While I congratulate the President and his supporters for his successful reelection win, it does not change our nation’s depressing reality – four years after his first election win, our economy is still in the tank.
In many ways, the numbers are worse than they were when then President-elect Obama was being sworn in as the nation’s 44th President in January 2009.
For starters, the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product has been worsening each and every year that Obama has been in office. The United States is already below 75 percent of the world in the rate of GDP growth.
Do not blame the free market for our mess, when what we have now is not a free market, but a mixed economy weighed down by meddling politicians and a vast army of well-intentioned bureaucrats.
- Daniel Garza
Our unemployment rate of 7.9 percent is higher than when he took office, and 23 million people are unemployed or underemployed. Gas prices were $1.76 a gallon on January 20, 2009 and rose dramatically to about 4 bucks a gallon. We are now $16 trillion debt, up an astonishing $6 trillion dollars with nothing to show for it.
And there are so much more results where we are worse off I just cannot list.
While I hold the Administration accountable for these woeful results - despite its insistence that George W. Bush is solely to blame – I realize a majority refuse to accept the idea that President Obama misdiagnosed the problem and set forth a set of remedies that made a bad situation, worse.
It was not deregulation that caused the financial collapse, it was disastrous government interference. It was not that Americans did not pay enough taxes that we have such a massive debt, it is irresponsible and runaway government spending. Do not blame the free market for our 1mess, when what we have now is not a free market, but a mixed economy weighed down by meddling politicians and a vast army of well-intentioned bureaucrats.
Nonetheless, the President’s campaign speeches give me little hope he intends to change his policy direction anytime soon or that he will pivot away from policies that hindered economic growth such as the Affordable Healthcare Act - its reversal alone would inject a healthy dose of certainty to every businessperson in America and unleash waves of investment.
My concern is, convinced he now has a mandate, he will now move full throttle on driving a second round of similar disastrous policies that will continue the runaway spending, increase our debt and continue to undermine the constitutional limits on government expansion.
For some time, my colleagues at The Libre Initiative and I have been calling on the U.S. Hispanic and Latino communities to come together and drive an American agenda. An agenda that increases economic freedom, risk taking, entrepreneurship, energy production which will result in increased economic opportunities, real growth and real jobs for all.
What we have learned is that the link between the growth in the size and scope of government expansion and loss of liberty and prosperity is still not fully appreciated by many - least of all our president. How do you successfully call on government to curb spending, tackle the debt problem, and decrease taxation and onerous regulations on small business owners when the repercussions are not fully understood by a significant portion of the electorate?
Our commitment will continue to be focused on advancing the principles of economic freedom in the face of what has been an obstinate Administration and which will now be buoyed by a reelection win. But I hope not. President Obama must recognize he won reelection by a lot slimmer margin than in his storied 2008 election.
Even though many gave the President a pass on his subpar performance on the economy - particularly Hispanics who were one of hardest hit groups - he would be wise to advance a more pro-growth, pro-liberty agenda. To do so, President Obama must shift his focus from trying to drive a recovery by spending more to encouraging growth through fiscal responsibility.
Our economy will require that the President and Congressional members on both sides of the aisle to work together to produce a thoughtful, actionable plan to address the debt and steer the Nation’s economy away from the fiscal cliff.
Still, I don’t expect our task to be easy. After all, this was a president whose campaign’s strategy from the very start was to make a villain out of a successful American businessman precisely for being a successful capitalist. This is also a president who expressed disdain for free market policies repeatedly stating on the campaign trail, “we tried it they’re way, it didn’t work.”
Well, now you get another four years to continue trying it your way Mr. President. But this time, you inherit a mess you created.
Daniel Garza is the Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative and former White House staffer from 2001-2006.