Republicans take heart. Many of the goals promised for fulfillment by your presidential candidate have been met already or are in the process of fulfillment. Here are some economic numbers reported by factcheck.org — some good, some bad — since President Barack Obama first took office:
Homicides have dropped 13 percent, but gun sales have surged.
The economy has added more than 9 million jobs, and the jobless rate has dropped to below the historical median.
The number of long-term unemployed Americans has dropped by 614,000 under Obama, but it is still 761,000 higher than at the start of the Great Recession.
Corporate profits are up 166 percent; real weekly wages are up 3.4 percent.
There are 15 million fewer people who lack health insurance.
Wind and solar power have nearly tripled, and now account for more than 5 percent of U.S. electricity.
The federal debt has more than doubled rising 116 percent and big annual deficits have continued.
Other facts follow:
Our expenditures on defense remain the highest in the world, about $597 billion per annum. The rest of the top 5 are China ($145.8 billion), Saudi Arabia (surprise: $81.9 billion), Russia ($61.5 billion), and the UK ($56.2 billion).
We spend 3.3 percent of our Gross Domestic Product on defense, exceeded only by Saudi Arabia and Russia among major nations. The UK is our ally and Saudi Arabia was at least friendly, attacking ISIS from the air, but the recent veto override by Congress may change that.
ISIS is being steadily pushed back in Iraq with almost no American casualties. Without a strong base in Iraq and ultimately Syria, the attraction of ISIS will fade.
North Korea is the wild card in military spending: about $7.5 billion for its military, which is more than 28 percent of its GDP.
Our main warships are nuclear powered. We have more carriers than any other nation, and more modern submarines than any other nation.
Our number of illegal aliens remains more or less constant, with immigration from and emigration to Mexico, for example, remaining about even.
Under the Obama administration our Border Patrol has been increased substantially and deportations are the highest in recent history. Instead of increasing deportations it makes sense to offer citizenship on reasonable terms to our illegals. They are already in our work force but most do not pay taxes now. Make them citizens and our tax-paying work force would increase. Of course, their employers would pay more taxes, too. We also need to make the current crop of H1B visa holders eligible for citizenship, thus giving them freedom from their current bondage to a particular employer, and cease issuing new H1B visas altogether.
And now for the bad news for myself and my friends and neighbors.
The only votes that Carroll County residents will cast this year that will have any real effect will be votes for the Board of Education.
Hillary Clinton will be our next president and Chris Van Hollen our next senator.
There is at least a chance that the Senate will have a Democratic majority. The Van Hollen win will be due to an excellent candidate and the usually unbeatable Democratic majority in this state.
The national results will be due to the failure of the national Republican majority to propose a reasonable candidate for president. There were several good choices among Republican senators and governors, like John Kasich or Lindsey Graham. They could have beaten the unpopular Hillary Clinton.
Next time Republicans, don't fall for the carnival barker with the big ego and no record of public service.
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John Culleton writes from Eldersburg. His column appears every second Tuesday. Email him at email@example.com.