The New Normal

Jeff Semon is a canididate for U.S. Congress in MA-5. For more information please visit

Gasoline prices have been steadily rising over the past month. They now hover around $3.70 per gallon. The “official” unemployment rate has climbed to 8.3% (although the “real” unemployment rate is closer to 16%) and millions of Americans are “underwater,” owing more money on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

In all of these cases, we’re told by voices in our government and the op-ed pages of major newspapers that it is not that bad and that mediocrity is to be expected in our current economic climate. According to President Obama and his progressive friends, everything is “just fine”.

This, of course, is election-year nonsense.

Claiming that our current situation is the best we can possibly do is utterly defeatist and emblematic of failed “big government” assumptions and policies.

Massachusetts and America will have a very clear choice about what path we want to take in this election, and the major political parties represent two competing world views. Most Democrats falsely believe that the government creates economic growth and, therefore, must play an ever-growing role in our lives, (taking more money and freedom away from us in the process). Most Republicans accurately believe that we need to encourage economic growth via the private sector and that too much taxation, regulation and legislation is a major barrier to job growth.

The liberal/progressive/Democratic attitude is embodied by Rep. Ed Markey who thinks “regulations create more jobs.” This mindset is also shared by Elizabeth Warren, who doesn’t understand that it is the business owner that initiates commerce by hiring workers – who then pay taxes and use their remaining wages to purchase goods and services. Then, of course, there is President Obama’s now infamous comment denigrating all entrepreneurs by telling them “you didn’t build that.”

All of these individuals are either career politicians, academics, or both. They are beholden to a failed BIG government ideology. Republicans, on the other hand, have a decidedly different outlook and world view. We know that the free market creates economic growth. We know that necessary government spending is the result of economic activity, not the cause of it. We also know that the greatest anti-poverty program in the history of mankind is capitalism.

Where does that leave us? Where do we go from here? The answer is rather straightforward. Republicans know unemployment can be reduced dramatically, and significant economic growth can take place, if we cut government spending, reduce taxes and implement only sensible regulations. Democrats think we can grow our economy with more federal spending, higher taxes and increasingly burdensome regulations. Republicans are right, Democrats are wrong–and every American voter has the opportunity to voice his or her opinion about which vision will succeed this November.

In my view, (and this is shared by the voters I meet everyday in my district), we should not accept high unemployment as a fact of life. We should not accept higher taxes as a “fix” when we should really be holding our elected officials accountable for reining in spending and tackling tough issues. We should not mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren with deficits and debt that kill jobs for regular people while creating busy work for bureaucrats.

Here’s an example of what we should not do. We have an incredible abundance of domestic energy resources that can be safely and responsibly developed, decreasing the cost of living for all Americans. Yet, Rep. Ed Markey intentionally pushes legislation and policies that keep energy prices high. In so doing, he puts hard-working citizens in the position of having to choose between filling up their gas tanks or saving for their retirement, and in some cases, having to decide between heating their homes or putting food on their tables!

Decisions like these should not have to be made. Our government should empower citizens to be independent from government, not dependent on it. There is a bright future for America, but that future will continue to elude us if the government dictates how we live our lives. On the other hand, our success as a state and nation will be secured if, and only if, we embrace the brilliantly-crafted founding principles that place individual sovereignty above government intrusion.

This must be the “new normal”. Let’s make it happen in November.

About Jeff in 2012