Trashing private sector won’t sway voters on the economy |

Trashing private sector won’t sway voters on the economy

Right Angles
James D. Kellogg
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
James D. Kellogg

The 2012 political season is upon us and the top issue with voters is no surprise. As Democrat campaign strategist James Carville once proclaimed, “It’s the economy, stupid!” That’s bad news for President Obama.

Economic indices are not good, and 63 percent of those surveyed in a new USA Today-Gallup poll view Mitt Romney’s business background is an asset for regaining the nation’s financial footing.

About the same percentage said government is intruding in areas that should be left to individuals and free markets. These poll results confirm the president is stuck between disastrous big-government policies and an increasingly skeptical electorate.

Government forays into the financial, energy and auto industries produced little growth and lots of debt. At this point, Federal Reserve forecasters expect the U.S. gross domestic product to grow at an anemic rate of 2.2 percent through the remainder of 2012. The federal unemployment rate is mired at 8.2 percent, and the Treasury predicts a federal budget shortfall of more than $1 trillion for the current fiscal year.

Given the facts, Barack Obama doesn’t have a prayer of running on his economic record. On the contrary, recent surveys by CBS News and the New York Times indicate most Americans are convinced the president’s policies will never improve the economy. And taxing “the rich,” a primary component of Obama’s economic strategy, rates near the bottom of their priority list.

Despite a pending referendum at the ballot box, President Obama refuses to alter his radical ideology. Instead of taking a more centrist position to foster a better business climate, he’s openly asserting his belief that individuals and companies that create jobs in the private sector aren’t the real economic engine of America.

In a stump speech in Roanoke, Va., on July 13, Mr. Obama asserted, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else (i.e. government) made that happen.”

As far as the president is concerned, American’s owe their shot at prosperity to roads, bridges and government. In other words, what you’ve earned doesn’t really belong to you, it belongs to government. How else could a tax cut “cost” the government money?

According to the socialist mindset, government benevolence warrants that financially successful people and businesses pay higher taxes and submit to more regulation. Anything less is construed as greed. President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” assertion is an unveiled assault on American individualism and earned success. But it’s the only arrow in the campaign quiver.

Team Obama is desperate to divert voters’ attention from endless spending, incompetence and intrusion by government. If wealthy entrepreneurs and businesses can be cast as cheaters who don’t pay their fair share, then it follows that they bear responsibility for our nation’s debt and job losses. In that regard, Democrats want us to see Gov. Romney as Public Enemy No. 1.

Instead of producing a plan to grow the U.S. economy or passing at least one federal budget, the president’s supporters are saturating the news with false accusations and ridiculous charges against Mitt Romney.

These include: Romney’s millions were made by shutting down companies and laying off workers; Romney is a felon who hasn’t paid his taxes; and Romney is responsible for the death of a woman who had cancer. What happened to hope and change?

The lofty platitudes of candidate Obama in 2008 have been chased away by economic stagnation and government expansion. People feel the pain of lower household incomes and higher grocery bills and gas prices. Thus, beltway Democrats are striving to transform the 2012 campaign into a string of circus sideshows.

The problem for the president is that too many citizens understand the monumental nature of the problems our country faces. Reliable polling consistently shows the vast majority of likely voters believe the United States is headed in the wrong direction. They’re weary of politicians who point the finger of blame while avoiding meaningful action on tough issues such as entitlement reform.

Americans want a president who is a leader and a champion of the entrepreneurial spirit. No doubt, many Obama voters hoped they elected such a person four years ago. By running from economic reality and voicing contempt for the private sector and free markets, Mr. Obama demonstrated he’s nothing of the sort. Business people all across America are not likely to make the same mistake twice.

“Right Angles” appears on the third Tuesday of the month. James D. Kellogg of New Castle is a professional engineer, the author of the novel E-Force, and the founder of Visit or email

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