The White House keeps calling for “shared sacrifice.” When the administration demands the rich “sacrifice” more through increased taxes, it ignores the fact that the rich and middle class are paying the highest amount of total taxes in the history of our nation. The top 50 percent of tax filers pay 97 percent of all federal income taxes.
What does “shared sacrifice” mean to the average Tucsonan? “Shared sacrifice” is the socialist dynamic of reducing everyone else to the same level of misery. Let’s review the impact of “shared sacrifice” on the average Arizonan.
First, in December 2008, the nation’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent; today, the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, an awful 28-percent increase under the current administration. Tucson’s unemployment rate: 9.3 percent (June 2011). Tucson’s unemployment rate is over 2.5 times worse than in Bismark, N. D., which is the lowest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for unemployment.
Second, the national debt has risen from $10.6 to $16 .7 trillion (August 2011) under the new debt ceiling agreement: a draconian 58 percent increase in our national debt in 32 months of Obama’s presidency. This 58-percent increase means your personal per capita debt owed increased from $34,194 to $53,871. Estimated 2009 per capita income in Tucson was $19,124. In other words, this administration’s per capita national debt is almost three times the per capita income of the average Tucsonan.
Third, for the period 2008–May 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics documented job losses of 9,663,000 vs. job gains of 1,723,000, which resulted in a net job loss of 7,940,000 for the period. This eight-million job loss figure does not include those people who have given up looking for work.
Some experts have estimated that figure to be around six million. That’s a mind-boggling14 million people still out of work under this administration’s failed policies. Locally, high unemployment is forcing a net migration from the Tucson MSA as people seek work elsewhere (Arizona Daily Star, Aug. 7, 2011).
Fourth, this administration is the only administration in history that has systemically set about destroying America’s existing energy infrastructure. This administration has revoked mining permits. It has banned drilling on and off-shore. The United States is now more dependent on foreign oil than we ever have been in our history. This means your cost of energy has increased 19 percent over the last 12 months, with gasoline prices up 33.1 percent.
Fifth, this administration has so mismanaged the mortgage modification program that the country now faces a double dip recession. Of the $45 billion allocated for the program, only $1.2 billion has been spent, or less than 3%. Look around your neighborhood. Honestly, what do you see? Or read the Arizona Star’s front-page story, “Bailed-out banks snap up tax liens,” in the 8/7/2011 Sunday edition.
Lastly, Standard and Poor’s rating downgrade from AAA to AA+ is a clear indicator of the decline of our country and spread of misery under the current administration.
Obama has made it worse. The Misery Index has increased a dreadful 70 percent since Obama was elected. The ratio of workers to population, 58.1 percent, is the lowest since 1983. Long-term unemployment, 45.9 percent, is the highest since the 1930s. He cannot explain “shared sacrifice” any better than reducing everyone to the same level of misery.
I would not be surprised if the President announces to the American people that he will not run for a second term. After all, he can only run on his record, which is, from a Tucsonan viewpoint, a miserable failure.
Richard Brinkley is a member of the SaddleBrooke Republican Club.