‘It’s the economy, stupid!’

Published 1:08 pm Thursday, June 30, 2016

That was the byline of the 1992 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign against the first George Bush. In the 1980s, the economy boomed.

However, rather than controlling government spending, the big spenders in Washington convinced the president to raise tax rates.

This slowed economic growth and created a sluggish economy, hence the campaign slogan.

I reflected on this recently when I read that the economy had only created 38,000 jobs in May. On a national basis, that is an average of about 12 new jobs per county, or about one new job for every 9,000 people. Therefore, the economy should be the greatest issue in this year’s election.

As my uncle told me years ago, “People will generally vote their wallet,” meaning that overwhelmingly the instinct of most voters is to vote for the candidate that they believe will best improve their economic situation.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is a perfect example. His supporters fell into two categories; students who perceived that they would not have to pay back student loans and underemployed workers who understood that a Clinton presidency would simply be an extension of the current economic doldrums (with little understanding of how the economy works.)

The president wants you to believe that the economy is doing fine.

He speaks with pride that unemployment is currently five percent nationally.

I wish that were true. However, if one honestly looks at what is really happening they would be very concerned. 

Frank Ruff, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the Virginia Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.