I hear quite a few people tell me that they are “voting on the economy” or that they are fearful of the future. The funny thing is we don’t need to be fearful or imagine the future we have lived through some scary ups and downs in the past 10 years. The problem with voters that stick to one party or the other is they don’t realize that they are voting for the party, not the economy. How can I demonstrate this? Well instead of me assuming that *you* specifically have a certain type of economic voting track record, I will let you be the judge for yourself. Below is census data since 1993 in four year increments. Look through them and ask yourself how did you vote at the end of the shown term. Did you vote on the economy then? It is very possible that you got what you asked for.
1993-1997: A 200 billion dollar deficit became an almost break even budget.
Did you vote for more of the same, or for change?
1997-2001: If you voted for the same, you got it. A break even budget turned into a 100 billion dollar surplus with highs in the 200 billions.
Did you vote to change or more of the same?
2001-2005: If you voted for change you got it. A 100 billion dollar surplus turned into a sub 300 billion dollar deficit.
Did you vote for change or more of the same?
2005-2009: If you voted for more of the same you got it. A 300 billion dollar deficit turned into a 1.4 trillion dollar one.
Did you vote for change or the same?
2009-2013: Not much happened, but we went from 1.4 trillion dollar deficit to 1.3 (I agreed the dotted lines are fake, so I removed them)
The way I see it is all those years in the past you had a chance to vote for more of the same or change, and in the past it’s exactly what you got. Sticking to your “party” instead of voting on what is best for the country is very much what you get: a party in office, not necessarily a better country. So the main thing I want to do is put to sleep the concept of “I’m voting for the economy”. Based on your past it is very possible that you never really have.