If you can believe it, we have turned the page on another year, reaching the 20th year of the new century. It’s amazing how time flies. We have also reached another presidential election year where as citizens of this great republic we get the opportunity to decide the fate of our nation.
The nature of elections and the term for elected officials was a significant topic of debate for the Framers of our Constitution during the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia from May to September 1787. Having studied notable philosophers including the likes of Aristotle, Plato, Hobbes, Moore and Montesquieu to name a few, they were well schooled in those philosophies of governance more akin to tyranny vs. those designed to promote liberty and freedom. Not relying strictly on philosophy, our founders were also well versed in history and were students of government, both effective and ineffective. It was based upon this background that our Constitution and form of government was designed upon the principle of separation of powers and that the system for electing the executive and members of Congress was established.
History and experience was their guide and can also be a good guide for eligible voters come this November.
As a former President once said, “elections have consequences” and given the field of candidates vying for the nation’s top job I can’t think of a time where we have seen more divergent views particularly as it relates to tax policy and regulation and their effect on private sector businesses.
If we are willing to pay attention to history, we can learn much from the results from the last four years. Under the current administration we have seen a dramatic reduction in the corporate tax rate and regulation. By pulling these two economic levers, businesses of all sizes have seen their profits surge which in turn has provided the financial footing for these same businesses to add more employees. The net effect has been the lowest levels of overall unemployment in nearly 60 years with minority populations including African Americans, Latinos and Women all having achieved their highest levels of employment since records have been kept. Due to economic conditions and shortages in the labor market, real wages are growing; something that hasn’t been seen in decades. And, companies are beginning to manufacture in the United States again due to policies that are favorable when compared to manufacturing overseas.
On an individual basis, employees are generally seeing more money in their paychecks and for anyone who has a retirement savings plan, the gains have been nothing short of amazing.
This approach to fundamental economics is not new or innovative. Our own history is replete with examples which clearly demonstrate that when the burden of taxes and regulation are lifted off of businesses, growth typically ensues. It was similar policy that led to strong economies during the Presidencies of both John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Who are the beneficiaries of such growth? We are!
Let’s contrast this proven approach with that favored by the majority of candidates running for the democrat nomination for President. While there are slight differences with respect to each of the candidates, these differences are minimal. Throwing history and the last four years out the window, these candidates are espousing plans that would not only roll back the tax and regulation cutting policies that ushered in the most prosperous years in American history economically, but would take business taxation and regulation to a new level. With a number of candidates endorsing business and individual tax rates as high as 90%, a wealth tax and policies whereby the federal government would dictate how private businesses can allocate profits (assuming there are any left) it can leave one scratching their head. Of course, these same candidates dress up their policies through the vilification of businesses as money hungry evildoers who only care about bottom line profits and exploiting employees and if we only cracked down on such wrong doers, we could create a utopia of free healthcare, college tuition and other freebees for society.
Boy that sounds great to me! Where do I sign up? Oh wait, there’s one problem with this picture; it’s a fairy tale authored by individuals who are fixated on their own status and power who would rather we ignore the actual historical outcomes such policies have delivered. Yes, it’s true, under such policies a utopia can be created where everyone is equal; equally miserable that is!
The length of this blog doesn’t provide the ability to fully discuss the details related to this topic. If you are interested in learning more however, there are some great sources for additional information related to taxation and regulation as debated by the Framers which can be found in the Federalist Papers, as well as more recent economic performance data available from the likes of The Heritage Foundation, The Hoover Institute and the U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce.
So, this November you will once again have an opportunity to do your civic duty and cast your ballot for a candidate that will no doubt, have a lasting impact on our nation and each one of us individually.
I think I’ll follow the example of our Framers and let history be my guide.