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November 18, 2014
The Dismal Science
The Chance
by Adam Smith

I watched the elections on Election Day and was not disappointed by the rollicking events of the night.

It is always fun to see the winners act like now they have a mandate to do whatever they personally feel is needed for the country. And of course the losers, standing firm that there is nothing wrong with their agenda, they just did not get their message sufficiently delivered to the people. Not even if they aired a thousand commercials.

My ear is always listening for what the economy can expect from the winners. I do not mean the vacuous twaddle like, “We are going to get the country working again,” or, “We are going to solve immigration,” or a personal favorite, “We are going to improve education.”

Speaking a goal is not the same as having concrete, realistic steps to help move a country from where they are to a better place. Yet it is the plight of almost all politicians to not see this difference.

With the Republican win this election, there was not much detail about what they would do with their new Senate majority but the real battle is just now ready to begin. Winning was easy for the Republicans given the state of our economy, foreign policy, and popularity of the President. The battle for what to do now is just beginning.

Let’s name the combatants and their platforms:

  1. The Tea Party as it is currently constituted. Seal the borders and pass the Balanced Budget, Traditional Marriage and Anti-Abortion Amendment. Any conservatives not seeing things their way are RINOs.

  2. The Libertarians will push for more freedoms, less of a safety net, and a marginal military. A bong is a right-of-passage to college.

  3. The establishment will try for a business as usual approach, trying to appease the big donors while at the same time keeping enough of the party happy that they do not get kicked out of office during the next election cycle.

  4. The realistic group will see what is possible given the composition of Congress and the current President. This group will try to make incremental improvements.

Six years ago, the country went into a recession. The financial system in the United States almost collapsed. Since then the politicians in D.C. have been focused on many things, healthcare and same-sex marriage to name a few.

What the people want is to be able to find a job. Here lies the chance for the party that now controls both houses of Congress. Focus on and pass legislation that will help create jobs.

Here is my list of bills that should be passed in the first six months of next year:

  1. Pass the Keystone Pipeline bill. It would immediately create thousands of jobs.

  2. Pass a law that the EPA cannot regulate carbon dioxide. This will save jobs and may bring back thousands of jobs to the coal industry.

  3. Pass a law allowing for the repatriation of money earned outside the US to be brought back into the US without additional taxes.

  4. Pass a tax reform law that will lower the corporate tax rate and eliminate carve-outs so that the bill is revenue neutral. This will make the US more attractive to businesses outside the country and help eliminate the recent corporate inversions.

  5. Change the definition of full-time work in the Obamacare legislation to 40 hours or more and do not raise the minimum wage until the job market improves dramatically. Let’s give our teenagers an opportunity to get a FULL-TIME JOB.

Passing these laws will do more than just create jobs but will also signal to the business community that they are no longer going to be considered the problem. That it is OK to earn a profit and the government is actually on their side and want them to be wildly successful.

After the economy has started to expand and jobs become available, then put together a few common sense laws that 90% of the country could support and will move some societal issues towards a center that may not be optimal but better for the social conservatives.

What I am saying is that if the Republicans fix the economy, then the citizens will give them room to do other things.

The Democrats blew their chance back in 2008. If they had focused on the economy and made jobs plentiful, then passing a healthcare law would have been much easier. Nothing angers the citizens like a government that refuses to focus on what is currently affecting their lives.

The people are looking for some adults in Washington D.C. that can fix some problems. The Democrats were completely blind to what the people really wanted. Will the Republicans make the same mistake?

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