Thoughts on the 2014 midterm elections

In the aftermath of last Tuesday’s midterm elections across the country, there has been much discussion about why the Democratic Party got their rear ends handed to them. If you are a huge supporter of the Democratic party, Tuesday night was one of your worst nightmares. Not only did the Republicans gain control of the Senate in Washington (which was expected), they now have the largest majority in many years in the House. In addition, several key governors races went the Republicans way. Governor Scott Walker once again showed that he is one of the rising stars of the Republican party by winning yet another election in a very blue state. The fact that another strong Democratic state like Illinois elected a Republican governor was pretty much the icing on the cake. Who would have thought that would ever happen?!!!

It seems as though many Democrats are having a hard time accepting their losses. During a press conference the following day, President Obama seemed to downplay the defeats. One of his statements that really caught my attention was when he mentioned that only 1/3 of all eligible people in this country voted. It was though he was blaming the defeats on a low voter turnout. I have a few problems with this excuse. First of all, let’s look back at the 2012 election. Nearly 4 million Republicans stayed home and did not vote. Let’s suppose they all voted. The President would not sitting in the White House today making those comments. Romney would have easily won. Second of all, the 1/3 who did vote are probably the more serious voters of this country. I would be very concerned by having that group of voters vote the way that did. They certainly sent a very clear message.

There were a number of very angry voters that cast their ballots on Tuesday. I was one of them. The fact that there is some very serious gridlock in Washington is only a part of the story. I think the politicians in Washington need to sit down and understand what the people in this country really want right now. It is very simple, “It’s the economy, stupid”. This has been one of the slowest post recession recoveries ever. I nearly want to scream when I hear some politician talk about how the economy is really picking up steam right now, really? How can that be when a record number of people are out of the workplace, the largest it has been since the 1970’s. A huge number of people are on food stamps. Household income has dipped since President Obama took office. Part-time workers are now at an all-time high. The policies used by many Democrats to fix these problems are simply not working right now. Many companies are being forced to deal with new costs and taxes along with many new regulations. It should not take a rocket science to figure out why companies are taking their money and businesses oversees to avoid paying the high taxes of this country. If you listen to your typical Democrat, they cannot get enough taxes from the so-called rich people who actually create businesses and companies so you and I can earn a nice paycheck. They like to talk about how they are for the middle class, but I question whether their policies really help the middle class and the overall economy. I have to argue that the middle class has really stagnated during the past 5-6 years. The Democrat party needs to sit down and seriously evaluate what went wrong on Tuesday. Their policies got rejected and rightfully so.

Now that the Republicans are in control of both the House and Senate, what are they going to do? This election reminds me of a backup quarterback coming into a game to replace the starting quarterback. The starter has been very ineffective and the coach needs to shake things up. The Republicans now have the ball in their hands. Are they going to continue having splits between the tea party members and the more established members. Is the leadership going be there to unify the party? Will there be enough members with the balls to take on the President on certain issues? The Republicans are enjoying a vast majority right now but that could change very easily in 2016 if they are deemed ineffective to govern. Their success or lack of could easily influence who gets elected to the White House in 2016.

For those GOP members who are chomping at the bit to totally repeal Obamacare, forget about it! As an average citizen the first thing I want is having the tax code changed to encourage more companies to stay here in the United States. Currently, our companies are forced to pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. That should be the number one priority ahead of anything else. This should help with the wage and employment problems of the middle class. Obamacare is an important issue which also affects many companies and businesses. I think the law should be re-visited to look at the effect it will have on so many companies and business. The fact that many businesses are cutting costs to deal with the new mandates and taxes, at the expense of many employees, is a very troubling part of the law. I would also like to see some additions to the law so that people can buy insurance across state lines. Both of these issues greatly affect many average citizens around the country and must be dealt with immediately.

Sadly, I am not very optimistic about what will happen in the next few years. It will be a cold day in hell before the President even considers to compromise with the Republicans. There has been very little for 6 years so why would there be some now? Instead, I see a lot of political fighting and mudslinging between Obama and Congress. The Republicans would be wise to get a lot of bi-partisan support for their bills. By doing this, they could really put the heat on the President. In the end, it is all about what is right and good for the average American. Will the American people get screwed by someone’s unwillingness to compromise and strong ideological ideas? Stay tuned, it should be an interesting next couple of years.

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