During this campaign Republicans will give much lip service equating electing Hillary Clinton to giving Barack Obama a third term. Their money boys actually don’t think a third Obama term is such a bad idea. I’ll explain that and its impact on the 2016 elections.
As is my habit, Friday morning I read Paul Krugman’s op-ed in the New York Times. One fact Dr. Krugman cited peaked my interest. The Dow is up 177% from its low in March of 2009. Obama took over the Oval Office on January 20, 2009. At that time the American economy was bleeding about 750,000 jobs a month and continued to do so through March of that year; interestingly the same time the market hit its low point. Any objective observer would admit that the policies of George W. Bush’s administration were to blame for the economic woes. In fact Obama should be praised for beginning to “right the ship” in only about six weeks.
Despite being an Obama supporter, I’ve been among those who have criticized the recovery as too slow and too jobless. Yet the very wealthy have done exceedingly well under Obama. The redistribution of wealth to the very top has continued seemingly unabated. Despite the regulations they rail against they have done quite well financially. As evidenced by the late 2008 to early 2009 fall in the Dow things got so bad due to W. that even the very wealthy took notice.
Generally the deep pocketed super wealthy disproportionately support the Republican nominee for President. They do it with lots and lots of money. This is an investment. They feel if the Republican wins there will be fewer government regulations and those that do exist will go unenforced or at least be enforced with much less vigor. They also trust the Republicans to decrease or at least not increase taxes on those at the top (their financiers).
A funny thing happened on the way to Cleveland this time around. Donald Trump, (who nobody can quite figure out and the money boys don’t trust), became the apparent nominee. The smart but greedy money refuses to back him. They figure they did just fine under Obama and that will probably continue under Clinton. Why invest a lot of money in Trump when the alternative of Clinton still leaves them plenty of opportunity to prosper?
Some of that money is simply going to sit on the sidelines this cycle, but not all of it. Part of the reason the money boys have done well under Obama is that the Republicans have obstructed legislation in Congress. Another is that starting in 2010 the GOP took control of Governors’ mansions and state legislatures at a level not seen since the run up to the Great Depression (that correlation hasn’t been lost on me).
While the Senate looks ripe for a Democratic takeover, the House is extremely likely to stay in Republican control. That will be enough to obstruct any Clinton initiatives the money boys don’t like at least until the 2018 elections. 2018 is a mid-term year and Democrats have a very poor record in mid-terms; therefore the Congress appears to be in a position to obstruct through 2020.
I feel that a significant portion of the money that would normally pour into the presidential race will end up in Congressional and state level races. If progressives want to make real progress in 2016 they need to pay attention to the entire ballot, not just the presidency! That includes not only your vote, but your volunteer efforts and donations if you do either of those. The money boys are paying attention; are you?
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