In sports today, we have a term “working the refs.” It refers to coaches talking to the refs from the sidelines and giving them an earful about their calls that do not please them. In politics, the term used is access. The talking heads on TV never refer to the business community as working the politicians. There is nothing wrong with every facet of the nation working their politicians to present their point of view, that is the whole point of representative government. We talk and they listen. But the question becomes, who do they hear and listen to?
Tax policy can influence behavior. The country has decided that owning your own home is good for the country so we allow home owners to deduct the interest they pay on their mortgage from their taxes. We tax tobacco to discourage people from smoking because studies have found that smoking is related to several medical problems. So, we see tax breaks or the lack there of can influence behavior. Giving corporations tax breaks is suppose to make them more competitive in a global market. Unfortunately, giving tax breaks to corporations to move jobs in America overseas doesn’t help the people that lost their job. Giving tax breaks to big oil corporations does not promote alternative energy usage. We need to work the politicians to get them to hear the middle-class. That is what this election should be about.
I listen to the political analysts on the TV and they figure that this presidential election may come down to 4 key battleground states. My state, Ohio, is one of those key states. I sure hope the people of Ohio will vote their self interest this time. In 2004, the big issue on the ballot was “gay marriage”. I wonder what issue will decide which way Ohio goes this time?
I have my own set of politico-economic indicators. Come November 4, we will see where the pain index in Ohio is. If the pain index is high enough, Ohio will vote for Obama-Biden. In 1932, the pain index was pretty high and Ohio voted for FDR. There is nothing wrong with people voting for a little relief. The contest will come down to whether the majority of those voting will be influenced by issues outside their own self interest. With the loss of jobs in Ohio and the spike in the cost of gas, perhaps enough people in Ohio have had enough. We will find out in less the 60 days.