The economic danger of the Presidential political campaign rhetoric is real. The danger comes from both Democrats and Republicans although from different perspectives. The political spin doctors and campaign strategists will be focused on the economy saturating our lives, trying to sell their view of today and the future. The damage to consumer confidence is more than an interesting statistic it’s an eye on our economic future.
The Democrats will tell us the economic recovery is underway and declare the lower unemployment numbers as proof. The Republicans will counter that the number is unreliable and misleading because each month the long-term unemployed are dropped from the statistic and thereby automatically decreasing the number without people finding jobs. We will question our confidence.
Republicans will tells us that household debt is increasing, a sure sign that making ends meet for many families is a crisis. Democrats will counter that it shows our economy is turning around and people have the confidence to take on new debt. We will question our confidence.
Each campaign will position the election of their opponent as a potential economic disaster just waiting to happen. The closer we get to the November election the more polarized will be our economic views. It is this polarization that will erode our confidence as we question the future.
The overall economy will see hesitation by consumers to shop for big ticket items like homes, cars and appliances. The impact of political rhetoric will be real and it will be reflected by a lower consumer confidence number than what it may otherwise have been.
The danger here is the economy can be stymied more than it already is by a sense of insecurity and lack of confidence fostered by rhetoric. It’s the price we pay for open free elections and it’s worth every dime.
The good news is the election comes as we kick-off traditional holiday shopping. The election winner will have a majority of Americans feeling confident that things will be better because their candidate is now in charge. It is that after election glow, that will fuel a growth in consumer confidence and a willingness to spend and borrow.
Will the confidence in our winning Presidential candidate be justified? Maybe, but that depends on your perception? Will the economic strength of our economy change? That depends on who we elect, what they do, and how it is perceived.
In the meantime voters will have to endure the dog and pony shows crafted by campaign managers featuring smoke and mirror political magicians selling their candidate. It is up to all of us to look behind the curtain, blow away the smoke and find the best person to be our next President of the United States.