sat down with Morgan Philpot near the end of the month of July, and we
spoke in depth about the Constitution and principles of freedom and
defense, and IIRC, we spoke face to face, able to look each other in the
eye, for over an hour. There is nobody currently serving in the House
of Representatives with whom I am more impressed than Morgan Philpot
(but with him stand Jason Chaffetz and Michelle Bachmann, for example).
Morgan has the grassroots solidly behind him here in Utah, every 9.12
project and tea party leader/organizer I’ve spoken to about Morgan
enthusiastically supports him.
I, too, happily offered my endorsement after meeting with him (and
speaking with him on several other occasions in the past couple of
years, as well as his being highly recommended by other local leaders of
conservative groups, whose opinions prompted my looking closely at
him), and I cannot think of anybody who I support more strongly than
Morgan. To give you an idea of those I hold in high esteem, who are
serving in Congress right now, include Jim DeMint, Michelle Bachmann,
and Jason Chaffetz. As far as candidates for the U.S. House of
Representatives go, I can think of none with whom I am more impressed.
Just know that Morgan Philpot is not only the unanimous grassroots
choice in Utah, and while he is mortal & imperfect, as every human
being is, his record in the Utah House of Representatives, from several
years ago, was highly impressive. I cannot think of a single bill he
supported that were objectionable (in the interest of full disclosure, I
have not completed my investigation into his voting record in the Utah
Legislature, but from what I have seen, and based upon the enthusiasm
for his record from conservative leaders I know and trust, I’m confident
the rest of his record will vindicate my support).
But enough about the author of the article below. Here’s the article:
August 26, 2010
By Morgan Philpot
President Obama and the Democrats have a new favorite campaign and press
talking points metaphor that compares the American economy to a car
that Republicans supposedly drove into a ditch. Not only did the GOP
drive the car into the ditch, the Democrats say, but they have also left
all the heavy lifting to the president, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.
There is one major flaw with this new favorite metaphor; it was actually
Democrats who were driving when the car (America’s economy) went into
The 2006 election cycle was a disaster for Republicans. The economy was
robust, federal spending growth was beginning to decline, and the stock
market was humming. But Americans were growing tired of the war in Iraq,
and they were fed up with the scandals and broken promises of a party
that had sold itself to the American public as the party of fiscal
responsibility and family values.
Republicans still held the White House, but in January 2007, Harry Reid
and Nancy Pelosi took over the show in Washington. The shift in power
was hailed as a mandate on the direction the country had been heading
under a Republican-controlled Congress and White House. Time Magazine
went so far as to argue that the election results represented the "end
to the Republican Revolution."
After four years in the driver’s seat, a close examination of the
numbers and timeline paint a much different picture from the President’s
According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate sat
at 4.6 percent back in January of 2007, the same month Democrats took
control of the House and Senate. Three and a half years later,
unemployment hovers around 9.5 percent, a total of eight million jobs
have been lost, and under-employment is at a record high.
From 2002-2007, Republican-authored budgets grew an average of 6.6
percent on a year-over-year basis. This is not a number Republicans
should be remotely proud of, because pork spending was one of the
reasons that (low unemployment notwithstanding in 2006) Americans threw
Republicans out on their backsides that November.
But with the help of newly elected and entrenched "fiscally
conservative" Democrats, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took those spending
levels from an average of 6.6 percent to 11 percent year-over-year
growth. Spending is now so out of control that for the first time in
forty years, Congress has refused to put forward a budget for FY2011. So
not only were the Democrats driving the car into the ditch, but it also
appears that Reid and Pelosi pushed down the accelerator as they went
into the ditch.
At the end of President Clinton’s final term in 2000, the U.S. economy
was heading into a recession. A year later, the 9/11 terrorist attacks
hit. On September 30, 2001, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
bottomed out at 7,528. Over the next six years, the DJIA soared,
reaching 12,653 by the end of January 2007, the same month Democrats
retook control of Congress. Eighteen months later, the stock market was
in a free-fall that destroyed the retirement and personal wealth of
millions of Americans.
In 2006, the housing market was still humming, with single-family
housing starts totaling more than 1.4 million. As Democrats assumed
control of the House and Senate in early 2007, the housing market was
beginning to show some signs of weakness, but for nearly eighteen
months, the Democrat leadership did nothing. Calls for reform of Freddie
Mac and Fannie Mae and their risky lending practices, previously
obstructed under the Republican majority during the first half of the
decade, were simply ignored under Pelosi’s and Reid’s leadership. And
when the housing bubble finally burst in 2008, the drivers of the car,
Pelosi and Reid, began pointing at the passengers.
Unfortunately, the Blame Bush Game has done little to provide real
relief for the beleaguered housing market. Last year, housing starts
totaled less than 500,000, and they are projected to rise slightly to
approximately 549,000 this year, but this number is lower than previous
forecasts anticipated, as the economy appears headed for a double dip
Last but not least is the direction of deficit spending. Fiscal year
2007, which was the last budget proposed by and passed by the
Republican-controlled House and Senate, helped close the deficit gap to a
net deficit of $162 billion. Again, this is not a number to be proud
of, but it shows that Republicans were well on their way to returning
America to budget surpluses before Democrats took control of Congress in
January of 2007.
Since that change in power, deficits have skyrocketed. Declining
revenues have played a part, to be sure, but more than one trillion in
spending on a variety of stimulus packages (most recently, $26 billion
for state and local government employees), the bank bailouts, and the
passage of what will be the largest entitlement program in U.S. history
make up the bulk of the more than $1.5-trillion deficit the U.S. is
projected to see this year. That translates into nearly $0.41 of every
dollar of federal spending — money we do not really have.
The Buck Stops Here
At the end of the day, President Obama can complain all he wants about
the ditch the car is in and do his best spin to pin the blame on
President Bush, but the sad reality he must face is that he and his
congressional counterparts, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, pushed the gas
pedal and steered the car into the ditch.
With nearly 86 percent of Congress up for reelection this November,
voters have the ability to change the direction of America overnight and
elect leaders who are willing, like Harry Truman, to say, "The buck
The question remains: will voters see past the Democratic spin of the
Bush Blame Game and elect differently this November, or will America be
subject to another two years of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid ditch-digging?
Morgan Philpot is an attorney and the current Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?