Last year may have been that inflection point where it all turns around and, although nothing is permanent, I am confident that the tide of big government that has rolled upon our shores may be beginning to recede. A series of electoral and policy failures which have blackened the eyes of big government acolytes piled up in 2014, and the devastating results have made it impossible for the media to hide under the bed. Here are just a few of 2014’s big government low-lights:
- Big government candidates running under the Democratic Party banner suffered humiliating defeats in the 2014 elections. The Republican Party will now control 54 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate, 247 of the 435 seats in the US House of Representatives, and 68 of the 98 partisan legislative chambers. They will also control both branches of state legislatures in 29 of the 50 states and, incredibly, will control the governorship in 33 of the 50 states, including deep-blue states such as Illinois, Massachusetts and my home state of Maryland.
- Even the Republican losses to big government Democratic candidates in deep-blue states were extremely close. Big government Democratic Governor Dannel Molloy of Connecticut barely slipped by Republican Thomas Foley and Vermont’s big government Democrat Pete Shumlin hardly survived reelection in deep-blue Vermont, defeating Republican Scott Milne by just over one point. At the federal level, a number of big government Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives barely slipped by their opponents, even in “safe” Democratic congressional districts. Despite winning a series of congressional elections by double-digits, New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter defeated Republican Mark Assini by just one point. I lost my race to unseat Maryland Democrat John Delaney by only one point in a race Delaney won by 21 points just two years ago.
- Big government programs are failing at an alarming rate. Obamacare has reached new lows in approval, with just 37% of Americans approving of this legislative disaster. Obamacare costs are projected to rise dramatically in the coming years as doctors drop out of the program and the new penalties and taxes are enacted. Also, the Obama administration’s takeover of the student loan industry is on the verge of collapse as forbearance requests, defaults, and requests for loan forgiveness under Obama administration programs reach catastrophic levels.
- France, taking a lesson from outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, instituted a “Millionaire’s Tax,” which was described by one critic as “Cuba without the sun.” Despite warnings from rational economists about its destructive effects, big government French President Francois Hollande pressed ahead with his plans to institute the 75% tax rate. After a near rebellion in the business community, a slap-down by the courts and, as happened in Maryland after their version of the “Millionaire’s Tax,” an abject failure to raise even close to the tax revenue anticipated, the tax expired and will not be renewed. As it turns out, even committed Socialist Francois Hollande’s calculator and abacus cannot make 2 + 2 = 6.
- American workers and businesses have finally managed to escape the yolk of big government as it appears that the economy may finally be recovering. But this is now the worst statistical recovery from a deep recession in modern American history. To reach the Reagan or Clinton-era job-production numbers, over ten million jobs would have to be created by the economy in the president’s final two years. Even if the best month of job creation under President Obama was replicated every month for his final two years, he would still be nearly 4 million jobs short. Also, it takes about 4 to 5 quarters to get through the average recession and to reach recovery, while this president took an incredible 16 quarters to reach the level of a “recovery.” President Obama’s big government ideology has managed to produce a labor participation rate (the actual number of people working) which is the lowest in 40 years, all while presiding over a government with the largest number of people ever receiving government assistance.
The good news is that 2016 is approaching and, with the right leadership, this economy is ready to explode. I am confident that the future is bright because the American people cannot be held down for long. Eventually they will rebuild their lives and their futures, in spite of big-government doing its best to anchor itself to their backs.