Wagener: Throw the bums out

The midterm elections next Tuesday are likely to be remembered as the moment when Americans drew a line in the sand and told the Democrats that there is no room for government from the political extreme. For four years, Democrats have controlled both houses of Congress with large majorities. Under their watch, the nation has fallen into recession, accumulated $3 trillion of additional debt, and witnessed the ignominy of a president of the United States who spends his time on foreign trips, apologizing while literally bowing to unsavory autocrats. Even the singularly weak and ineffectual administration of President Carter was able to inspire Americans more than today’s; it took Carter four years to sink the nation into a malaise, while Obama has managed to do so in a record-breaking two.

The problem is that the Democratic leadership has attempted to steer the country hard left rather than respond to the concerns of the American people. The economy entered a freefall two years into the Democratic takeover of D.C., and Obama entered the Oval Office with the public clamoring for him to fix it. Americans wanted a pragmatic recovery and jobs; they had no stomach for radicalism. Obama deserves some credit for continuing the financial rescues begun by the Bush administration — an unpopular but likely necessary step — but his subsequent economic moves were abject folly.

Obama tried to initiate a recovery with a huge government stimulus package, which, in theory, could have been effective — if Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress had devoted all of it to infrastructure development and research, which tend to deliver high yields on investment and create many jobs. Instead, the Democrats decided to bribe retirees, the group least harmed by the financial crisis, using public funds; they spent the lion’s share of “infrastructure” funds on inefficient handouts to cronies rather than repairing the nation’s crumbling road, rail and port systems. Although they claimed that they would deliver stimulus funds to “shovel ready” projects, last week leading Democrats sheepishly admitted that there is no such thing as a “shovel ready” government project; bureaucrats slow the pace of government work to a crawl.

Immediately afterwards, Obama and Congressional Democrats turned their backs on the economy and focused on their true passion: redistributing wealth. Despite a lackluster recovery and nonexistent job growth, Democrats focused every ounce of their energy and political capital on a new, trillion-dollar entitlement program for healthcare. The final bill gave handouts to major unions (the Democrats’ most loyal special interest group), paid for by increasing income tax, as well as taxes targeted at small businesses.

The Democrats’ boondoggle of a healthcare bill punishes businesses for hiring more than 50 employees, virtually guaranteeing a slowdown in job creation. It does nothing to deal with healthcare’s ballooning cost, which is growing at a rate that vastly exceeds inflation. Rather than dealing with this fundamental issue, the Democrats simply put the growing cost on the tab of small businesses and taxpayers, then claimed victory. Last week, Obama claimed that the poor and middle class will pay nothing for the bill and gain access to heavily subsidized insurance on the backs of the top 1 percent. This is a mathematical impossibility, especially given the ability of the top 1 percent to move their money elsewhere.

In March, after passing their poorly-designed Obamacare bill, the Democrats put a final nail in their coffin when they failed to address the economic woes of middle America, and instead focused on financial “reform” — that is, arbitrary new regulations on banks that fail to address the systemic risk that actually led to the crisis. They still refused to admit that the stimulus bill had been a failure. Instead, they claimed that all America needed was to let Congress borrow another trillion dollars and try a stimulus all over again. The Democrat leadership forwards no new ideas — just do-overs of policies that have already failed. The only new ideas they have are taxes, like the infamous Cap and Trade Carbon Tax, which is supposed to create endless “Green Jobs.” The Dems neglect to mention that each “Green Job” would come at the cost of other jobs in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

Next Tuesday, the American people will boot out the extreme Democrat leadership in at least one house of Congress and possibly both. They have soured on radical Democrat leaders, and have turned to a new generation of Republicans who care more about the economy than petty “Culture War” conflicts. Currently, American businesses are sitting on $1 trillion in emergency reserves. The new Republican sheriffs in D.C. will guarantee that Democrat radicalism is at an end, and give companies the confidence they need to invest in American business expansion, creating jobs and prosperity. This midterm is about refocusing D.C. by putting a refocused Republican leadership in command. Vote for the Republicans on Tuesday, and remove Pelosi and Reid from their positions of power. As it stands, fiscal conservatives are likely to win the day next Tuesday; for that, we should all be grateful.

Trevor Wagener is a senior in Pierson College and President of the Yale College Republicans.


  • RexMottram08

    Ignore the “culture wars” at your own peril, GOP.

    Fiscal cannot be separated from “values.”

  • Yale12

    Blah blah blah. This happens every midterm election. This is not a complete rejection of the Democratic ideology; it’s just American politics.

  • RexMottram08

    Yale12, It’s another rejection of the Leftists in the Democratic Party.

    Democratic candidate storms the Presidency as a centrist/populist following an unpopular war or recession. The Democratic president immediately tries to govern from the hard Left. The Democratic Party suffers huge losses at mid-term as voters reject that ideology.

  • River Tam

    > This happens every midterm election.

    Then why is Paul Krugman whining about how this cycle will be historically notorious?

  • Undergrad

    The financial crisis was due to years of lax regulation and irresponsible financial practices (the “systemic risk” that you mentioned), not the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006. You’re trying to have it both ways–first implying the Democratic Congress caused the downturn, then saying “systemic risk” (endemic since long before 2006) caused the downturn to argue that the financial regulatory bill was a failure.

    Also, how can you blame the Democrats for creating “uncertainty” among businesses, when many in the Republican Party think the TARP bill should never have been passed, that GE’s CEO should resign in disgrace for accepting government subsidies for clean energy, basically that all government subsidies for pretty much anything, even long-standing programs that have been in place for decades, should be eliminated? How many jobs would be lost if that came to pass? You seem to echo the business-friendly, “establishment” side of the Republican Party, but the party is in the process of being taken over by a faction so extremely far to the right that it will soon be willing to sacrifice business interests, and the entire economy if necessary, in the name of “small government”. Business has much more to fear from this than from Democratic policies, and at least as much uncertainty is caused by Republicans saying they’ll repeal Obama’s policies (health care reform, the stimulus, etc.) as by the passing of the policies themselves.

  • pablum

    This article is pure partisan hackery. It uncritically repeats a laundry list of GOP talking points, all of which I could have easily garnered from a Republican campaign web site.

    It’s sad if this is what passes for analysis at the YDN.

  • Branfordalum

    Good Lord, Trevor. Whatever would you say if we actually did have an Administration and a Congress that governed from the “hard left?” Just because the past two years saw policies enacted that are to the left of your (clearly right-wing) personal political preferences does not mean we had a “hard left,” “radical” government. Seriously, if that were really the case, why on earth would progressives be so disappointed and angry??? There’s no public option in the health care bill. The Financial Reform legislation doesn’t tackle “too big to fail” and the Treasury Secretary is a creature of Wall Street. We didn’t get a Climate Change bill. Civil liberties are no safer than they were under Bush. Did you watch the President on The Daily Show Wednesday? Jon Stewart critiqued him for not being liberal enough!! Check out some of the “lefty blogs” some time. Try firedoglake.com to start with. Look at the comments on some of the posts and you’ll see what I mean.

    Your editorial is irrational, highly partisan, and an embarrassment to the traditions of the Yalie Daily.

  • yalepolitico

    Partisan propaganda at it’s finest.

    First of all, the stimulus was 1/3 tax cut because the Dems had to compromise with the GOP. If they had it their way it would have been larger and focused more on infrastructure/research, which you agree is a better investment.

    You make claims about handouts to unions, massive wealth re-distribution, but you also fail to mention the fact that the bill makes progress in covering over 30 million people and helps correct some of the biggest injustices in our industrialized, democratic society.

    You say that a new era of Republican leadership will take hold, one that transcends the culture wars, yet you fail to mention the fact that GOP candidates are propelling their candidacies with the exact culture war you seem to think has ended. For example, Rand Paul questioning the Civil Rights Act, the host of GOP candidates highlighting their pro-life stances, the fact that people like Christine O’Donnell is questioning such things as evolution and sex education. Not to mention the anti-gay rhetoric of GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Paladino and others. God, guns, and gays are very much part of this election.

    Partisan opinion is okay, but not when it’s baseless and simply at odds with the facts.

  • RexMottram08


    complete foolishness. the stimulus will be remembered as a great national boondoggle. nothing more.

    I have no hope for transcending the culture wars. I want to WIN the culture wars. Life and liberty are part of culture.

  • pablum

    RexMottram08 perhaps forgets that Bush bailed out the banks; Obama built infrastructure.

    Life and liberty — in your view, half the country is opposed to these “cultural assets.” You sound like a real winner.

  • Yale12

    What is the purpose of publishing this article? It brings absolutely nothing new to the discussion. I could have written the exact same thing by just browsing the websites of GOP candidates and copy-pasting their talking points.

  • nander74

    While you do make some salient points in your article I feel like there were a few things that were missed.

    1. The hemmoraging of jobs began well before the Democrats were placed into majority positions in Congress. In fact one could argue that their rise to power was in part because of those losses, among many, many other things.

    2. You fail to address the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was under a full Republican majority that these wars were started and it was under the same majorites that the funding was provided via “emergency spending measures” which are kept off budget. Do you not recall Bush himself demanding that Congress give an “up or down vote” for the funds “without strings and without delay”? I will give the Republicans credit when it comes to discussing tactics of political chess, as passing that buck to Obama was obviously a brilliant move, but if we are to have an honest discussion we must acknowledge that the huge, seemingly overnight budget increase was due to the Obama administration placing the costs associated with those wars on the balance sheets where they rightfully belong.

    3. The lions share of the economic policies of Bush and the Republicans are still in place, specifically the “Bush Tax Cuts”, because the Republican minority in the Senate have managed to use the filibuster tactic to block any changes by the opposition. If these cuts were smart policy put forward by Republicans that will create jobs then I must ask you, where are they and why all the off-shoring? As an aside, it will be interesting to see what a Republican Senate will do when a Democrat minority behaves as they have in return. This assumes Democrats have that sort of fortitude, which I for one seriously doubt.

    I was always of the frame of mind that demand, not tax cuts, was what created the jobs. The government can give tax cuts to all the “wealthy business owners” that create [widgets] up to the point of subsidy but with nobody buying said [widgets], why would one want to create a job and pay someone a salary they can not justify?

  • pablum

    nander74, obviously the invisible hand of the market will account for that. Look at Somalia. There, big government stays out of people’s lives.

  • nycdem

    @rexmotramo – If you think Obama is “hard left”, you must be to the right of Attila the Hun. the President has been moderate and reasonable – sadly opposed by your pals on every matter, since they’d apparently rather win elections than halp the country get through a crisis. So – vengefully, I hope that your nearest and nearest get deied health care, that Wall Street destroys your net worth, and that you get unemployed and Congress won’t extend your benefits. But hey – that’s what you would want anyway, rght?