It's the Democrats' economy, stupid.
One year ago the United States economy was on the precipice of catastrophic meltdown. One year later America's financial system, while not thriving, is surely showing signs of surviving and climbing back from its abysmal state, with a broad range of economic indicators signaling the early stages of recovery. The economy is indeed turning, and it's done so with absolutely no assistance from Republicans, who've elected instead to take the calculated political risk of becoming the Party of No as the GOP plots its upcoming election strategy. Not surprisingly, not one Republican voted for President Obama's stimulus plan last Winter; just one voted for Health Care reform; and none voted for last Friday's financial reform bill. In short, they've marched in negative lockstep on every single piece of economic legislation this year, effectively dumping the economic crisis in the laps of Democrats, hoping to loudly lay blame in the event there's little or no improvement. I bet they even have the campaign ads already written. But given the economy's progress to-date and its likely future upward direction, "NO" is probably not the best strategy going into next year's mid-terms.
Ask any Republican leader such as House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (VA) why the voting is virtually 100% partisan and they'll offer up the standard talking points: Obama and the Democrats are raising taxes, exploding the deficit, over-regulating, stifling job creation and growth, and taking the economy in a direction that's harmful to American business and consumers. In short, they say, the President's economic plan simply isn't working.
But only a disingenuous Republican could view the downward trajectory from last January's 700,000 job losses to November's 11,000 and deny the obvious progress and the job creation that's likely to soon follow. Furthermore, we've experienced GDP growth for the first time since Q2 2008; credit and borrowing has eased; businesses are optimistic; corporate earnings are up; inventories are down; orders are rising; November retail sales beat estimates; the housing market has rebounded; consumer confidence has risen appreciably; the stock market is up 50% since March; and Wall Street's about to hand out record bonuses.
Through all this, Republicans continue straight-faced to claim the stimulus plan hasn't worked, Obama's economic policies are a failure, and that the GOP has a better plan for America's economy. Unfortunately for them, we've yet to see anything but NO. To be sure, the administration has pulled the nation back from the brink of financial disaster with absolutely no help from Republicans. It's the Democrats' economy, all right, and voters will probably remember that next November if they continue to see marked improvement, especially in the area of job growth. So much for the GOP's calculated risk?