Providing for the General Welfare Works

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say the goal of the Democratic Party is to “provide for the general welfare” (that phrase from the Constitution). We’ve all heard instead that Democrats are fiscally irresponsible big spenders, while Republicans keep government spending under control, helping the economy grow. Simon Rosenberg, who leads a progressive think tank, explains how wrong this is:ย 

Inconvenient truth, fiscal responsibility edition:

Biden is now the third consecutive Democratic president to have seen the annual deficit drop significantly on their watch. It rose significantly under the last three Republican presidents.

[Biden] said heโ€™d soon become the only president โ€œever to cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion in a single year.โ€ Heโ€™s on track to deliver. . . .ย 

When it comes to the deficit, Americans have endured a remarkably consistent pattern for four decades.

It starts with a Republican presidential candidate denouncing the deficit and vowing to balance the budget if elected. That Republican then takes office, abandons interest in the issue, and expresses indifference when the deficit becomes vastly larger. Then a Democrat takes office, at which point Republican lawmakers who didnโ€™t care at all about the deficit suddenly decide itโ€™s a critical issue that the new president must immediately prioritize.

During the Democratic administration, the deficit invariably shrinks โ€” a development Republicans tend to ignore โ€” at which point the entire cycle starts over.

As the cycle spins, polls continue to show that most Americans see Republicans as the party most trustworthy to reduce the deficit, despite reality, because some partisan branding is tough to change, even in the face of four decades’ worth of evidence. [Steve Benen, MSNBC]

There is perhaps no more important false narrative in American politics than the [Republican Party] is the party of growth and fiscal responsibility.

Team Biden appears to be eager to take that on. Praise fโ€”ing be.

The White House is leaning into a new argument: That deficit reduction can and should be recast as a positive feature of successful *progressive* economic policy. [Greg Sargent]

As we’ve been saying for many months now, it is essential that every 2022 voter knows that when Democrats are in power things get better, and when Republicans are in power they don’t.

The data is clear, overwhelming. . . .

ย [It’s] the most important, least understood story in American politics. . .ย 

Since 1989, 43 million jobs have been created in the US, 41 million – 95% – have come under Democratic presidents.ย 

33.8 million jobs = 16 yrs of Clinton & Obamaย 

7.4 million jobs = 13 months of Biden

1.9 million jobs = 16 years of Bush, Bush & T____ [Rosenberg]

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. . . Democrats need to have this conversation with voters this year. It is essential knowledge, critical to understanding where we are, and where we are going as a nation.

Unquote.

It’s amazing that voters regularly say they “trust” Republicans more on the economy despite their consistently worse results. Why? Republicans associate themselves with low taxes and getting the government “out of the way”. But reducing taxes on people and corporations who already have lots of money doesn’t help the economy; it simply concentrates more wealth at the top. Repealing the Affordable Care Act or abolishing the Department of Education wouldn’t create jobs. Democrats do a better job on the economy by spreading the wealth around. They do this by promoting the “general welfare”, as the Constitution requires. When the general population is better off, the economy is better off. It’s as simple as that.