|Al Mann, Duke University 1936|
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The average annual rate of real GDP growth under the policies of President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden from 2010-2017 was 2.1%.
There are no “ifs, ands or buts” about that fact. Anyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to their own set of fictional facts, to paraphrase former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).
Economic growth was not “great,” as Joe Biden and the Democrats want you to believe. In fact, it was dismal, desultory, sub-standard and poor.
Most business owners, small and large, were on virtual strike during the entire Obama/Biden Administration. They were unwilling to invest, expand and hire aggressively until the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, when they realized the heavy-handed, business-unfriendly policies of Obama/Biden and Hillary Clinton were on their way out of the White House at noon Jan. 20, 2017.
It was one of the worst periods of stagnant economic activity ever. Almost as bad as under President Jimmy Carter.
Which is saying something.
After the crushing economic recession of 1973-74 caused by the “oil crisis,” which looks almost quaint now that America is energy self-sufficient, the economy rebounded to grow an average of 5% in real GDP under the policies of President Gerald Ford in 1976 and into 1977. President Carter somehow figured out how to mismanage both fiscal and monetary policy such that the hellhounds of inflation (12%) and sky-high interest rates (21%) were unleashed on every American consumer, worker, retiree and citizen.
Real GDP growth under Carter’s leadership collapsed to average only 1.86% per year from 1979-1981.
President Reagan’s free market policies sparked real economic growth rates that averaged 4.5% annually from 1983 to 1988. The real 7.4% growth rate in 1984 is more related to the momentum coming out of bad recessions since so much of any recovery is attributed to regaining lost ground and jobs quickly.
Every new administration elected after a recession has enjoyed the “miracle” of high economic growth rates far in excess of 2% in the first several years of new leadership. Except under VP Biden, who says he was appointed by President Obama to lead us out of the greatest recession since the Great Depression.
George H.W. Bush 41 was defeated by the recession of 1990-91 that was still lingering far into 1992 when former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton won in a three-way race that included Ross Perot. For seven out of the eight years of Clinton’s presidency, Americans enjoyed annual 4% real GDP growth rates fueled by the first internet boom.
In 2010 at least, and certainly 2011, America should have experienced similar economic booms of 4%, 5%, 6% or 7%+ annual real economic growth rates that generated millions of new high-paying jobs.
It did not happen. There was not one single year under VP Biden/President Obama’s leadership when America achieved real inflation-adjusted growth rates over 2.6%.
How could it? First the financial banking system had to heal from massive wounds, most of it self-inflicted by reckless, overleveraged loan and investing policies. Then President Obama insisted on saddling the U.S. economy with much higher taxes, more federal deficit-spending, exorbitant regulation and a virtual government takeover of health care which constituted 16% of the entire economy. He and VP Biden crammed the ACA through Congress without a single Republican vote.
Vice-President Biden whole-heartedly supported every single Obama policy. He never said anything negative about their joint strangulation of the American economy, not even when President Obama said 2% growth was the “new normal” for America.
Mr. Biden wants you, the American voter, to go back with him in time to “the halcyon days of the Obama Administration,” a time that was so unsuccessful that the American economy, employment and stock market took off the day after Americans realized their terrible policies would end, because Hillary Clinton was not elected to continue them.
Progressive liberals and #NeverTrumpers want to bring back those dark days to you, the America citizen. Go ahead if you want to vote for Joe Biden and other progressives, but just know you will be hurting yourself, along with 160 million other working Americans of all races, religions and ages who have prospered since Nov. 9, 2016.
(first published in North State Journal 10/14/20)
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
You know what really identifies us as Americans?
Our independence. Americans don’t want other people telling them what to do. They, we, didn’t want the King of England telling us what to do; we don’t want the United Nations telling us what to do and we don’t want our bosses, neighbors or spouses telling us what to do all the time.
We sure as heck don’t want people in the other political party telling us what to do. We are not an acquiescent society of individuals by any stretch of the imagination.
“Asking” though is an entirely different matter. My father used to say he loved North Carolinians because if you asked them for help, they would give you the shirt and coat off their backs. However, if you demanded their shirt and coat, they would tell you to go to hell and fight you tooth and nail.
You know what really divides us as Americans?
That same hard-headedness and independence. We get entrenched in our beliefs and ways of looking at the world and its problems and find it hard to see things “another way”.
Such is our collective life together today in America. We see it in all aspects of life but most explicitly expressed in our sordid national politics. Hardly anyone today seeks to persuade with facts and logic with a touch of humor anymore. The left has abandoned all pretense of “positive persuasion” and now “demands” everyone thinks like they do; say what they say and spend tens of trillions of your tax dollars and borrowed money forever like they do.
Republicans tend to not care as much about what people say or do as long as they don’t try to force them to do the same. But they still have entrenched positions they are unwilling to give up without a fight to be sure.
Ask anyone if they want to be dictated to on a daily basis. Chances are close to 100% they will answer in the negative, often with emphasis added.
The left and the media have done a good job, in their minds, of dividing us as a nation into various tribes: rich vs. poor; white vs black; atheist vs religious; straight vs gay. Identity politics has ruled American politics for the last 30 years, perhaps even longer.
It is almost like we are not The United States of America but “The Divided States of America” which is unlikely to stand much longer.
One possible outcome on November 3 is that either side wins a resounding electoral victory and wipes out the other side for a decade or two. If there is such a sweep, we are either going to be a much more free democratic republic based on the principles of capitalism and free enterprise or we are going to become a socialist country in the mold of many countries in Europe.
Make no mistake about it: 2020 truly is a hinge election much like 1940, 1860 and 1780 that defined who we are as nation. If he wins, Joe Biden is not going to be able to corral the extreme leftist socialists who provide any energy to today’s modern Democratic Party.
Biden says he “is the Democratic Party!”. Biden may be the last white male to be nominated by the Democratic Party for President forever. He will join the Mohicans and the passenger pigeon on the list of extinct species.
If we have a status quo election with split control of the White House and Congress, the only way to get anything done will be the same things that have ever achieved anything of substance in Washington — clever leadership and compromise.
Ronald Reagan used to tell his legislative team “to go up to Capitol Hill and get 75%, 60% of what we want this year. We can come back next year for the rest.”
We compromise in every other daily aspect of life: business, marriage and friendships. Only in politics is compromise a four-letter word.
It is time to get over it. For our nation’s sake.
(first published in North State Journal 10/7/20)