The five Democratic presidential candidates who took the stage Tuesday night seemed to have a single-minded goal: Present the country with a picture of party unity. But even as they strived to avoid criticizing each other and President Obama, viewers couldn’t help but notice that they had plenty to say about the economic strife the country has faced over the last seven years. They might not have been willing to blame Obama for this mess, but none of them were foolish enough to pretend America was in the midst of a boom.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the most outspoken, of course; his vision of a socialist America doesn’t jibe with any form of free market capitalism, no matter how ridiculously regulated it is.
“I think most Americans understand that our country today faces a series of unprecedented crises,” he said at the debate. “The middle class of this country for the last 40 years has been disappearing. Millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, and yet almost all of the new income and wealth being created is going to the top one percent.”
Sanders’ statistics don’t quite match up to reality, but he’s not wrong about a general atmosphere of economic gloom for the middle class. His policies will wipe the country off the map in terms of economic dominance, but that’s beside the point. At least he understands that carrying on with Obama’s policies will only give us the same result as we’ve gotten.
That’s more than Hillary Clinton seems to understand. Even though she was just as pessimistic about the current state of the economy, she failed to present a plan that was meaningfully different from the president’s. Instead, she promised to follow in Obama’s footsteps and build on his failed policies. That means more regulation, more government intrusion into the private sector, a higher minimum wage, and forced corporate profit sharing.
The day after the debate, Walmart – the largest retailer in the world – had a dismal day on Wall Street. After announcing that a strong dollar and wage increases would cut into its profits, the company saw its shares plummet 10% – the worst loss for the stock since the Reagan administration.
Walmart’s financial woes don’t begin and end with Obama administration policies, but there’s no doubt as to the correlation. In February, the president called Walmart CEO Doug McMillion to praise him for raising worker wages above and beyond the federal minimum wage. The company has been under extraordinary pressure for years to raise wages, and they’ve been forced to in certain locales where voters have hiked the minimum wage.
Walmart has also struggled to implement Obamacare, even though they have been outspoken supporters of the president’s agenda. Last year, the company eliminated health insurance coverage for some 30,000 part-time employees, unable to meet the high cost demands of the healthcare mandate.
“If a retail empire built on low prices can’t find a way around Obamacare’s added costs, we are all doomed,” Investors.com said at the time.
The Democrats stood up there and told Americans that the economy was in shambles, but they are bound and determined to “fix” it by doubling down on the leftist policies that have kept us from making a full recovery.