We’re heading into the home stretch. We’ve rounded the final corner and are now speeding towards the November finish line. If you haven’t figured it out I’m talking about the upcoming elections where Democrats are trying their best to stay ahead of the Republicans in the race for Congressional control. But Democrats appear to be running out of fuel, the result of a failed “Recovery Summer” and the consistent lack of results from their tax-and-spend policies. Republican’s on the other hand have filled up their gas tank, fueled by voter response to their vision of change.
Voter’s desire for a new perspective in Washington is most clear when there is money on the line. In this cash-strapped, job-hunting society, the only thing we care about more than money is what diet Kim and Khloe Kardashian are on this week (or, if you’re a guy, the fact that the NFL starts next week). But still, money is king. It is what gives us the roof over our heads, puts food on the table, and puts the kids through college. Without Mr. Franklin and Mr. Grant backing up our country (for me its more like Mr. Washington and Mr. Lincoln) it will be impossible for us to remain an economic superpower.
This importance is evidence in the polls. According to Gallup, 93 percent of those polled believe that the economy is at least “very important” in determining their vote in the fall. That is trailed only slightly by job (92 percent) and federal spending (81 percent). That means three of the top four voting cues all have one thing in common – money – either the ability to earn it or the concern that Congress is mishandling it.
Saying an issue is important doesn’t necessarily tell you very much, so let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers. Now that we know everyone is anxious to have a few more greenback’s in their pockets, the key question is which party do you believe can help you do that?
Of those polled by Gallup, 49 percent believe that Republicans would do a better job at fixing the economy while 38 percent believed Democrats would do a better job. That’s a +11 for the GOP. Americans also said they trust Republicans more than Democrats on the issue of jobs, albeit by a slimmer 5 percent margin. But rather than analyze issue by issue, there is a greater trend at play here. Of the nine issues asked about in the polls Americans trusted Republicans more than Democrats on seven of them (and healthcare was essentially a tie).
Democrats have squandered our trust. In October of 2006, just prior to Democrats’ making major gains following George Bush’s reelection, Democrats led on all eight issues polled at the time. Americans reward trust and punish any breach of it. We were given reason to hope that the “Washington way “would be changed. Promise after promise was thrown at us. Everything from a promise to “drain the swamp,” to a promise to pay for “every dime” of their plans, to a promise that if the stimulus passed unemployment would fall below 8 percent. But none of it came true. Promises of change were dashed against the rocks of the same old Washington. Nothing is different, except for now things are worse.
The economy is comatose, largely the result of uncertainty caused by overregulation and the necessity of tax hikes to pay off our crushing debts. Unemployment remains high because no companies are willing to make the commitment to hire unless the government makes a commitment to back off. And federal spending has soared with years of historic deficits still ahead. For better or worse Americans care a lot about money, and the government hasn’t given us much reason to trust what they are doing with it. Their seeming addiction to the “spend, spend, and spend some more” mindset is leading us into serious trouble. They spend on stimulus, they spend on bailouts, they spend for healthcare reform. I can’t even list all their spending bills because I just don’t have the room.
Americans live within a budget. We are forced to balance our checkbooks, keep our accounts in the positive, and make regular payments on any debts we have. Why should we trust a Democratic Party who thinks they play by different rules? We shouldn’t. Or given the recent poll results perhaps it would be more appropriate to say – we don’t. Fortunately, with November right around the corner we’ll soon have an opportunity to show them just how much we appreciate their breach of trust.
by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee