FEBRUARY 6, 2015 — We’ve never been coy about our dissatisfaction with the economic priorities of the Obama administration. Over the course of six years, this White House has consistently shown itself devoted to higher levels of taxation, more expansive regulation and more thoroughgoing federal control over wide swaths of the economy.
As such, it comes as little surprise to us that even the so-called “recovery” we’re now in the midst of is characterized by only modest growth and a still-underperforming labor market.
As Republicans jockey to succeed President Barack Obama, however, dismissing the failures of this administration will not be enough. Nor will simply relying on typical GOP bromides.
Indeed, one of the deficiencies of Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign was the former Massachusetts governor’s relentless focus on the economic concerns of entrepreneurs and “job creators” to the exclusion of almost everybody else. While we agree that any economic policy worth its salt has to take seriously the plight of employers, a competitive political party has to speak just as persuasively to people who sign the back of checks as to people who sign the front.
There are plenty of economic issues beyond taxes and regulation that affect everyday Americans, foremost among them the pressure that government has put on prices for basic goods like health care, higher education and energy. In order to deserve the votes of the American people, Republican candidates ought to focus on how to lower costs while increasing quality for these vital necessities.
Rallying support for free markets is essential to the country’s economic future. That process will be considerably easier if Republicans underline the fact that the benefits flow to all Americans, not just to members of the investor class.