Perry: 'Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Trillion Dollars Ago?'

At the South Carolina GOP Forum on January 14, conservatism shined as Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and even former candidate Jon Huntsman, talked about shrinking the size of government, reducing taxes, repealing Obamacare, repealing Dodd-Frank, and eliminating the EPA’s regulatory overreach.

Yet during the event, moderated by FOX NEWS’ Mike Huckabee, the most memorable moment came from Gov. Perry, who asked the pertinent question: “Are you better off now than you were four [trillion dollars] ago?” The question was timely, and it not only harkened back to Ronald Reagan’s great 1980 campaign, but drew much needed attention to the hole Obama has dug for himself as well.

One week before voting took place in the contest between Reagan and Jimmy Carter, the Great Communicator looked into the camera and posed the following question to the American people: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” It proved to be a powerful question, because Americans as a whole weren’t better off. In fact, they were far worse off thanks to Carter and his economy-crushing policies.

Reagan followed that question with a series of others:

Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago?

On Saturday, Perry’s question was basically a synopsis of all these questions put together. And by including the dollar amount ($4 trillion) it makes the point that should stick with all voters as they head to the voting booth later this year. Namely, are you better off now that Obama has spent us into oblivion or were you better off before?

Seriously folks, is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was before Obama spent us into record debt? In November, when analysis of 3rd quarter spending for 2011 was done, the answer was no: it was not easier to go out and buy things at the store than it was before Obama took over. According to Gallup’s results, middle income earners “generally [had] little discretionary money — largely spending all that they [had] from paycheck to paycheck.” And we all know unemployment has risen dramatically under Obama, and even now hovers somewhere around 8.5%. (As high as that figure is, it would be even higher were we to include those who have given up looking for jobs altogether.)

And America is certainly not as respected throughout the world as it was even five years ago. Under Bush we were at least feared, under Obama, we’ve become somewhat of a paper tiger. Thus Iran openly threatens us with war, publicizes its plans to execute an American that’s been charged with “spying,” and threatens our crude supply: things they never would have done with a president like Reagan in office. Along with this comes the fact that we don’t “feel that our security” is as great as it was four years ago. (This probably has something to do with Obama’s penchant for appeasing the terrorist world by releasing terrorists from Guantanamo under the cover of night, and sending them to Britain where they receive a government income at British tax-payer expense.)

In a word, Obama’s mad spending spree has only succeeded in one thing: bringing America low. And this is something we dare not forgot.

When we head to the voting booth in November, we should only do so while asking ourselves: “Are you better off now than you were four [trillion dollars] ago?” (Although by that time, the figure may be $5 trillion.)


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