Glen Meakem on the Economy
October 10-11 — Restore the Reagan Revolution
On my radio show this past weekend, I discussed the current state of our economy, as well as the Democrats’ proposed changes to health care and the Pennsylvania state budget battle.
The stock market has now risen over 60% since its lows in early March. Large businesses are rapidly reducing debt and cutting costs so profits are increasing dramatically. In addition, consumer confidence is recovering quickly from its low point early in 2009. All of this indicates that we are entering a sharp recovery from the deep recession of the past year and a half. This sharp recovery is being caused by the inventory effect (businesses can only reduce inventories for so long and must eventually start up production), much lower energy prices than the summer of 2008, and tremendously easy money (very low interest rates and huge increases in money supply) from the Fed. It is also a big help to the economy that few of the most economically destructive "liberal" / "progressive" agenda items have been enacted into law. It is no coincidence that the stock market bottomed on March 9th – the same day that Arlen Specter announced he would not vote for the Union Card Check bill.
This signaled to financial markets that President Obama’s anti-growth policies would not sail through Congress. Tea Party and Town Hall protestors have also done their part in slowing the negative actions of liberals in Congress.
Despite this good news, the unemployment rate now stands at 9.8%, which is the highest level since the dawn of the Reagan Revolution almost 30 years ago when rational, pro-growth policies put in place under Ronald Reagan’s leadership enabled our economy to fundamentally recover from the inflation and recessions of the 1970s. The federal budget deficit has now reached a record $1.4 trillion because of government intervention to prop up banks and the auto industry, plummeting tax receipts and huge new government spending on social and other programs under President Obama. This $1.4 trillion deficit is three times the previous record deficit of $459 billion in 2008 under President George Bush.
After years of complaining about what now seem like trivial deficits under George Bush, the silence from liberal Democrats concerning current and future deficits is deafening. And these same liberals in Washington continue to push numerous big government, anti-growth policies in Congress, including Cap and Trade, ObamaCare, Card Check, and tax increases.
Instead of considering pro-growth economic policies that would benefit everyone, liberals in Congress are now considering a second Keynesian stimulus plan, higher taxes on everyone, and more government regulations that destroy jobs. The "liberal progressives" have not learned that people spend their money more intelligently than government. They have not learned that when tax rates go up, people’s spending and investing goes down. And they do not realize government regulations that slow decisions and impede change also reduce new investments, job creation and economic growth.
The bottom line is that liberal Democrats are trying to rewrite the Reagan revolution that brought economic prosperity across all of American society. Between 1983 and 2005, the poorest members of our society saw an average real income gain of 44%. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, African American Women enjoyed a 79% average increase in real income, while African American men saw a 34% average increase. White women saw their real incomes rise 74% and white men saw their real incomes rise 9%. Pro-growth policies like lower tax rates and constrained government spending worked and they will work again! A free market economy empowers all individuals, regardless of race, religion, ethnic group or socio-economic status, to create a better economic future for themselves and their families.
I also offered an update on the Healthcare reform debate currently raging in Washington D.C. While House Republicans have offered more than 40 health care bills that promise to decrease medical costs while increasing the quality of care, Democrats continue to ignore these alternatives, and instead promote a leftist government takeover that exaggerates the worst parts of a broken system. The "Baucus bill" (which is not an actual bill, but just a set of guidelines) is considered the most "moderate" version of healthcare reform currently under consideration by the U.S. Congress, but according to the CBO, it will still cost a whopping $829 billion over 10 years and cover only 29 million additional U.S. "residents." In addition, this plan levies huge new tax increases against the insurance industry that will cause private healthcare premiums to sky rocket, enacts new taxes on all who decide not to purchase a government approved health care plan, further cuts Doctor reimbursement rates by 25% in 2011, and cuts more than $500 billion in current benefits from Medicare Advantage, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients. There is simply no way that this bill can create better health care for more Americans at a cheaper price. Quite the opposite, it will set health care in America back.
Sara Mohsin joined me in the studio with an update on the current housing and mortgage markets. Interest rates remain historically low which is good news if you are looking to buy a house, a boat, or even an airplane. Having lived for many years in Canada under socialized medicine, Sara also stated that she is completely against President Obama’s version of healthcare reform.
I also interviewed Pennsylvania State Senator Jane Orie (R-40th district) who is the Senate Majority Whip. Jane offers an update on the budget battle in Harrisburg that now seems to be drawing to a close. Although some tax increases have been forced through by Liberal Democrat Governor Ed Rendell and Democrat Representatives, the Republicans in the State Senate fought and eliminated a majority of the proposed increases. They also forced Rendell to eliminate approximately $300 million is spending over last year’s budget. Republicans did do some good in this battle, but they should have fought on longer because this new negotiated budget is still very bad for Pennsylvania. The increased taxes will make the commonwealth less competitive, causing the loss of additional businesses and jobs and hurting Pennsylvania families. One of the tax increases includes a reduction in the amount businesses can donate to private schools through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit ("EITC") program. This hurts schools like Imani Christian academy, a private school that serves inner city children. The only way we can become great as a state and as a nation is to elect rational, conservative leaders who will practice fiscal restraint and enact pro-growth policies.
We all must get involved if we wish to provide a bright future for ourselves and our children. Please teach others about liberty and how a pro-growth economy works. Encourage your friends, colleagues, and children to listen to my program. Also, even if you have never been involved in politics before, you must get involved now. Call, email, and write your elected officials in your state capitals and in Washington D.C. Let them know that you oppose higher taxes, more government regulation, and more government spending. Also, support candidates who promote freedom – not those who support taking away our rights and liberties with bills like Union Card Check. The elections in 2010 are quickly approaching and with them is an opportunity to stop the liberal assault on our economy, our liberty and our future. If we succeed, then we will empower all individuals from every socio-economic and cultural back ground to take back control over their own destinies. This would be a very American thing to do.
Tune in each Saturday or Sunday (Click here for stations and times), or listen any time at GlenMeakem.com. And if you enjoy the show and these updates, reply and let us know, and please forward them to your friends!