In his column “Unemployment surprise” (Commentary, Tuesday), Alfred Tella states that “the recent jump in unemployment is a blow to Republicans and, as a talking point, a boon to Democrats.” This is a ridiculous situation because the entire Democratic economic agenda is fundamentally unsound, and a large part of the unemployment problem in our society is caused by the actions and policies of Democratic politicians on Capitol Hill and in state and local governments.
The Bush reductions in income, capital-gains and dividend taxes helped stimulate the economy and caused it to grow faster and create more jobs than otherwise would have been the case. The Democrats in Congress opposed these tax reductions, and if they had had their way, the current economic slowdown would have been more severe.
In addition, Democratic opposition to more oil drilling since 1996, when President Clinton vetoed legislation to open up the Arctic oil fields in Alaska, has caused the price of oil to be higher than it otherwise would have been. The very high price of oil today has been a prime factor in causing the economy to grow more slowly. This same Democratic opposition to more oil drilling has caused the price of food and other consumer goods to rise dramatically. The Democratic Party’s lack of understanding of basic economics has been a big factor in causing our current economic slowdown, during which the unemployment rate has risen from about 5 percent to 6.1 percent.
Additionally, the Democratic congressional majority’s vote to increase the minimum wage, destroying all jobs below a certain level, has increased the minority and youth unemployment rates. If you destroy hundreds of thousands of low-wage jobs for poor black and Hispanic kids, as Democratic politicians have done for decades to please organized labor, you cause the overall national unemployment rate to rise.
The solution to many of our economic problems is for all voters, including those in the black and Hispanic communities that are most harmed by Democratic policies, to vote only for Republican candidates at all levels this year - but especially for president and the House and Senate. As a libertarian, I recognize that Republican economic policies are not nearly as good as they could be. However, we have just two parties that can win, and Republican policies are sounder and more free-market oriented than Democratic policies and represent the better real-world alternative.