Sunday, November 7, 2010

Looking back at the election

The primary reason why the Democrats lost was because they allowed the Republicans to define them:
  • Health care reform is based on open market concepts that Republicans have favored for years.  However, the Republicans morphed it into the dreaded Obamacare complete with death panels.  There is no government takeover.  A government takeover would be publicly run health care like the Medicare program that seniors have depended upon for 45 years.
  • The stimulus package which is the textbook method for restarting the economy was vilified as a waste of money.  The stimulus is kind of like pulling the cord to start your lawn mower.  Once the engine is started, you just let it run.  The problem really is, as Joe Sestak correctly said, that it wasn't big enough.  The engine that President Bush left President Obama with was so cold that they really needed to give it a good pull.  What happens when you don't give it a strong enough pull is that the engine sputters.  That is exactly what is happening.   This isn't politics, but a simple economic fact.
  • A significant part of the stimulus was a tax cut. Instead of wasting taxpayer money sending out checks with President Obama's name on them like President Bush did, they simply had more money taken out of our paychecks.  The Republicans convinced many that not only did President Obama not cut taxes, but he increased them instead.
  • The other problem with the stimulus was that it followed the bank bailout enacted by President Bush, and was followed by the auto bailout.  The Republicans were so good at tying President Obama to the bank bailout, that I forgot for a while that it was done under President Bush.  Both bailouts will end up costing the government relatively little in the end, but that message is getting lost as well.
  • The Republicans were very effective at making President Obama seem foreign, illegitimate, and "Socialist".  Vote Republican to stop Obama!
  •  I still don't understand why the Democrats didn't extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone making under $250,000 before the election.  That made no sense to me.  I equally don't understand why we need to extend the tax cuts for everyone.  The Republicans claim that it will hurt small business.  The truth is that this is a 4 percent increase on the net profits above $250,000.  How that will hurt a small business is beyond me.  Again, basic economics will tell you this will not stimulate the economy at all.

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