‘Prosperity and peace’ is the winning Republican theme for midterms

‘Prosperity and peace’ is the winning Republican theme for midterms
© Getty Images

If Republicans play their cards right, they can gain a half-dozen Senate seats and keep their House majority. But they must play from their strength: the prosperity produced by their tax reform/tax cuts, deregulation and pro-growth energy policies, and peace through strength from rebuilding the nation’s military and revitalizing negotiations with our allies and adversaries.

A majority of Senate Democrats (26) face reelection this year (not one of whom voted for the tax cuts for all taxpayers), 10 in states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE won by double digits. Only nine Senate Republicans are seeking reelection.

Republicans appear poised for a net pickup of six or more Senate seats: West Virginia (coal state), North Dakota (oil state), Montana (coal state), Indiana (longtime Republican state, where Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceGovernors shouldn't be exempt from the effects of their policies Pence names new press secretary GOP governors jockey to elbow out North Carolina as convention host MORE once was governor), Missouri (blue-collar manufacturing state), and Florida (popular Republican Gov. Rick Scott is a GOP Senate nominee).


Democrats explicitly turned their backs on blue-collar workers in 2012, though these voters were the backbone of the 20th century Democratic Party, and favored instead President Obama’s hip coalition of social revolutionaries. Democrats also pursued a closed-minded war on fossil fuels, which hurt economic growth and manufacturing workers, when there was nowhere near a national consensus on that impractical environmental daydream.

To this day, Democrats cannot wrap their minds around one major reason that Donald Trump defeated Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonLongtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick How Obama just endorsed Trump Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton MORE in 2016: middle America was tired of President Obama’s long-term economic stagnation, averaging growth of less than 2 percent a year, with flat wages — and Clinton promised more of the same.

America’s record long has been “the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery,” because the economy grows even faster than its normal long-term average annual real growth of 3 percent to 4 percent for a while, to catch up to where it would have been without the recession. Obama never produced any real recovery from the steep 2008-09 recession, leaving America’s economy about $3 trillion below where it would have been with a normal recovery when Trump entered office.

Obama apologists said America’s economy no longer could grow at its long-term annual average of 3 percent to 4 percent, claiming that around 2 percent was the “new normal” and Americans were going to have to get used to it. But in 2016, voters responded: “No way — we’re not going to get used to it!” They voted instead for change from Obama’s anti-growth policies (which Clinton embraced): the higher marginal tax rates for virtually all federal taxes, the over-regulation, record federal spending, deficits and debt, and the ultimately destabilizing, zero interest rate monetary policy.

This fall, unreasoned Democratic “resistance” to Trump and his supporters could kill the anticipated “blue wave” in the midterm elections. Many Democrats are campaigning on repealing the tax cuts, which would take back the jobs, wage increases and booming growth of Trump’s long overdue true recovery from the recession a decade ago. This is the same tax increase platform on which Democrat Walter Mondale campaigned in 1984, when he barely won just one state challenging President Reagan’s reelection.

Trump’s recovery has reached 4.1 percent real growth, which Obama’s elite sophisticates said could not be achieved. That recovery is the most inclusive in American history, with the lowest unemployment among blacks, Hispanics and Asians in history, and the lowest unemployment among women since 1953.

While Obama told blue-collar workers that America’s lost manufacturing jobs were gone for good, the Department of Labor recently reported manufacturing job growth surging by 19,000 jobs a month, and job openings skyrocketing by nearly 40 percent. The National Association of Manufacturers reports that 72 percent of manufacturers are increasing wages and benefits, and 77 percent are hiring. That’s enough to make grown, working men cry tears of joy.

America today has more than full employment (3.9 percent), and more job openings than people searching for work. This economic boom will continue because it was produced by the incentives of tax reform and deregulation, especially regarding fossil fuel production, under which America has become the world’s number one energy producer.

Regarding peace, our military budget will be enhanced for the first time in 10 years, and Trump has challenged our NATO allies to increase their national defense spending. The president has yanked the Iran nuclear deal, and his economic sanctions threaten that nation’s dictatorial theocracy. And he is on the road to negotiating an end to the Korean War after nearly 70 years of unresolved conflict. At the very least, Kim Jong Un has ceased his threatening missile launches.

Republican candidates should not overthink this. They just need to boldly campaign on prosperity and peace.

Lewis Uhler is founder and chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee and National Tax Limitation Foundation (NTLF). He was a contemporary and collaborator with Ronald Reagan and economist Milton Friedman.  

Peter Ferrara, a senior fellow with the NTLF, teaches economics at King’s College in New York. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan and was associate deputy U.S. attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.