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Time to remember

Ryan Sullivan | Monday, October 11, 2010

As I began to read the first three lines of Mark Easley’s “Vote the Bums Out” (Oct. 7) I was wondering why he was writing the article just before the November 2010 elections. I thought it was a good idea, but the arguments were a bit outdated. Weren’t these arguments more applicable to the midterm elections of 2006? Didn’t we already vote the bums out in 2006 and 2008 with the a new Democratic majority and president? As I continued to read, I realized Mr. Easley was talking about voting the Democrats out. That’s when I started to disagree with Mr. Easley. His framework is fine, but the content appears a little bit off. So, I’ll try to fix it a bit.

Remember, remember, the fourth of November. Remember how the Republicans in Washington ignored you time and time again. Remember, from 1994 to 2006, they utterly destroyed an American economy that seemed to have no parallel. Today, that same economy is projected to be topped by a strong Chinese economy. Remember how they deregulated and provided tax cuts to companies that would ultimately both cause an economic collapse on Wall Street and send our jobs overseas. Remember how they twisted the 9/11 attacks to forward their goal of an interventionist international policy that would ultimately bring us into an unrelated war in Iraq that cost the country billions of dollars and further our deficits. Remember, that same Republican government that brought about a bill that encouraged people to buy homes that they could not afford, which ultimately brought about a series of foreclosures which is still plaguing real estate markets in Nevada and Florida. Most importantly, remember the 43rd president of the United States, Mr. George W. Bush (who I hate to say is a fellow alumnus of mine), who brings a new meaning to the word incompetency.

Now, think about what the Democrats came into. President Obama inherited an economy that was in shambles due to the previous Republican administration. The Dow Jones was at an all-time low, foreclosures were being made all around the country, unemployment was rising, and the economy was contracting.

Now, think about what they did. They brought a halt to rising unemployment, stopped further contraction of the economy, brought about a bailout plan that allowed the Dow Jones to rise once again, and have stopped the further growth of foreclosures. Although their gains haven’t been as quick as we might like, economists around the globe will tell you that it takes time to recover from a recession that was so severe that it could have turned into a depression. But, the key point here is that the economy is improving and gains will continue to be realized in the future.

Now, for you history and political science buffs out there, think about who brought us out of the Great Depression. While I’ll concede that World War II was a significant contributor to our recovery, that recovery owes much of its success to Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Combined, the First and Second New Deals had a significant impact on the Gross National Product before the war. From 1933 (when Roosevelt entered office) to 1940 (we entered WWII on Dec. 8, 1941), the Gross National Product grew from 68.3 billion dollars to 113 billion dollars (in 1929 dollars) and unemployment dropped from 25.2 percent to 13.9 percent.

So, before you listen to Mr. Easley, think about recent and related history. Think about why America voted the Democrats in in 2006. Think about the Wall Street Collapse, the Recession, the Iraq War, George W. Bush and the general incompetency of the Republican party. Is voting the Bums in really the best decision?

Ryan Sullivan


off campus

Oct. 8