It’s the Economy, Stupid

Jan Raymond
3 min readOct 19, 2022

In the 1992 Presidential election, in the midst of a mild recession from the Gulf War, Clinton advisor James Carville coined this phrase and became famous for repeatedly reminding Democrats, who tend to spend all their time blathering on about other issues, to focus their campaigning on the economy. Clinton won comfortably.

In the 2016 Hilary Clinton and the Democrats had a comfortable polling lead all through the summer. In the weeks before the election Donald Trump went all over the country telling people he would bring jobs and a strong economy, while the Democrats hardly discussed the economy. The polling lead evaporated and Trump won.

In the current election Democrats are so focused on insurrection, abortion and other issues that now, in the last weeks of the election, as the Republican candidates are talking about the economy, Democrats basically sit by mute. Even though many of the Republican candidates are Trumpista’s with a fantasty view of reality, Democratic polling leads have morphed into ever more positive polling numbers for the Republicans.

Democrats should own the economy issue. Simple, easily understood economic data for the last 100 years document that the Republicans signature issues, tax cuts for the wealthy and tax provisions that reward speculation, produce a stagnent economy, ever growing national debt, shrinking home ownership and expanding poverty and homelessness. Democratic policies over the last 100 years have produced broad growth of the economy, decreasing homelessness and poverty, and increasing home ownership, without adding to the National debt. (For a data summary explaining these statements see the link at the bottom of the page)

The data makes it clear Republican policies that favor the wealthy shrink the productive activity in our economy, drive the housing market into boom then bust cycles that push people out of home ownership, and divert wealth out of productive investment and into speculative non-productive assets or silly assets like dogecoin.

Yet polls for the last 40 years consistently show people think Republicans do better at managing the economy than Democrats. That single fact highlights the Democrats biggest failing. They ignore the economy, think voters care most about all the other issues du jour, so they lose elections they should win. In fact for many middle of the road voters the economy is the issue that touches closest to home.

Credit to the Democrats for their policies which have historically expanded productive activity in our economy and home ownership and reduced homelessness and poverty. But to gain the opportunity to make the beneficial policy changes Democrats must win elections. At this point in time the Democratic candidates and leadership look like a deer in the headlights when the Republicans start claiming they will do a better job on the economy. If you don’t want to see the Trumpsters back in control, you can no longer be a bystander and just sit back and let the Democratic candidates and establishment do their thing — they won’t figure it out. Democrats in the political arena are too busy asking us for money to try to keep up with the Republican billionaire funded super PACs.

Like most people I like to keep a firewall between politics and my personal relationships. Which is ordinarily a good rule for a functioning Democracy. But Donald Trump has demonstrated that the current Republican party is a threat to both the rule of law and Democracy. We need to act right now individually by spreading this information as broadly as possible.

So don’t just read this, share it. With as many people as you can. And ask them to share it.

For more detail on the historical facts a summary can be found here:



Jan Raymond

After being a practicing lawyer I started a legislative research business. My perspective derives from years of research on the politics of legislation.