One of the biggest problems with the country right now, in my humble opinion, is lack of confidence that results from lack of honesty. We, as Americans, don't know who we can trust and who we can't trust. This has resulted in this long lasting recession.
Think about it. From 2002 to about 2008 the economy was growing relatively fast, and revenues to the government nearly doubled during that time. And while we were in a housing bubble, confidence was high.
Yet trust in our leaders was dim according to most polls, with Bush's popularity dropping year to year to as low as the high 30s, and the popularity of congress as low as 10%. In fact, a recent poll shows that 70% of us would just like to vote an entire new Congress into office.
Once housing bubble burst, and it was learned Congress forced banks to give loans to people who couldn't afford them so they could have a piece of the American dream. And then as time went by we learned that (ahem) the people who couldn't afford housing in the beginning couldn't afford their home mortgage payments. Surprising?
So now people cannot trust banks, and banks cannot trust people. So loans don't get made. Banks also don't trust businesses. They don't know if they will be a viable business in a few years, and therefore they aren't worth the investment.
Likewise, businessmen don't trust the market. They don't know if taxes are going to go up or down, so they wait to purchase new equipment. They wait to invest. They wait to build new buildings. They wait to create new jobs. They don't hire because they don't trust the market.
Yet while we look at banks as the blame, sometimes we fail to look at the actual Congressmen who created the problem in the first place. Who were the politicians who decided it was a good idea to give our home loans to people we knew couldn't otherwise afford them. What were they thinking?
The biggest problem with our country is not the fact that there are no jobs, because the reason there are no jobs is because we have little honesty in Washington. And I'm not just talking about democrats who control the executive, Congress and the Senate. I'm talking about Republicans too. Which of these guys to we trust? Which of these guys to we dare vote fore on November 2.
Lack of honesty results in lack of confidence. Do you have confidence in your local bank? Do the banks have confidence in you? Will Congress create an economically sound environment where we have an incentive to invest and save? Are our taxes going to go up? How is the healthcare program going to effect us? Will I have to increase the amount of money I spend on benefits? If so, I better wait before I invest in anything. All this results in no jobs. No confidence.
Look, the problem with America right now is confidence. Many run on principles we believe in and we vote for these people, and then once they get elected they run out of the pages of the same people they ran against. They increase the scope of government, and then they use those new programs to buy votes.
George W. Bush ran as a conservative, yet he gave us a prescription drug program many of us didn't want, and Obama ran on the platform that he was going to fundamentally transform America, and he gave us a healthcare program that most people don't want.
Right now we have no confidence in our leaders that they will do the right thing. Conservatives, moderate republicans, moderate democrats, liberals and circus clowns and the peanut butter fairy party are all running for offices on November 2. We must decide who are the honest folks, and vote for them.
Yet who are they? How are we to know? How do we know who we vote for isn't going to become another insider politician like John McCain and Joseph Lieberman who will do whatever they have to do to win votes and get elected, even if they have to set aside their principles -- the same principles they used to get elected (or to try to get re-elected).
Are you really a conservative? Are you really a liberal? Are you really a constitutionalist? Are you really a socialist? How are we to know? We don't trust you. We have been lied to so many times we don't know who to trust.
Yet we must still vote. We must still stay informed. We must read. We must think. We must make an informed decision, and vote for the best person. If we really want to fix this nation, and to restore confidence, it's up to good people like you and me.
Vote!!!! Vote on November 2. Yet don't just vote so you can say you voted and so you can get a sticker that says, "I voted!" Do your research. Read, not just today, but through the course of the year. Stay informed.
The more informed we as Americans are, the more honest our politicians will be forced to be. So in that sense, you have it in you the power to improve this country. So go out on Tuesday November 2nd and vote.