate who puts America first, regardless of party affiliation. I salute people like Republican Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine who more often than not provide the 60th vote to break Republican filibusters in the U.S. Senate. But I have watched in horror over the past 2 years as Republicans sank lower and lower in their efforts to derail the Obama administration… from deliberate lies about Healthcare Reforms, to the resurrection of the Southern Strategy, to the politics of Personal Destruction for anyone with an opposing viewpoint. Now Republicans want to repeal most of what’s been done to help you and me; while continuing everything put in place to help big corporations and the wealthy.
If Democrats retain control of congress the focus will be on creating jobs and growing the economy, fixing our broken immigration system [without demonizing immigrants], implementing and improving healthcare reforms, reducing the deficit and long-term debt, further expanding manufacturing, educating our children, training our young adults, bringing all of our troops home from Iraq, responsibly ending the war in Afghanistan, working toward a 2-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, global climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, restoring the Gulf coast, and keeping America safe. If Republicans retake control of congress they have vowed to shut down the government (at a critical time in our economic recovery), investigate the President (including his place of birth), repeal healthcare (with prices skyrocketing and 1 in 6 uninsured), stop the stimulus (which is keeping the economy and many families afloat), and revisit the 1st, 14th, and 17th Amendments to the Constitution. Does anyone view that as a credible path for competing globally in the 21st century?
I am just one independent voice reaching out to like-minded voters who need to understand what is at stake in the upcoming elections. The more I look at where we are as a nation, the more I support the President’s policies and approach for rebuilding America and restoring the middle class. Republicans have vowed to repeal the policies that help you and me, and take the country in another direction. That is the choice we face in 2010. Please remember that on November 2nd.
The Comparative Analysis was written and researched by Lorraine B. Edwards, Independent Voter
*** To find out more about Lorraine, go to the "LINKS" page and click on the second link from the top.