So the middle class guy was working through the eighties and nineties but was losing ground. Jobs were leaving but he at least got Walmart prices as a token. He lost his company pension, but at least he was given an IRA to save a bit more of his income for his own retirement. Somehow though as America’s wealthy got wealthier, his IRA crashed. No matter, because to compensate him for his loss, he was given what he knew was a crazy, low interest, no doc loan on a house with ballooning equity and plenty of credit cards to make ends meet. He hoped his ballooning investment would make up what was lost in the last two decades.
After a few years of bubble, just when it seemed he would recover, the wool that had been pulled over his eyes suddenly dropped, exposing the reality that he had no job, no retirement funds, no credit rating, and no housing equity, plus he was historically over his head in debt. He wondered what the heck had happened to the America he once knew.
In his moment of despair, Barack Obama appeared promising hope and change. Yet, two years later, his home was foreclosed and his unemployment payments had run out. Then the Tea Party marched over the hill to put America back on track so he joined them, hoping that his nightmare would end. Two more years went by and now he involuntarily joined the 99ers on food stamps as the representatives he voted for gridlocked.
So here we are in 2012 with Barack and Mitt having spent 6 bilion dollars telling him how they intend to end this three decade long chapter of malaise. He has listened intently hoping for answers to how they would fix the housing disaster plus give him a way to pay his debt and repair his credit through an immediate job. Both candidates gave their party centric messages, yet he won’t use their filters to decide his vote. Instead, he will try as he must to determine himself how their plans will help his immediate problems.
He will not vote as Republicans had hoped out of frustration from being out of work and out of funds with the slim chance that Mitt can create jobs with his ambiguous plan. The Republicans could have upped the ante with a better offer but they did not, choosing to let it ride on their initial strategy. Could they have presented a viable plan to quickly grow the economy through a direct jobs program? Yes, but they didn’t have a clear vision for how to get there.
Without a viable plan to grow the pie, the only way the Republicans could offer more was for their constituents to give a bigger piece of their pie to him and that was not in the cards. Barack, on the other hand, offered a slightly bigger share of the pie with his attack on raising the wealthy’s taxes, yet he really had no vision for an immediate fix to housing, debt, retirement funds, or jobs either.
Still, Democrats offered a social safety net until his situation improved and the Tea Party was threatening to cut that net. So he chose to stick with Barack. If Republicans want to take back the power in 2014 and beyond, they will either have to offer a real, viable, and understandable plan for immediate jobs that grows the pie for everyone, or they are going to have to up their ante by offering to share a bigger slice of the existing pie through socialism. By then the ante will have to be much bigger because jobs are slowly coming back.