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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Are You Better off?

The question that's being asked now by Republicans in the media is none other than the famous question asked by Ronald Reagan over thirty years ago. Are you better of now than you were four years ago? It's a great question, straightforward, easy, but very difficult to answer for an incumbent politician during a bad economy.
Graph Taken From

Which is why the Romney campaign picked a perfect time to ask. With unemployment at an 8.2% national average, public sector employees suffering continued layoffs or pay freezes, the median household incomes for the middle class have lost ground, union membership is at the lowest in history. , gasoline is over $4 a gallon and food prices continuing to rise, not to mention the fact that though we've had job growth, many of those jobs are part time or low wage, this question seems to destroy any hope of Obama winning a second term, except  for this one caveat.

These things are directly attributed to Republican policies.

Yeah, they built that.

Over the past thirty years since Ronald Reagan, Republican administrations, with help from Democrats have aggressively campaigned against public workers, unions, social safety net programs, taxes on the wealthy and regulation on financial institutions. These policies have lead to right to work legislation, which decreased the power of unions to collectively bargain and have cut off funding that is used to elect pro-labor candidates. A relentless media campaign against so called "union bosses" have turned the people who would benefit from labor unions against them. Because of all these factors unions no longer have the power to strike effectively, and since the recession have become even weaker due to the availability of unemployed workers or the from the threat of relocating overseas.

So because of the decline of labor unions we see see a decline in income.

Another Republican policy that has led to one of the many problems we see today is deregulation. Republicans are the champions of letting business do whatever it wants, especially when it comes to the finance industry. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley act of 1999 significantly stripped financial regulation away and eventually led to the creation of the Too Big too Fail banks that merged lending with risky investment banking. To be fair Bill Clinton, a Democrat signed Gramm-Leach-Bliley into law.

Then there's the tax cuts, combined with increased military spending and constant warfare, that has led to massive deficits under Bush, have caused many states to cut social programs for the poor in order to keep those tax cuts as well as funding for the big programs, Social Security, and Medicare.

These Republican policies of cutting taxes on the super wealthy, and regulation on the banks that will cause another wall street collapse from risky gambling like in 2008, not punishing corporations that send jobs overseas, and getting rid of programs that help the poor and middle class are extremely unpopular with regular people.

Which is why we didn't see any mention of policy at this years Republican National Convention, most of it was pie in the sky pandering and good ol' fashioned Democrat bashing and lots of blame for the bad economy. These things conveniently skirt around the fact that there are a group of people who better off now than four years ago.

Well surely corporate profits hitting all time highs while wages stagnate are reasons we should throw out the incumbent president, right?


These are the exact same people a Romney administration would benefit. The whole Romney plan involves cutting taxes for the wealthy & corporations, deregulation, and cutting the social safety net for those who need it.

And it wouldn't even be revenue neutral.

Graph Taken from Moveon.Org
Let's not forget too that we tried tax cuts and deregulation during the Bush years, and it led to massive deficits, modest job growth, and oh yeah, a giant recession!

We all also have to look at how the country itself is doing as compared to four years ago. In 2008 the economy was in free fall, but was turned around after the stimulus.

There's no mistaking the fact that yes, things are not great now, but they are getting better, slowly.

But Romney and the Republicans if they win intend to go back to the same policies that caused the recession but on steroids.

I don't know about you but I don't want to look back four years from now in a Romney presidency and think "Yeah I was totally better off under Obama. Now I'm just fucked."

Think about it.


  1. And remember, Reagan was the one that perfected union-busting, by firing the striking PATCO workers.

  2. Do you know how the trend works with public sector jobs and additionally the combination of public and private? Another point of interest is the union membership vs. job income ratio. I believe I read in an IBEW Journal post (Around 2008) that Union workforce percentage directly correlated with the number of citizens with retirement benefits. A great article about union workforce is at:

  3. It's very interesting to see the correlation between public and private unions as it pertains to income. I worked in a Union shop and a non union shop. In the latter I had great benefits and made almost $13 an hour. Contrast that with the Non-Union shop where I capped out at $11 an hour and only had health insurance no vision/dental.