There was a large turnout of answers to this Friday question.Asked to rank the top five issues in the election, very few readers included social issues. Jobs, the debt, energy, immigration and health care were at the top of many lists. Terrorism and defense appeared in some, but not as many of the lists.
For the top five, coffeetime listed:
1. Terrorism — Let Islamists detonate just one atomic bomb in any of our major cities and see how trivial the other nine issues become.
2. Taxes — The current system is broken, with too many paying nothing (or next to nothing), businesses paying too much relative to other countries (which just ends up being passed along to consumers), and too much energy analyzing potential tax consequences rather than actual economic efficiencies.
3. Health care — Obamacare is causing too much uncertainty for small and large businesses alike, and that has thrown a monkey wrench into job creation.
4. Jobs — Taxes and health care represent two of the three impediments to job creation (the third is excessive government regulation, which didn’t make your cut of ten issues). Fix those and the jobs will follow.
5. Debt — If the tax code is changed to broaden the base and have everyone pay at least something in federal taxes; if Obamacare is repealed or cancelled; and if we do a better job at creating conditions for job growth, then we need to get our debt under control so the government stops competing with the private sector for dollars.
1. The debt as it is a ticking time bomb capable of destroying the country and having global consequence
2. Jobs as these are critical to paying down the debt
3. Taxes as these need reforming to get the debt under control
4. Energy as this needs to be stable to help fix the economic platform needed to restore growth
5. Health care as this is a large cost driver and also fundamental to making the economy stable
The social issues are just more distraction . . . See More
And in one of the most insightful, rudyncg wrote, in part:
The economic issues are front and center in everyone’s mind this year. Those are most important for this election, and because Republicans have the winning positions for these is why Obama and the Democrats are trying as hard as possible to make this election about social issues. That’s also why they strive to create the perception that higher taxes on the upper earners is a social issue rather than an economic policy that would have little revenue effect and be destructive to job creation.
The essential challenge for Republicans is to cohesively explain the interrelationships between all of these economic issues so that people understand that an entire economic recovery program is required for sustainable recovery and growth, not a piecemeal approach of nips and tucks.
The top five are, in order: 1. Energy, the deliberately high cost of which has ramifications for everything else driving the economy and disposable income; 2. Health care, driven by Obamacare’s catastrophic effect on uncertainty and cost for both businesses and individuals; 3. jobs, as economic growth opportunities are being truncated by energy and health care’s drain on the economy; 4. the debt (and deficit), as its out-of-control growth is an albatross for economic growth in the future; and 5. taxes, because raising them steals from individuals and businesses to subsidize a highly inefficient government beast and denies income and capital required for job growth.
The polls suggest that Right Turn readers share the same priorities as most Americans. Jobs, debt, health care, energy and education consistently appear in the list of voters’ top concerns, with the economy far outdistancing other issues in importance. Issues are not the only consideration in selecting a president; character and leadership are equally important considerations for many voters. But given the consistency of public opinion, so long as the economy remains paramount for voters and the president gets low marks in that department, he will have a tough time hanging on to his job.