Tim Phillips

In less than two weeks, Americans will either elect a new President, or give Barack Obama four more years to continue carrying out his "transformation" of America. Given their utter failure to get our economy moving again, it's not surprising the Left is trying so hard to keep the public's attention off their performance and on extraneous matters like the supposed "war on women" or the "war on Big Bird." And of course, their populist class warfare language has become their Alamo -- the last line of defense.

Our focus must relentlessly remain on the economy and how the big government policies of the last four years have crippled economic freedom and therefore prosperity.

For example, just this week a shocking statistic from a recent poll commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Businesses came to light. The poll found that fifty-five percent of small business owners would not start a company in today’s economy. Sixty nine percent of those polled say the regulatory environment under President Obama has hurt their business. These aren’t just partisan attacks on the President – only 46 percent of the participants identified as Republicans.

The revelation that the majority of small business owners fear a second Obama term should be pivotal news. This is the community on which we all rely – the innovators, job creators, producers, and only true engine of economic growth. Alarmingly, President Obama himself seems largely tone deaf to the complaints from the business community. Exhibiting a case of severe cognitive dissonance, the President insists that a continuation of the same economic policies that now terrify business owners will somehow jumpstart the economy. It just doesn’t make any sense. The opinion of these individuals matters a great deal. By necessity, business owners focus on profit and loss, and don’t have the luxury of being swayed by political grandstanding.

Since taking office, sustained high unemployment has been a constant reality of the Obama economy. Yet statistics that should be met with outrage were treated to a sleepy yawn by most in the media. We were assured that things really aren’t that bad, and the economy is getting better. But a shocking infographic that put the jobs numbers in focus seemed to circulate only on Facebook; a graphic that counted 43 straight months of unemployment over 8% under Obama, contrasted with a total of 39 months of unemployment that high under the last 11 presidents combined. When unemployment reportedly dropped a couple tenths of a percent last month, the President was immediately on the campaign trail gloating, despite the economy not creating enough jobs to even keep up with population growth. Hardly the change we’ve been waiting for.

Our national debt has been on the rise for decades. In many ways we have grown numb to the constant upward march of the debt clock. Too many Americans shrug it off, and fail to hold the politicians they elect accountable for spending. Now the problem has grown into a behemoth larger than our entire economy. Each American’s individual share of this debt is over $51,000. Can you imagine the blood-curdling screams that would erupt if anyone actually tried to collect on that? We can’t ignore it for much longer though. Two years ago, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Our rising debt levels (pose) a national security threat…It undermines our capacity to act in our own interest, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable. And it also sends a message of weakness internationally.” But even urges from Mrs. Clinton are met with knee-jerk reactions issued by the left and amplified by liberal talking heads, who attack responsible budget reform – such as the Paul Ryan budget – as attempts to pitch grandma off a cliff.

It’s time to stop listening to the hollow echo chamber that distracts and confuses. Over the next two weeks, there will be much temptation to veer off message and into the latest meme. But millions of Americans are now making a decision about the proper role of government, and choosing between more liberty and prosperity, or four more years of economic despair. Let’s do them and ourselves a favor, and keep everyone’s attention hyper-focused on issues that really matter.