Jan 06 2010
Update: 5 more democrats are in serious trouble, 11 months from the midterm elections:
From Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trails badly, to Arkansas, where Sen. Blanche Lincoln is polling at just 40 percent in head-to-head matchups with four possible Republican challengers, opposition to the health-care bill is reverberating.
Any incumbent sitting at 40% is a lame duck walking.
In at least seven states — Connecticut, Nevada, Ohio, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Colorado — the Democratic candidate for Senate trails the Republican in the most recent polls
Interestingly, the GOP only needs 2 more before they can go to Independent Joe Lieberman and seal the steal. One of them could come from MA this month.
Update: Colorado Governor Ritter is also stepping aside in the governor’s race. Amazing. - end update
The Dems screwed up, and I am not just talking about the Christmas Day near disaster on Flight 253 (though the President has finally stopped listening to his handlers and taken control of the message and that front).
I mean everything – starting with the stimulus bill to fix the economy (which it failed to do). Over 90% of the job creating money for those ‘shovel ready’ projects is STILL stuck in the bowels of the federal government’s lethargic procurement process.
Here are two job program spending charts for five government entities I have tracked for 10 months (source: US Government). The first graph shows how much money each organization was allocated over two years (far left columns), how much of this money has been obligated to specific federal programs (mid left columns), how much has actually been spent in the economy (mid right columns) and how much money is left unspent (far right columns). The key measure is gross outlays (3rd set of columns), which is what was meant to stimulate all those new jobs!
This next graph shows how much was obligated, spent and unspent as a percentage of the total budgeted for each government entity. As you can see the percentage unspent numbers tells the whole story. Across these 6 organizations 90% of the money is still unspent. About half has at least been obligated to a specific program (required before the government can let contracts and spend – which can take a year to happen in itself).
Most of the emergency stimulus is still in the tortuously long process the government requires for spending tax payer money – which is why it will take years for this money to trickle out of the bloated federal bureaucracy.
Failure to stimulate the economy is why the Democrats failed to turn the economy around. They relied on a sluggish path to funnel money to the economy (government largesse) which initially only helps government workers and government contractors anyway. Â If you are not employed by those two areas of our economy (and most of the economy is not of course – since it pays for these two entities) then there was no help for you under the Democrat recovery plan. This makes Reagan’s trickle down theory look instantaneous compared to the glacial process of government spending to cronies and politically connected business.
That is why America is still suffering through the worst recession in living memory:
The number of young Americans without a job has exploded to 53.4 percent â€” a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. â€” meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.
For these people – and their siblings, parents and grandparents – the liberal promises to turn the economy around are now rightfully seen as a total failure. Unemployment and underemployment keep inching up (11% and 17% respectively in November), while the unemployment safety net is getting stretched to its limit, as more and more people slide onto the last vestige of financial hope. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefit has seen its ranks swell over 200% since the passage of that Pelosi-Reid-Obama job stimulus debacle (now standing around 4.5 million Americans).
What else can we call these economic results but failure? And that is before we even get to taxing all our energy sources on the myth of global warming (we could use some global warming this year). Or ramming down our throats a dysfunctional health care bill, which looks more like a crippled Frankenstein’s Monster due to all the horse trading, bribing of senators, etc. There is nothing in the disaster of a health care bill but higher costs and fines for most Americans.
All this before we even get to Flight 253 and the royal screw up.
So I am not surprised to see senior Democrats heading for the exits in 2010 prior to the primary season (when replacement candidates need to be in place and running). This week could see two senior Democrats in the Senate stepping down because the writing on the wallis Â clear as daylight.
First we have Chris Dodd, whose poll numbers have not rising above the 40% mark over the last few months:
Embattled Connecticut Sen.Â Chris Dodd (D) has scheduled a press conference at his home in Connecticut Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek re-election, according to sources familiar with his plans.
If an incumbent is running at 40% they will not win a 2 party election – law of politics in America. Late yesterday Senator Byron Dorgan (ND) also announced he is retiring. If we add in the fact that Senate appointees in CO and IL are also looking to be in trouble we are up to four Democrat senate seats possibly lost already. And the election is 11 months away.
Right now all eyes are turning towards MA, where the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat is tightening up. If the Dems lose that seat, then watch a lot of things disappear.Â Like broad support for the health care fiasco. Because not all moderate Dems are willing to commit political suicide and then retire.