While in Washington, we got to see the American conservative movement up close. We watched these activists put pressure on presidential hopefuls and spoke with many American leaders.
Still, I’ve been hearing from some of you that our trip puzzled you.
Why would we want to pay so much attention to American politics?
There are many reasons we would want to cover an event like CPAC, especially during a presidential year, but let me put it to you like this:
There is a saying that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. We’ve all heard that saying. Well the same is not true for the United States as a whole.
When America sneezes, we in Canada catch cold.
The US is the destination for more than 80% of our exports and Canada’s economy is driven by exports.
For our own economic benefit we have to hope that, come November, American voters pick one of the four remaining Republican candidates over Barack Obama.
For many Canadians, this is a difficult thing.
Overwhelmingly, polls show Canadians prefer Democrats to Republicans, even when it is not in our best economic interest as a country.
Plenty of you, even if you vote Conservative here in Canada, would prefer a Democrat over a Republican and many more still like Barack Obama personally.
Liking a man and knowing he is the right person for the job at hand is not the same thing.
You could think Barack Obama is a great guy, a skilled orator, an inspiring figure. But as a Canadian, you also need to realize that he is bad for the US economy and therefore bad for the Canadian economy.
In the last unemployment reports for Canada and the US, our unemployment rate went up to 7.6% from 7.5% while American rate dropped from 8.5% to 8.3%.
You would think that meant the US economy was improving while ours was getting worse. Unfortunately for us, the reverse is true.
In Canada, our unemployment rate went up because more people started looking for work.
In fact, when we compare the raw numbers from December to January, we see that more people were actually employed in January. But people also thought their job prospects were better and decided to start looking.
In the US, the unemployment rate fell because people stopped looking.
“In January, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”
They did not count 2.8 million unemployed because they had not actively looked for work in the past 4 weeks.
Long term unemployment is also a huge problem stateside with those out of work for more than 6 months accounting for 43% of the unemployed.
Ah, I can hear you saying, this isn’t Obama’s fault, he inherited this mess. That’s not how he saw it when he promised Americans he would fix everything.
Obama promised to fix America’s economic woes and instead he has made them worse. He turns down pipelines, puts moratoriums on finding new energy sources in the US but puts billions of tax dollars into private green energy companies that go under.
He has tried to stop major American employers like Boeing from setting up new plants in the US because they might not be union shops but he has not stopped the shifting of jobs from America to China.
In fact Obama called on Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric to advise him on creating jobs at the exact same time Immelt was moving jobs from American plants to Chinese.
All of this is bad news for the American economy and that means it is bad news for the Canadian economy.
Barack Obama must go in November, it is in Canada’s best interests.
And that’s the Byline.