On Monday night, more than eighty million Americans watched our two candidates for president argue more about missing tax returns, deleted emails, and a former beauty queen than the issue that matters most to our country’s health and prosperity: economic growth.
When our economy grows rapidly, as it did during the Reagan and (Bill) Clinton administrations, good things happen. Home ownership increases, budget deficits shrink (Mr. Clinton produced a surplus his last four years), crime drops, and America’s influence increases worldwide. Unfortunately, our gross domestic product hasn’t grown more than four percent a year since the end of the last century, and I don’t see it topping that critical figure again anytime soon.
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As a registered Republican, I’ve always felt that the private sector does a better job creating jobs than government. But not all right wing policies promote growth. Some limit growth. Two come to mind immediately: the blind opposition to government-funded healthcare and the opposition to raising the minimum wage, or at least allowing it to keep pace with inflation.