As if there has been a dearth of good economic news, something Republicans certainly are getting weary of hearing, another media-ignored report shows again that under a Democratic Administration, the economy does better and steadily improves; for businesses and private Americans alike. Everyone has heard about the Obama Administration’s steady record of increase in jobs and decline in the unemployment rate; news that pains Republicans. But the conservatives take that news in stride because their control of Congress keeps robust economic improvement out of reach no matter how many jobs are created.
A fair number of the millions of new jobs languish with a pathetically low minimum wage; something President Barack Obama has begged, prodded, and attempted to shame Republicans into raising. Still, with more people working and able to spend their hard-earned dollars, the economy is improving and a steady and drastic drop in the number of bankruptcy filings is more verifiable proof of Democratic superiority in handling the economy.
Actually there are a couple of other factors driving the drastic 10 percent drop in bankruptcy filings in 2015 besides job creation; more on that below. This latest decline was not a one-time economic anomaly because the previous four years also posted a steady decrease in both business and personal bankruptcy filings. According to an annual report released by the United States Courts, the federal entity administrating the nation’s business and personal financial failures,
“During the 12-month period ending December 31, 2015, 844,495 cases were filed in federal bankruptcy courts, down from the 936,795 bankruptcy cases filed in calendar year 2014—a 9.9 percent drop in filings. This is the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any 12-month period since 2007, and the fifth consecutive calendar year that filings have fallen significantly.”
It is noteworthy that the end of 2007 marked the beginning of the catastrophic Republican-created Great Recession that bankrupted millions of private citizens and decimated thousands of businesses and millions of jobs. Corporations generally are protected from death-by-bankruptcy through special interest rules regarding ‘reorganization’ and selling off debt and operations to overseas entities for a profit. Private citizens have no such protection, but between the two-year Democratic majority in Congress and President Obama’s guidance, Americans and businesses are going broke and losing everything much less often.
The U.S. Courts’ report is yet another signal to Americans that no matter how disastrous Republican economic policies for the economy, only Democrats have answers to remedy the problem; federal government intervention via banking and financial regulations and laws to protect consumers. They are two things Republicans claim are economy killers, and because Republicans parrot the same exact claim about raising the minimum wage, something President Obama has called for over the past seven years, Americans should consider how much better the economy would be if the Republican Congress raised wages the people would inject back into the economy and spur greater growth.
One of the reasons there were fewer business and personal bankruptcy filings over the past five years was the Democrats’ Dodd-Frank financial reform law; the reform Republicans lust to abolish in its entirety. One of the facets of Dodd-Frank was reining in banks and financial institutions making bad loans to people who could hardly afford to buy a home. Real estate brokers and agents often complain that due to the financial reform law, they are unable to move poor people into homes, and crushing mortgages, they could never afford. Just that part of the reform is a major factor in both declining home mortgage defaults and bankruptcy filings.
The other major factor in far fewer bankruptcies is due to the President’s Affordable Care Act that protects Americans from losing everything due to a catastrophic health issue or injury. It is not because Americans are any healthier than before 2011, but millions more Americans do have health care coverage due to the Affordable Care Act. With regular health checkups, what may be a disastrous health issue can be caught and dealt with before they become catastrophic.
Even Americans who did have healthcare insurance prior to the ACA’s passage were subjected to lifetime limits on care and the hideous “preexisting condition” scam that bankrupted sick or injured Americans regularly.
The so-called “Obamacare” that Republicans have attempted to abolish over 60 times in Congress and twice in the nation’s highest court has contributed to the nation’s declining bankruptcy filings, much more than even Democrats are inclined to boast about. That health insurance reform law that Republicans and 53 percent of Americans hate is a major factor in why fewer American families are losing everything they have and it is something Republicans do not want Americans to know.
One understands why Republicans and their considerable media force will never cite the health law’s economic impact as far as preventing Americans from losing everything and going bankrupt because they were sick, but it is curious that Democrats are staying quiet; particularly in the poor Republican-dominated Southern states and especially during the lead up to a general election.
Although the economy can continue improving if the Republican-controlled Congress would work for the good of the people and raise the minimum wage, and by extension the economy, there is little hope they will have a change of heart. That is one of the adverse effects of Democrats staying home and not voting in 2010; they virtually assured there would be no congressional help for underpaid workers for at least a decade; no matter who is president.
Still, the lesson for Americans is that in less than two years of a Democratic Administration and less-than progressive Democratic-controlled Congress, one necessary financial reform law and one embattled healthcare insurance reform have improved the economy and produced the steady, five year decline in the number of Americans and businesses losing everything they have in the world and going bankrupt; something Democrats should be shouting from the rooftops and a statistic Republicans do not want anyone to hear.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.