On Saturday, September 1st, President Obama accused Mitt Romney of retreating to policies from the â€œlast century” and “sticking itâ€ to the middle class.
Is this really the case? Whose policies exactly have “stuck itâ€ to the middle class?
Why not go back to the Great Depression as a starting point? After all, we are in a “Recovery” that looks a lot like that time period. Which “policies” began there? Perhaps the largest was Social Security. After all, Social Security was a Democrat Party program that promised the government would “set aside” retirement, or safety money for people when they reached 65 years of age. Unfortunately, the average life expectancy at that time was about 62 years old. I am not naive enough to believe that FDR didn’t know this, and that Social Security was little more than a PR campaign with increases in taxes for the Federal Government attached to it. Today, Social Security has become unsustainable, and anyone under 45 years old will never see a penny from it unless it is radically reformed or replaced.
How about Harry Truman? Harry and his fellow Democrats passed legislation after World War II allowing the Federal Government to take over regulating most major industries, including banking, transportation, communications, agriculture, and energy. The Feds told these industries what was an “acceptable” profit and how much to charge for their products and services. They also guaranteed incredible union strength by indirectly accounting for the costs of increasing union wages, benefits, and pension funds through the prices charged for food, airplane travel, trucking costs, gasoline, electricity and other forms of energy. If it were not for the fact that during the 1950s the U.S. manufacturing balance of trade with the rest of the world was so strong (as a result of other countries reeling in poverty after World War II), this level of stupidity would have never survived. It took Ronald Reagan to dismantle the Federal Government’s juggernaut of economic control.
Let’s not stop there. How about Lyndon Baines Johnson? Certainly “The War on Poverty” combined with Medicare and many other entitlement programs were born out of a “noble” cause. After all nobody wants to see others in poverty, and we are “entitled” to health care regardless of what it costs doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics and drug companies to provide it. Of course that was also the time of breaking down racism in this country, led courageously by the Democratic Party… Oh, wait, sorry about that; it was the Democratic Party, particularly “Southern” Democrats, who perpetuated the “Jim Crow” racist policies.
LBJ’s massive overspending and printing dollars faster than grocery store coupons caught up to Richard Nixon, a man who had no fundamental concept of economics. Nixon was so terrified of a 5% (or higher) inflation rate that he initiated â€œWage and Price Controls,â€ the effects of which lasted less than 4 years before exploding. This “terrible” challenge resulted in President Nixon providing us a signature on legislation that guaranteed increases in Federal budgets of over 8% every year WITHOUT any legislative control by Congress, particularly the House of Representatives. Remember them? They are constitutionally charged with managing the country’s money.
Poor Jimmy Carter. He was the beneficiary of all the folly of his predecessors since World War II, as inflation became unbearable. Next came a truly inspired move. He made Paul Volcker the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Volcker froze the money supply, no growth in capital for the marketplace â€“ needed – if for nothing else than the growth of the working population. Remember, baby boomers were coming into their 20s, starting families, buying their first houses… If ever there was a time for freezing the supply of money, this was it.
Paul Volcker was not finished! He also increased the interest rates charged to banks (eventually about 16%), and increased the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve against all the banks assets. He intentionally FORCED a recession on our economy, and then followed it up by inflating the amount of money the Fed put into Government Programs (Keynesian Economics). Even Ronald Reagan was fooled by Volcker’s sleight of hand, and it was only when Alan Greenspan took over as Chairman of the Federal Reserve that there was somewhat of a return to limiting the government’s manipulation of the economy.
We cannot forget Bill Clinton, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. After all, they opened up housing to ANYONE who could write down their income (without validation or without the truth, whichever came first…), and then ignored compliance violations by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for carrying the mortgages on the housing market.
President Bush inherited the first foreign attack on our nation since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Through the hijacking of 4 airplanes, radical Islam sought to tear down Wall Street (the Twin Towers), the Pentagon, and possibly the White House or Congress (we will never know because this was stopped through the fearless sacrifices of brave Americans…). The nation was thrown into a financial crisis and the President’s (and the Democratically controlled Congressâ€™) solution was to print money, hoping we would spend our way out of a feared massive recession. The nation was â€œsuperchargedâ€ financially for a while, but beginning in 2008 and continuing until now, we were forced to pay the price for “the policies of the last century.”
Please, Mr. President. You have been nothing more than “the policies of the last century” with a PHD attached; for the common among us, this translates to Piled Higher and Deeper.
You are not running against failed policies of the last century. You are running ON failed policies of the last century, and for the sake of our nation, you and your Progressive, Liberal cohorts, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, must be brought down in this election. We have run out of time for “the failed policies of the last century…”
Copyright Peter M. Vessenes, September 2, 2012