Are we better off now?
DONALD MYERS, A Mind OfAre we better off now than four years ago is a typical question that is asked nearly every presidential election. I look at key economic figures on a routine basis and listen to friends and relatives who are in the work force.
Published: September 8, 2012
Published: September 8, 2012
There are examples throughout the country that can be used to support each position. As I have reported in earlier articles, many states have reduced their unemployment rates and seem to be on a rebound. They all seem to be led by Republican governors. If federal programs are responsible, then why aren't all the states having the same success?
The administration states that we are headed in the right direction because private sector jobs have been increased for the past 29 months and when the president was inaugurated, jobs were being lost at over 600,000 each month.
Those huge monthly job losses started in the month before the election and continued for months after the president took office. Could it be that businesses knew what was about to happen when the new president took office and started to reduce their workforce to get ready?
One could say that the same thing is happening now with companies sitting on piles of cash in anticipation of the coming election. If the president is re-elected, then the current direction will continue and the companies will continue to either sit on their money or invest it elsewhere. If we have a new president then the companies will begin to decide to invest and grow.
I watched and listened to the democratic convention and how the various people explained how and why we were better off now than four years ago. According to them, we now have national healthcare, but the majority of the population is against it so I am not sure that that is positive.
"Don't ask don't tell" was eliminated in the military. We are creating jobs each month, but the number is low and barely keeps up with population growth. Housing prices seems to have hit the bottom and may be on the way up.
Internationally, we killed Osama bin Laden, we brought the war in Iraq to an end, and are ending the war in Afghanistan. That all sounds good, but different aspect may be debated if it was good or bad.
The opposing point of view states that unemployment has been over 8 percent since the president was inaugurated, average household income has dropped about five thousand dollars a year, gas prices have doubled, food prices have increased substantially, and energy costs have increased. The bottom result is that the cost of living has risen dramatically and there does not seem to be an end in sight.
We are told that the president deserves to be reelected because he has a plan on how to turn the economy around and it will take a little longer than the first four years. I wonder why he waited almost four years to come up with his plan.
I am not aware of a business or military unit that would wait four years for a leader to start to turn around his organization. When one compares what the president says about what he wants to do and compares it to what he said over four years ago, there does not seem to be much difference and in many cases they are the exact same words.
We are well past the time for words. Action is what is needed and I doubt if this administration has any idea about how to positively operate anything. Although many speakers have spoken about how non-partisan the president is and how he will work with congress, the facts state otherwise.
President Clinton nominated President Obama for the second term and spoke about how he reduced the deficit and welfare while balancing the budget. According to him, President Obama has the same approach as he had.
What he did not mention is that he was pulled kicking and screaming by a Republican congress and only signed the legislation when it was obvious that his veto would be overturned. He has taken credit for it ever since. Now is not the time to chance that outcome with this president.
Donald J. Myers, a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at email@example.com.