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Kenneth N. Davis Headshot

Message From Massachsetts -- What the Voters Want

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The Massachusetts election results are a strong call for change that was promised in President Obama's campaign but has not yet been delivered where it really matters the most to voters - restoring a strong, lasting economy with, good jobs they can count on!

Ms. Calinda Lake, a top pollster for Mass. Democrats said it this way yesterday long before the polls closed:

The feeling among voters, said Lake, is that Washington prioritizes Wall Street over Main Street and that, despite Coakley's credentials as a state attorney general who has taken on and beaten Wall Street banks, sending her to Washington would not make a difference.

On the eve of the election, Martha Coakley had a 21-point advantage over Scott Brown on who would fight Wall Street and deliver for Main Street. But it didn't predict to the vote, because voters thought even if they sent her down here that it wouldn't happen. "Fine, she had done it in Massachusetts, but no one was doing it in Washington," Lake said. "Voters are voting for change and we have to go back to that change message. And we have to deliver on change, especially an economic policy that serves working people!"

Fixing the struggling economy that Obama was left by the Bush Administration isn't easy. The White House held a "Jobs Summit" in December to consider "all credible new ideas for creating jobs". Were the results useful? Answer -- only partially, because they were mostly limited to short-term, expensive government-funded fixes such as infrastructure repair or one-time tax credits for new job hires.

I know because I was denied approval to submit a major long term proposal for legislation aimed at broad recovery of our domestic industries to meet more of our own U.S. market needs rather than buying so many foreign imports . Senate bill S.3899 "The Balanced Trade Restoration Act of 2006" had been drafted several years before but not enacted when the economy was fairly strong. It offers many benefits including self-financing through the sale of tradable import certificates and keeping our rich market strong and open to all trading nations and industries. S.3899 meets all World Trade Regulations, and from my experience in trade matters at the Commerce Department, I believe our trading partners will understand that we cannot be the only industrial nation running trade deficits while borrowing so much. It is definitely worth very serious consideration now.

This is exactly where the Obama Administration is in trouble with the voters. Even if some of the short term fixes are funded and implemented, they won't answer the public's fear that we aren't on the right track for the future. Yes, they want jobs, but they want the kind of good jobs that used to be plentiful, and they want to know that those jobs will be there for a long time. They know that government support must be limited in time available and amount. And they're proud and want to be self-sufficient anyway.

I'm very hopeful the President will react to the unpleasant event in Massachusetts with
strong, positive programs. I don't think he needed a "wake up" call, as some have said. He's probably the most alert person in our great country. But this is the first time the voters have spoken so clearly about what they want for the economy and had it articulated as well as did Ms. Lake did yesterday and as some of the polls are revealing. It's time to close ranks and get on with the job ahead. I'll bet we can even get the new Massachusetts Senator to pitch in for America!

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