Times are good. We know this first by checking our bank balances and second by hearing every politician under the sun grab the credit.
Pollsters often ask, “Who deserves credit for the good economy, the President or the Congress?” Some choice! Either way, politicians get the gold star. But one polling outfit, Rasmussen Research, asked the question a different way, giving three choices: the President, Congress or American business?
More than 70 percent said American business deserves the credit. Columnist David Broder writes that politicians “have made their constituents’ wallets fatter.” Senator Robert Byrd says Congress should spend the money they’ve “made” by “managing” the economy. But Congress isn’t a business that makes profits on goods and services. All of the money pouring into the federal purse comes from you and me in taxes.
Henry David Thoreau had a more accurate view of Washington’s economic wizardry. He pointed out: “Government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.”
Thoreau was right. We can applaud the President and the Congress to the degree they stay out of the way of American workers, managers and entrepreneurs and let the good times roll. But no amount of Washington spin can rob the American people of the credit we deserve. We’re the ones making the money.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.