Although much alighned by the left-leaning news agencies, the tea party advocates have been right about what is wrong with America more so than the so-called experts. Take a look at a few examples:
Minimum wage. One of the first things Democrats did after taking back Congress in 2007 was raise the federal minimum wage 41% from 2007 to 2009. Result? The unemployment rate went from 4.4% in May 2007 to 10.1% in 2009. It is 9.2% even today — four years later.
The Democrat Congress also decided to apply the same minimum wages to American Samoa. Results? Near-decimation of its economy, one that had been based largely on low-cost tuna canning and textile work.
… employment fell 19 percent from 2008 to 2009 … tuna canning employment fell 55 percent from 2009 to 2010… Average inflation-adjusted earnings fell by 5 percent from 2008 to 2009 and by 11 percent from 2006 to 2009.
TARP. Unless you were a politician or executive of a large bank, you were likely against the Troubled Asset Relief Program. I would guess that most anyone now calling herself a member of the Tea Party was against TARP in 2008. But Senator Barack Obama voted for it, along with most of his Democrat colleagues. Also the top brains of the Stupid Party pushed it: Henry Paulson , George W. Bush, and John McCain .
Here’s the funny thing: while Paulson was lending out less than $0.3 trillion, the Federal Reserve was lending out over $16T to do about the same thing! By my calculations, Paulson’s TARP slush fund was less than 2% the size of the Federal Reserve’s.
Do you think that 2% was critical to staving off financial apocalypse? (FYI, over 3T of the Fed’s emergency loans were to subsidiaries of foreign-owned banks.)
When the dust cleared, the federal government owned two bankrupt car companies and the god-awful home mortgage portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — entities that had nothing to do with the original purpose of TARP.
Global markets were so enamored with TARP that there was an immediate sell-off of about 20% in global stock markets the moment it went into effect. I also credit TARP, and McCain’s reaction to it, for McCain’s loss to Obama. Ever since, all budget discussions have involved units of trillions instead of mere billions. The world has not been the same since TARP.
Stimulus. Opposition to Obama’s stimulus was the origin of the Tea Party. Now we know the story.
How the stimulus was sold: It would create three million jobs or more. It would keep the unemployment rate under 8%, instead of 9% without a stimulus. It would cost $787B. The jobs were shovel-ready.
What really happened: There are 1.2 million fewer jobs now than when the stimulus was passed. Unemployment went over 10% (vs. prediction of 8%) and is still over 9% (vs. prediction of about 6.8% at this time). It cost $814B or more. Maybe 6% of it went to infrastructure projects. Obama’s reaction? A little joke: “Shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.”
ObamaCare. ObamaCare was sold as a way to bend the health “cost curve” down. As it turned out, it is bending the cost curve up — health care will be more costly than it would have been without ObamaCare. It’s so great that in its first year about 1,500 companies, states, and unions were granted waivers.
ObamaCare strangled the recovery in the crib. The private sector has been generating only 6,400 jobs per month since it was passed, compared to 67,600 before. We would never return to pre-recession unemployment levels at the current pace. ObamaCare is costing us over 60,000 jobs per month.
Drilling moratorium. According to a new study by IHS Global Insight, merely picking up the pace in granting oil drilling permits would go a long way in producing jobs throughout the US, adding to GDP and reducing dependency on foreign oil sources. In 2012 alone it could mean 230,000 new jobs, $44B more in GDP, 150 million more barrels of oil, and $15B less in imported oil.
Budgets. Now we find ourselves in another budget fight, with the Tea Party getting the blame from much of the media and liberal punditry. The truth is that Democrats have not even written, much less passed, a budget of any kind in over two years; they simply kill everyone else’s.
- The Republican-led House passed a budget on schedule in April. Senate Democrats voted it down.
- Obama proposed a budget in February. The Congressional Budget Office scored it as having a 10-year cumulative deficit of $9.5 trillion. The Democrat-led Senate voted that down too, 97-0.
- The House proposed the only written plan for addressing the debt ceiling — the Cut, Cap and Balance plan. Senate Democrats voted that down, too.