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WOULD A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE HELP THE ECONOMY?

At long last, the Democratic party has settled on a presidential candidate, which means it’s time for the real speculation to begin. If Obama’s elected, what will he do? Will he end the war in Iraq? Will he fist bump major world leaders? Perhaps most importantly: Will he save our floundering economy? Our readers don’t seem to think so. More than half of this week’s poll respondents (54%) think that a Democrat in the White House would further destroy the economy. Almost a third (28%) believe he’ll turn things around. Eighteen percent don’t anticipate much change either way. David Houston, president of Colliers Houston & Co., doubts that either party will be able to accomplish much. Here are his thoughts:

“It’s tough to answer the question, because you never find out until after they’re elected what they’re going to do or not do. It seems to me that if the Democratic platform is universal healthcare and all these benefits that we can’t afford, we’re going to have problems. Not only will they not help the economy, but they won’t be able to deliver on these promises, there’s no money!

“The most important issue is stimulating the economy. There are three ways of doing that: reduce government expenses, raise taxes and grow the economy. I haven’t heard any of the democrats talking about how to grow the economy. All I’ve heard is what they’re planning to give us. If they don’t have a plan to grow the economy, not only will they not be able to give us anything, they’re going to have to take stuff away. I realize this is not popular for the voters to hear, and a lot of politicians seem to run on platforms that assume the voters don’t get it. Judging from the results of the past few years, I’d say the politicians are right: the voters don’t get it. There is no free lunch out there.

“So, who is most capable of growing our national economy in a new era of a global economy where we have to be competitive? Canceling NAFTA isn’t going to help us. There is no retreating from a world economy. The question is, what are we going to contribute to that economy and how do we stimulate those sectors that can contribute. I don’t hear anybody talking about this on either side. All I hear about is immigration—immigration’s essential! We’re barely producing enough children to sustain our population. If it weren’t for immigrants, we’d be like Europe and Japan. They’re going to go out of business in the next 100 years if their birthrates don’t go up. They’ll end up with fewer workers supporting more retirees, and that doesn’t work. Instead of fighting immigration, we should be encouraging it. The fact of the matter is, if we don’t get more people in this country, the situation of this economy is going to get worse. Everyone treats immigration like it’s something that’s going to destroy us. It’s the only thing that’s going to save us.

“If a Republican gets elected, they’re going to have a democratic congress, so I don’t see much happening at all. If Obama gets elected—he hasn’t even run a candy store, so I’m not quite certain what’s going to happen. In both cases, it’ll depend a great deal on who their advisors are. Presidents are made or broken by their advisors. Right now I don’t hear either party espousing much on growing the economy, I hear them mostly being defensive about issues, how to stop this or that rather than being proactive on how to create this or that.”

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