Op-EdAppeared in The Hill on September 28, 2018By Alfredo Ortiz

Let the economy decide your vote

Are you better off than you were two years ago?

This is the question that you should ask yourself before deciding who to vote for on Election Day. If the answer is yes, you should ignore the political sideshows consuming the legacy media and vote for the party responsible for your heavier pocketbooks.

Since Election Day 2016, Americans are significantly better off by every major economic measure.

The unemployment rate has fallen by 20 percent to 3.9 percent and has remained below 4 percent for the longest stretch in 50 years. Black and Hispanic unemployment rates are at their lowest level on record. This means that virtually any American who wants a job can get one.

This sizzling job market is drawing people who had dropped out of the workforce entirely back to work. The prime-age workforce has grown by about half a million more than the long-run trend suggested it would. This is providing opportunity to the least employable jobseekers on the margin of the labor market. Unemployment insurance claims are at a 50 year low.

Even with this influx of lower-skilled people into jobs, wages are growing at their fastest pace in a decade. Household incomes are up and the poverty rate is down. Hispanic median income grew by nearly 4 percent last year. After tax incomes are rising even faster thanks to the tax cuts that took effect this year.

Business creation and business investment are booming. New business applications have surged since Election Day 2016, growing about 10 percent faster than the long-run trend would have suggested. Business investment reversed its downward trend on Election Day 2016 and has surged in its aftermath.

This increased economic activity has increased economic growth, which is currently above 4 percent and is on pace to exceed 3 percent annually for the first time since 2005. If the Atlanta Federal Reserve GDP predictor is any indication, economic growth may come in closer to four percent for the year.

What does this mean for ordinary Americans? Better jobs at better wages and a higher quality of life. Blue collar jobs have grown at 3.3 percent so far this year, the fastest pace in 35 years, after many years of decline. Full-time jobs are replacing part-time ones, allowing those with service jobs to work the hours they need to enter the middle-class. The stock market has grown by an incredible 40 percent since Election Day 2016, boosting 401(k)s and college savings accounts for the middle-class. No wonder consumer sentiment is near a record high.

President Obama has come out of hibernation to try to take credit for this economy, claiming the good news is just a continuation a trend. But a closer look at these economic indicators show a clear inflection point on Election Day 2016 and a new, more positive trend-line in its aftermath.

That’s because Republicans have pursued pro-growth policies. Exhibit A is the tax cuts that took effect this year. Among many provisions that let people keep more of their hard-earned money, the tax cuts included a new 20 percent small business tax deduction, which allows small business job creators to protect one-fifth of their earnings.

The Job Creators Network has traveled across the country speaking to hundreds of small business owners over the last year. Almost without exception, they are taking advantage of these tax cuts and the booming economy to reinvest in their businesses and employees. These include the likes Joseph Semprevivo, owner of Joseph’s Lite Cookies in Florida, Guy Berkebile, a silicone producer in Somerset, Pennsylvania, and Dina Rubio, a restaurant owner in West Palm Beach. These small business owners are using their tax cut savings to offer new products and services, reward their loyal employees with pay raises, and hire new ones to meet the increased demand. Small business sentiment is understandably at a record high. 

Voters face a big choice this election: They can either vote with their pocketbooks and continue the economic progress they’ve enjoyed over the past two years. Or they can vote for Democrats, who promise to raise taxes and pass a slew of job-killing regulations that will return us to the Obama economy.

If you’re better off today, you should vote accordingly.

Alfredo Ortiz is president and CEO of the Job Creators Network.