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A View From The Suburbs

Posted by David A. Peterson on 16. December 2008 in Economics, Issues |

The view from the suburbs is that times are tough. Everyone knows that there are too many people chasing too few jobs at the moment.

 The government has stepped in, unemployment benefits are being extended. Medicaid programs at both the State and Federal levels are expected to grow dramatically over the next year. TARP’s and Automaker’s bailouts are all moving forward.

These types of social, jobs, economic, and entitlement programs will continue to balloon in the absence of serious job growth. The American taxpayer along with social and religious organizations will all step up to the plate to help those truly in need.

Suburbanites see the government trying to perform. You may agree with the government or you may hate every action being taken but you must admit there are a lot of people working overtime right now trying to arrest the economic problem.

What don’t suburbanites see in their viewfinders right now? The short answer is… trust. Especially trust in government.

Our stock markets and commodity markets are all built on the truth that economies expand. And if these future earnings and future prices don’t expand then the government has to help by using fiscal policy to keep the economy moving in the right direction.

But what happens if we can no longer trust those who we put in charge of our futures, our elected officials and those that they appoint to run the government? What happens when there is a lack of trust?

Look at Bernard Madoff’s $50,000,000,000 Ponzi scheme. Can investors really trust the SEC to actually regulate one of their own? How about Representative William J Jefferson (D-LA) and the cash in the freezer? Or Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) receiving gifts and home improvements and not disclosing them.

Alaska has a tainted ex-Republican Governor, Illinois has one in jail. The list of those caught with their hand in the cookie jar just keeps getting longer. Democrats blaming the Bush Administration for the current economic plight while Barney Frank (D-MA) worked hard on getting lending rules loosened at a time when they should have been tightened.

Oh yea, let’s not forget about the ballots being found in a trunk of a car in Minnesota. How does Minnesota Senatorial candidate Al Franken sleep at night?

The McCain/Palin ticket may have missed the economic pitch this past election cycle but they hit the trust factor ball out of the park. Americans and the world as a whole are seeing and feeling the issue first hand with our shaky stock market and our shaky job’s market.

Trust in leadership?

 The American people are looking for a strong leader to get us out of this economic mess yet the President-elect already has strike one against him. Someone from his staff may have been in talks with Governor Blagojevich.  The Governor was just trying to sell the Illinois Senate seat and everyone knows that is no big deal for Chicago politics.

 Even if President-elect Obama and/or his entire staff had nothing to do with the current scandal in Illinois it still smells like they did.

What should the Republican Party do about this?

 Politically -nothing. This is normal Chicago politics. The view from the suburbs is “what do you expect?”  I don’t even live in Illinois but I expect that this is pretty much the way it is.  The FBI did its job and will prosecute to the full extent of the law. Rod Blagojevich will no longer be entitled to his governorship and may actually do jail time. Also, this scandal will dog the Democratic Party without any help from the Republicans.

 What should the Democratic Party do about this?

Politically -everything. Democrats have to realize that this smells. And if they allow it to grow by being secretive or not coming forward early with all of the facts it will dog the newly elected President. The country cannot afford a weak President right now. Democrats only need to look to the recent Republican past to find out what happens when the country doesn’t trust your judgment.

 The view from the suburbs is that times are tough. Suburbanites need to know that the government is capable of forming a plan without putting its individual members ahead of the taxpayers and the people who are truly in need.

 What else should the Republican Party do about this?

 The next national election cycle is only two years away. McCain and Palin correctly pointed out that there is too much corruption in government including the Republican Party. The RNC needs to find trustworthy candidates that are on top of the issues. I mean squeaky clean candidates that can bring a fresh voice to the issues and have innate problem solving abilities.

What else should the Democratic Party do about this?

For starters they could push for a special Senatorial election in Illinois. They could also do themselves a favor by not giving Caroline Kennedy her New York Senatorial birthright and showing the country that no one is entitled to an elected position.

 What will we be viewing from the suburbs?

Will the Democrats do the right thing? Reform government, stop the shady deals, stop political entitlements, and demand that regulators do their jobs? I doubt it, but luckily for the rest of us the next election is only 2 years away. Hopefully the people truly in need can hang on until then.

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