by Dan Harr
When my wife and I travel across the country, we like to avoid interstates whenever possible. As long as time allows it, we take the back roads that wind along rivers, follow county lines and cross the open farm lands. We love to see the heartbeat of the country: the mom and pop stores, small-town diners, local businesses and more.
In the last few years, however, we’ve observed something that has left us feeling distressed and worried about the future of this country.
The American heartbeat is in much need of some serious CPR.
Our most recent journey took us down through central Illinois, one of the most Democrat-controlled states in the nation. As we traveled from north to south along U.S. Highway 51, the results of both federal and state Democratic policies and high taxation became more apparent, concluding with the southern-most Illinois city of Cairo.
Many would attribute Cairo’s decline to the reduction of rail traffic through the city, along with numerous floodings by the Mississippi river throughout the 20th century. However, businesses in town have turned tail and left the city, much the same as business throughout the rest of Illinois, as a result of high corporate taxes and a reduction in income for the middle class.
Passing through town, we suddenly realized we were seeing the same poverty-stricken images we tend to attribute to Detroit with the shuttered stores, falling-down houses and overgrown abandoned lots. We saw once-thriving restaurants and businesses now boarded up as well as the ever-increasing number of security-barred quick marts, liquor stores and pawn shops – all evidence of a declining state of wealth and income in the area.
We look at each other and shake our heads, wondering what can be done. The one thing we know that should NOT be done is to continue electing politicians who make claims of helping revitalize growth among the middle class while saying they will continue the failed policies of the current administration.
Obama and his high corporate taxation, along with Obamacare and more government spending for entitlement programs, has driven companies out of the United States to regions where lower wages can be paid, thus increasing the profit margins while, at the same time, failing to create a level playing field of tariffs on imported goods from those American-owned businesses in other countries.
Such Democratic policies, at both the state and federal levels, have placed a choke hold on communities much like Cairo and sent the country into cardiac arrest by creating incentives to quit small towns and move elsewhere. (As of this writing, Ford Motor Company announced they will move a large portion of their small-car manufacturing to Mexico, eliminating thousands of U.S. jobs.)
Is Donald Trump the right candidate for president? Would he be able to change the course of the country through stronger economic policies for corporations and the middle class? That has yet to be determined.
The one thing that won’t work, however, is choosing another four years of failed Obama policies in the form of Hillary Clinton. Doing so would send this country to an early grave with the final, fatal heart attack that will end the American Dream and everything it once promised.
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