State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, raised a good question in advance of Wednesday’s presidential debate.
“On the president’s side,” Orr said, “(I want to know) why he should be entrusted again with the presidency given the continued economic malaise?”
While by most measures the national economy has improved since President Barack Obama took office, Orr — the well-respected chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee — makes a reasonable point. Voters are not happy with the economy. Why re-elect a leader who has presided over an unsatisfactory economy?
In Alabama, of course, we would be happy to reach the golden land of economic malaise. Unemployment is higher in the state than it is nationally. By many economic measures — poverty, educational attainment, median income — we rank near the bottom of all states.
Republican governors have led the state since 2003. The Republicans that took control of the House and the Senate in 2010 — and captured almost every statewide elected office — have failed to reverse the state’s economic woes.
Indeed, Alabama’s economic struggles have sapped the state budget to the point that proration is nearly routine and voters had to bail out their leaders’ budgetary failings by raiding the Alabama Trust Fund.
So to paraphrase Orr’s point, “Why should Alabama’s incumbents be entrusted with leadership given the state’s economic malaise?”
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