A letter to the editor in my local paper this morning gave a very concise rundown on one of my favorite subjects, one I’ve blogged about often: the difference between perception and reality in how Democrats do with the economy and overall financial health of the country. The fact is that Dems do very well, much better than Republicans, and yet the perception is the opposite.
Part of that is a lazy media of course (another favorite target of mine), but I blame most of it on ourselves and our inability to create a narrative that resonates and takes hold.
It’s really time for Democrats to bite the bullet and start talking in soundbites and bumper stickers. It’s worked phenomenally well for conservatives. And it’s time for Democrats to ask themselves why most Americans can easily articulate the conservative message but not the liberal one.
Anyway, to that letter:
From an independent voter’s perspective, I find the following findings about this election’s hot-button issues to be thought-provoking and worth sharing:
Jobs: 8.5 million jobs have been lost since January 2008. Of this, 3.6 million jobs were lost by December 2008 and 7.5 million jobs were lost by June 2009, before the stimulus bill took effect. More than 860,000 private-sector jobs were created in 2010 — exceeding the total created in eight years under Bush II. By contrast, 22 million jobs were created under Clinton. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor)
Government Spending: Federal government spending grew by 100 percent from $500 billion to $1 trillion under Reagan, by 22 percent under Clinton, and by 76 percent from $1.7 trillion to $3 trillion under Bush II. It is estimated to grow 25 percent by 2012. (Source: usgovernmentspending.com)
National Debt: Since World War II, Republican presidents have increased the national debt by an average of 9.2 percent per year, compared with 3.2 percent for the Democratic presidents. National debt as a percentage of GDP went up from 33 percent to 65 percent under Reagan-Bush I, down to 58 percent under Clinton and back up to 65 percent by 2006 under Bush II and a Republican Congress. More than $9 trillion was added to the debt during the Reagan and Bush I and II presidencies — a bulk of the current total of about $13 trillion. By January 2009, the debt was already at $11 trillion. (Source: Wikipedia)