Tuesday, October 07, 2008

2008 Elections as a Referendum for Democrats

Thanks largely to the media, Senator Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have succeeded at making the 2008 election a referendum on George Bush and (by party affiliation) Senator John McCain. We are told that the current economic challenges we face are directly related to the policies of George W. Bush. However, to do such, would be to presume we live in some monarchy without checks and balances. Congress is, in our Constitution, the first branch of government and the President cannot do anything without that legislative body.

In 2007, the members of the Legislative Branch, in both Houses, went from a majority of Republicans to a majority of Democrats. Interestingly, those were not the only changes that transpired.

In 2006, with Republicans in the White House and in both Houses of Congress...

  • Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high. People were buying more and feeling better about their economic future.

  • Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon. This price is far too high, but would be a dream price compared to current levels.

  • The unemployment rate was 4.5%. Economists define this as "full employment." This economy was extremely hot and the demand for quality employees was at an all time high.

  • The Dow Jones hit a record high. 14,000 and higher. Americans were optimistic about the future on both Wall Street and Main Street.

In 2008, with Democrats now in the majority of both Houses of Congress...

  • Consumer confidence has reached a low that it hasn't seen in years

  • Gasoline is hovering around $3.50 a gallon

  • Unemployment is up to 6 percent -- a significant jump.

  • Americans have seen their home equity drop by over $10 trillion nationwide

  • Approximately one percent of American homes are in foreclosure.

  • The Dow Jones has dropped to below 10,000 points for the first time in four years.

I do not want to overly simplify. I know there are plenty of guilty parties in both parties. However, the United States was clearly better off with Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress and in the White House. My vote in this race will be every bit as much a referendum on the Congress as it will be on the White House.

Kevin Price articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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