Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Comment on Robert Reich's, "What's Ahead for the Economy and Politics in 2010"

There is little doubt that Robert Reich's assessment that "jobs" will be the overriding concern on the minds of voters during the midterm elections is correct. As he states in his post, "What's Ahead for the Economy and Politics in 2010":
"The Democrats have enough votes to enact health care -- the hurdle Bill Clinton failed to jump, contributing to the Republican takeover in 1994 -- but when it's enacted, expect the spin machines on both sides to be at full throttle. And because health care legislation won't be implemented for another three or four years (depending whether the House or Senate versions prevail), Americans won't be able to test the veracity of these wildly divergent claims.

Foreign policy is just as unlikely to tip the scales. Sad to say, absent a draft most American families will read about American deaths in Afghanistan much the way they've absorb the U.S. body count in Iraq -- as news items rather than personal tragedies.

Issue Number One -- the overriding concern that will determine more than anything how many seats the Democrats lose next fall -- is jobs. If unemployment is 10 percent or more next November, the Dems are in danger of losing the House and will almost certainly be short of the 60 votes they need in the Senate."

Again, I think that this is an assessment with which every political pundit can agree. But if I may be so bold to add, the second issue that will be a major concern on the minds of all voters will be kitchen table issues like the costs of utilities and food. And many of these concerns will be weather related.

In 2009, farmers across the nation suffered severe losses due to weather which was either unusually wet or unusually hot. Now as 2010 begins much of the nation, even the deep South, is experiencing extreme cold. These are the types of conditions that generally send both food and heating costs skyrocketing. If the current winter weather patterns persist, even Americans who are currently employed could be driven to the brink of bankruptcy by simply trying to keep a warm roof over their heads and food on their tables. And God forbid any of these families face a serious heath issue.

If things are bad in states like Michigan and the Democratic strongholds of the Northeast now, a harsh winter could make them much, much worse. And before they celebrate too soon, incumbent Dixie-crats and Republicans shouldn't count their chickens to soon.

I see very little that the White House Congress can do to address these issues before the midterm elections. So, if add the numbers of the currently unemployed, those who have suffered foreclosures and all those who may be hanging on by a slim thread due to high utilities, debt, food and/or prescription costs, incumbents on both sides should prepare to be swept out.

Read Robert Reich's Full Article at HuffingtonPost

Related Articles:

Living On Nothing But Food Stamps, NYTimes

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