Democrats can’t tout economic progress

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Thursday’s announcement that the economy contracted into the minus column for the first time in three years and was twice the rate of decline that economists had predicted is bad news for the Democrats.

In the upcoming national campaign the left has nothing to contribute on the issue of growth in the economy. They can’t talk about poverty since they’ve spent $10 trillion on their 50-year-old War on Poverty and have nothing to show for it. The poverty rate is higher now than it was in the 1970s.

They can’t talk about jobs because President Barack Obama touted he’d get us back to below 5 percent unemployment in both campaigns after spending almost $1 trillion in the so-called “stimulus,” but we’re still in the “jobless recovery” in which the labor participation rate has steadily worsened under Mr. Obama and is the worst in decades. And they can’t talk about middle-class income, which has steadily declined over the last six years.

They don’t dare bring up the issue of foreign policy since Mr. Obama has failed to answer why America was the only country and embassy to remain in Benghazi during the Libyan civil war, with four assassinated Americans and no suspects to be found. Or why he famously drew a line in the sand in Bashar Assad’s Syria over chemical weapons, only to have the dictator kick the sand back in his face and then let Vladimir Putin ride in to the rescue. A confident Mr. Putin then understood the angst and weakness of his opponent and we now have an expanding Russia.

So they have nothing left but to demagogue this election in the hope that the voters will once again fall for the class warfare rhetoric of “inequality” (incidentally an inequality that has increased under this president). The middle and working “classes” have gained nothing in the past six years, so let’s just take more money from the small-business people and corporate shareholders who finance economic growth and jobs and instead, in the name of “equality,” give it to the unemployed or underemployed so we can continue to prolong this recovery and the suffering of millions who just want good jobs.

Does this ever-regurgitated leftist campaign formula for the upcoming election sound familiar? Have the very groups that ironically voted for Mr. Obama and have suffered the most under the Democrats finally figured it out?

STEPHEN M. SOKOL
Mt. Lebanon


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