NC Tea Party and Democrats Stymied by Republican Successes and Signs of Sustained Economic Recovery

by johndavis, March 17, 2015

The worst thing that could happen to North Carolina’s right-wing economic hardliners on the eve of a presidential election year is for the Republican Party to be brimming with accomplishment at a time when the economy is expanding at a record pace. You can’t start a revolution when the news is good.

NC Tea Party and Democrats Stymied by Republican Successes and Signs of Sustained Economic Recovery

 

March 17, 2015        Vol. VIII, No. 4         3:13 pm

 Good News is Bad News for Revolutionaries

The worst thing that could happen to North Carolina’s right-wing economic hardliners on the eve of a presidential election year is for the Republican Party to be brimming with accomplishment at a time when the economy is expanding at a record pace. You can’t start a revolution when the news is good.

On March 11, 2015, John Connaughton, UNC Charlotte economist, told Charlotte business leaders that the U.S. economy has expanded for 68 consecutive months, and that by this summer we will be enjoying the fifth longest period of economic expansion since 1854. Here in North Carolina:

  • 2015 will be the first year since 2006 that the state’s economy will grow by at least 3%
  • North Carolina payrolls increased by 2.8% in 2014, the best year since the 1990s
  • Unemployment in North Carolina is down to 5.5%, fully half of the 11% + rates seen five years ago at the height of the Great Recession

Too much good news. The Dow is setting record highs, passing the 18,000 mark this year for the first time ever. The share price of Domino’s Pizza has soared from $13 in 2010 to over $100 today! And, as if a growing economy is not bad enough news for Tea Party revolutionaries, now comes reports in USA Today, foretelling gas prices “below $2 somewhere between May and October.”

How can you start a revolution with all this good economic news!

Monopolistic Republicans Bloating Bureaucracies

Revolutions start when monopolistic government elites bankrupt the country with wars and bloated bureaucracies and then demand higher taxes from powerless citizens struggling to make ends meet.

In 2008, the monopolistic government elites who were bankrupting the country by fighting wars and bloating bureaucracies were Republicans. Two unpopular wars. Record earmarks. A $700 billion bank bailout. Wall Street meltdown. Housing value down $6 trillion. Jobs lost totaled 4.4 million.

That year, 2008, a revolutionary leader named Barack Obama led the overthrow of those monopolistic, bureaucracy-bloating Republicans. The GOP lost the White House and the Congress. They lost the Governor’s mansion and the General Assembly in North Carolina.

A bad economy in the hands of Republicans was a perfect scenario for a Democratic revolution.

 Monopolistic Democrats Bloating Bureaucracies

In 2010, Americans were still facing the worst recession since the Great Depression. Joblessness was at levels not seen since the 1930s. We were still paying for two unpopular wars with $1 trillion annual budget deficits while facing ongoing crises in major economic sectors like banking, housing and real estate, along with automobile manufacturing. We were $13 trillion in debt.

That year, 2010, a revolutionary group named the Tea Party led the overthrow of those monopolistic and bureaucracy-bloating Democrats; those who had made healthcare reform their priority despite the greater concerns among the citizenry about jobs and the economy.

Republicans exploited the ideal environment for a revolt of the masses: a bad economy in the hands of a Democratic president and a Democratic congress. They won the majority in the U.S. House. They won super majorities in the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives.

Signs of Economic Recovery and Republican Successes

In 2012, the economy began to show signs of sustained recovery. Slowly but surely the banks had regained strength, as did the automobile industry. Slowly but surely the percentage of unemployed started to go down. The value of housing and real estate rose. The value of stocks rose dramatically.

In North Carolina, a study by the Charlotte Observer revealed that 43 of the 50 top publicly traded companies by revenue finished the year 2012 with higher stock values. It happened again in 2013; higher year-end stock values for North Carolina’s top publicly traded companies. It happened again in 2014.

As the economy improved, Tea Party leaders looked behind them and saw fewer angry followers. The nation was tired of partisan discord and uncompromising economic hardliners. In late 2013, ideas like shutting down the federal government met with universal disfavor, even among most Republicans.

What Republicans wanted most was successes; legislative successes. Here in North Carolina, conservative legislative successes began to pile up. Legislative and congressional districts were remapped to the GOP’s advantage while election laws were changed to the Democrats’ disadvantage. No more straight ticket voting. No more public financing. Fewer days for early voting. Voter IDs.

Now, in 2015, Republicans in the General Assembly are adding to their list of election law reforms at the expense of Democrats with legislation that will change the way cities like Greensboro and counties like Wake elect their city council members and county commissioners.

Conservatives have seen legislative accomplishments in the last four years that they could only but dream of before the Tea Party revolution of 2010. Fracking. Firearms. Medicaid. Charter schools. Regulations. Taxes. Abortion. Teachers union. Consolidation. Reorganization. Environmental laws.

But too much good news is bad news for revolutionaries. Good economic news and a growing list of Republican legislative successes means a greater likelihood that the GOP will be united in 2016.

A united GOP is even worse news for North Carolina Democrats.

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John N. Davis

 

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