|Dissatisfied with the Democrats|
|Written by Rachael Filer|
|Wednesday, October 20, 2010 06:36 PM|
At this time of year, in 2008, the cheers of Obama supporters were swelling in stadiums and community centers across the country, and independents and conservatives alike were casting their ballots in favor of what promised to be a new era of Democratic rule. Yet now the midterm elections are upon us, and Republicans’ increasing success in polls indicates that much of the country may be questioning its pledge of allegiance to the change promised by the blue wave. The American electorate can be fickle, often turning to whichever party will offer a more significant payoff in any given year; however, the color changes in this election may be indicative of a more deep-set discontent with the policies of Obama and Pelosi. Everyone has a different theory for how to restore our still-ailing economy to full strength, and fiscal conservatism is looking increasingly attractive to voters who worry about next year’s income tax. With the stimulus a neon dollar sign flashing in the minds of voters, the threat of the health care bill descending like a blimp, and more expensive legislature sure to come, many voters are finding it hard to keep their faith in traditionally spending-happy liberals.
Like the Republicans who gained power in the 1994 elections, GOP candidates are reaping the benefits of a disenchanted public that is disappointed by what it sees as a default on campaign promises. In 2008, frustrated by the failings of the previous administrations, many right-leaning independents and a handful of dedicated Republicans turned to Obama in the hopes that he would defy political convention and actually deliver on his promise to create change. The nation had high hopes for our first African-American president, yet as his term progressed, his electorate has watched with growing concern as his administration has added more and more numbers to the budget’s “debit” column. The fiscal conservatives who helped elect Obama are feeling the strain on their purse strings. Even liberals are apprehensive about the tax increases in their future. Obama walked into the Oval Office with an already exorbitant debt. His efforts to resuscitate the economy, while in many ways necessary and beneficial, have done nothing to alleviate these increasingly staggering numbers.
Having foreseen a party-stabilizing midterm election, the Obama administration acted quickly to take advantage of the Democratic majority in House and Senate by pushing through a slew of legislation to achieve more long-term party goals without Republican interference. Spending increased from $2.98 trillion in 2008 to this year’s $3.7 trillion (this might not look like much, but we’re talking trillions here) without significant decreases in unemployment rates to justify the decadence. Joblessness is still a national disease. This does make sense considering the small amount of time that has elapsed since the beginning of the recession; however, the unemployed are waiting for their situation to change, and the stimulus dollars haven’t done enough to fix the problem. Voters expect to see their administration working tirelessly to fix the problems they were elected to solve. Instead, we are faced with social reform legislation, much of it expensive and most of it viewed as unnecessary by the social conservatives who voted Democrat in 2008.
In 2008, the country experienced a massive party shift. Frustrated by eight years of irresponsible spending and inefficient tax cuts that resulted in an astronomical economic crisis, the electorate turned to the Democrats for a change. After all, they had provided us with a budget surplus in the nineties. Yet now two years have gone by and the question remains: how have things changed? The economy is more stable, but it is still a topic in the news and conversation; big businesses are getting help from the government while their smaller counterparts flounder; the nation is trillions of dollars in debt but spending has not decreased. Where is Bill Clinton when you need him? The American electorate lost some of its faith in Clinton in ’94 when he spent too much of his first two terms on “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and other social reform projects; here, Obama appears to be headed for a similar fate. He was elected to bring about change, yet after two years, the public has labeled him an “insider.” While this term actually means very little, it does enough to convey American displeasure. The nation is not satisfied with the administration’s policies, not the stimulus, not the socialized medicine, and especially not the tax increases.
Much of this voter unrest began with the mammoth health care bill. Once again, in an attempt to avoid difficulties experienced by Clinton, the Obama administration moved quickly, attempting to force a liberal policy through Congress while the Democratic majority lasted. As a result, the ambitious bill is full of holes and pitfalls. Despite being universal, the system is far from universally affordable. The cost of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles will continue to keep up to 23 million people from getting the coverage they need. Access to specialists and certain services will still be restricted and the problems inherent in “pre-existing conditions” are not about to disappear. The market-based system, while benefiting those in 2011. Forty-seven Democrats in the House wrote a letter one creator of jobs in America. Where will those jobs goto Congress leaders in September, expressing their disapproval of the plan to let the tax breaks expire. Lack of support from the left is putting the plan in jeopardy; the last vote on the issue ended in a deadlock, with Pelosi intervening to postpone a final vote until after the election. Yet how much longer can conservatives rely on Democrats to balance the scale? Voters have the chance to get some insurance when it comes to fiscal policy, and they are going to take it.
The nation is on the brink of a major tax increase, one that is being hailed as the largest since World War II, and the majority of the tax burden is going to fall to people earning incomes of $200,000 and higher. This means small business owners, whose business profits are filed as personal income and are subject to the same taxes as individual wages, will be hit the hardest. Currently, small businesses are the number
when small business owners can no longer afford to hire new employees? Obama advocates putting power in the hands of small businesses, but right now, as small businesses are keep- ing our economy afloat, he is planning a tax increase to take that power right out of their hands.
As always in economic crises, there are no easy answers. We all want a solution and will do just about anything to get it. But we have tried things the liberal way and it’s time to rein back in the taxes and the spending. Voters are trying to send a message to the administration in power: the blue wave has crested, and come November 2, the legislative branch’s indigo is going to turn violet. This is not just voter caprice, not just a post-wave midterm election—this is serious business. The American electorate is concerned by the policies being put into place, and they are showing their dissatisfaction.