Tidings of Comfort
Paul Krugman, Dec. 25, New York Times
Maybe I'm just projecting, but Christmas seemed unusually subdued this year. The malls seemed less crowded than usual, the people glummer. There was even less Muzak in the air. And, in a way, that's not surprising: All year Americans have been bombarded with dire news reports portraying a world out of control and a clueless government with no idea what to do.
Yet if you look back at what actually happened over the past year, you see something completely different. Amid all the derision, a number of major government policies worked just fine - and the biggest successes involved the most derided policies. You'll never hear this on Fox News, but 2014 was a year in which the federal government, in particular, showed that it can do some important things very well if it wants to.
Start with Ebola, a subject that has vanished from the headlines so fast it's hard to remember how pervasive the panic was just a few weeks ago. Judging from news media coverage, especially but not only on cable TV, America was on the verge of turning into a real-life version of "The Walking Dead." And many politicians dismissed the efforts of public health officials to deal with the disease using conventional methods. Instead, they insisted, we needed to ban all travel to and from West Africa, imprison anyone who arrived from the wrong place, and close the border with Mexico. No, I have no idea why anyone thought that last item made sense.
As it turned out, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite some early missteps, knew what they were doing, which shouldn't be surprising: The Centers have a lot of experience in, well, controlling disease, epidemics in particular. And while the Ebola virus continues to kill many people in parts of Africa, there was no outbreak here.
Consider next the state of the economy. There's no question that recovery from the 2008 crisis has been painfully slow and should have been much faster. In particular, the economy has been held back by unprecedented cuts in public spending and employment.
But the story you hear all the time portrays economic policy as an unmitigated disaster, with President Obama's alleged hostility to business holding back investment and job creation. So it comes as something of a shock when you look at the actual record and discover that growth and job creation have been substantially faster during the Obama recovery than they were during the Bush recovery last decade (even ignoring the crisis at the end), and that while housing is still depressed, business investment has been quite strong.
What's more, recent data suggest that the economy is gathering strength - 5 percent growth in the last quarter! Oh, and not that it matters very much, but there are some people who like to claim that economic success should be judged by the performance of the stock market. And stock prices, which hit a low point in March 2009, accompanied by declarations from prominent Republican economists that Mr. Obama was killing the market economy, have tripled since then. Maybe economic management hasn't been that bad, after all.
Finally, there's the hidden-in-plain-sight triumph of Obamacare, which is just finishing up its first year of full implementation. It's a tribute to the effectiveness of the propaganda campaign against health reform - which has played up every glitch, without ever mentioning that the problem has been solved, and invented failures that never happened - that I fairly often encounter people, some of them liberals, who ask me whether the administration will ever be able to get the program to work. Apparently nobody told them that it is working, and very well.
In fact, Year 1 surpassed expectations on every front. Remember claims that more people would lose insurance than gained it? Well, the number of Americans without insurance fell by around 10 million; members of the elite who have never been uninsured have no idea just how much positive difference that makes to people's lives. Remember claims that reform would break the budget? In reality, premiums were far less than predicted, overall health spending is moderating, and specific cost-control measures are doing very well. And all indications suggest that year two will be marked by further success.
And there's more. For example, at the end of 2014, the Obama administration's foreign policy, which tries to contain threats like Vladimir Putin's Russia or the Islamic State rather than rushing into military confrontation, is looking pretty good.
The common theme here is that, over the past year, a U.S. government subjected to constant bad-mouthing, constantly accused of being ineffectual or worse, has, in fact, managed to accomplish a lot. On multiple fronts, government wasn't the problem; it was the solution. Nobody knows it, but 2014 was the year of "Yes, we can".
Democratic Club Hosts a Christmas Get Together
December 5th was our turn to celebrate with great food, music and company at the Democratic Club's Holiday Dinner.
It was great to see Harry Stokes, former Adams County Commissioner; the College Democrats, and the whole rest of the gang getting together for some holiday cheer.
The music was provided by the Biglerville High School Jazz Band. Though the students represented High School grades 7-12, their music was professional quality! Their program of jazzed up Christmas tunes was fabulous and turned a good evening into a great evening. To show our appreciation, ACDC has become a booster of the Biglerville High Jazz Band with a $250.00 donation.
ACDC Provides Hot Cocoa at Small Business Saturday
With the 2014 Election over, all members of the Adams County Democratic Committee are celebrating the landslide election of our new Governor Tom Wolf, talk about a Christmas Present, and enjoying the holiday season. This does not mean we are all sitting home making cookies and watching a Charlie Brown Christmas. We are out in our community.
Our first Holiday event was giving away hot chocolate on the Gettysburg Square to support the Gettysburg Retail Merchants Association's (GARMA) Small Business Saturday. We also collected almost $60.00 in donations to brighten the holidays of Veterans in Pennsylvania VA facilities.
ACDC Celebrates November's "Support Our Troops" First Friday
A Reflection by PA Democratic Party Veterans Caucus Vice-Chairman, Moriah Adams
November is the month of Veterans Day and of the holiday of Thanksgiving, which is why this month's First Friday was so appropriately dedicated as "Support Our Troops" and why we as the Adams County Democrats went all out to collect thank you messages, money, and other items needed for those we are honoring, doing all we can with recognition that no one can ever do enough to adequately thank those who have made and are still making such sacrifices for our country.
Democrats of Adams County made it very clear that we support and appreciate those whose lives have involved military service. This is why we had people write personal messages of gratitude and captured them to share with Adams County veterans. This is why we are participating with the Goin' Postal project, collecting money and items to have sent to troops. This is why we are collecting items specific for veterans of all genders who need them to be sent to VA facilities in Pennsylvania. This is why we celebrated this First Friday and will be humbly celebrating Veterans Day on November 11th.
To read more about the ways we have supported service members and veterans as a party and for contact information for party leadership directing our platform of support for them, visit the sites below.
DNC on Veterans and their Families
PA Democratic Party Veterans Caucus
Here's a wholehearted thank you! - To our military service members, veterans, and families.
Tom Wolf Elected Governor
A message from our State Party Chairman, Jim Burn
Tonight, Pennsylvania made the historic decision to change the direction of this Commonwealth.
For the past 4 years, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and many across the State worked tirelessly to call attention to the direction that Governor Corbett was taking the Commonwealth.
Tonight's victory for Tom Wolf is a culmination of those efforts and a testimonial to Mr. Wolf's message, leadership and ability to move our State in a direction that is beneficial to all Pennsylvanians.
Congratulations to all of you for your work and to our next Governor, Tom Wolf.
Interested in becoming a Committee Person?
Join us today!
The Adams County Democratic Committee is always looking for driven, inspiring democrats to further our message and goals throughout the Adams County Community. If you haven't gotten involved yet, but want more information, check out our detailed explanations of duties and process here.
We hope to see you soon!!
For more information, please contact the Political Action Committee.
Get Your Free Commemorative T-Shirt
With a donation of $25 or more we will send you a beautiful souvenir t-shirt. Available while supplies last. Get yours today!
Sometimes people ask: "What has President
Here is a small list of
President Obama's accomplishments:
- Signed into law an economic plan that saved
America from a depression, restored growth, and created or saved as many as 3.6 million
- Signed into law landmark health insurance reform that holds insurance companies
accountable, gives people and small businessess greater control of health care, and
improves the quality of health care for all Americans.
- Fought against Wall Street
lobbyists to sign into law historic consumer protections and financial reforms that shield
American families from unfair lending practices from credit card and mortgage companies,
rein in the excesses of Wall Street, and work to prevent future financial crises.
- Reformed the college loan system by ending subsidies to banks and using the money to
make college more affordable. He also invested in community colleges that are providing
Americans with the skills they need to succeed in today's economy.
- Rescued the
American auto industry, which saved millions of American jobs and helped GM and Chrysler
become profitable again while repaying taxpayers.
- Repealed �Don�t Ask, Don�t Tell,�
which makes it possible for individuals to serve in the military regardless of their
- Helped women get the equal pay they deserve by signing into law
the Lilly Ledbetter Act.
- Supported the Returning Heroes Tax Credit and the Wounded
Warriors Tax Credit.
- As a result of the Heathcare Act over 500,000 veterans previously
denied care will now be eligible for VA Health Care by 2013.
- Increased funding for the
VA every year of his administration.
- Ended the war in Iraq, initiated a responsible
drawdown of forces in Afghanistan, and ordered the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
Read more about the President's Record:
A Short List of Democratic
- 8-Hour Workday
- Social Security
- Minimum Wage Law
- G.I. Bill of Rights
- Marshall Plan
- Peace Corps
- Operation Head Start
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Water Quality Act
- Clean Air Act
- First Man on the Moon
- Women's Suffrage Amendment
- Workers Compensation Act
- Unemployment Compensation Act
- Rural Electrification Act
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Federal Home Loan Program
- Securities & Exchange Act
- Guaranteed Student Loan Program � Family and Medical Leave Act
- School Lunch Program
- Motor Voter Act
- 100,000 New police on U.S. streets
- Balanced budget in 1998 as a result of the Balanced Act 1993
- Davis-Bacon Act
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