In this political year, voters and taxpayers are bombarded on all sides with what is, frankly, political propaganda. Politicians have been touting the “Summer of Recovery” trying to put a positive spin on our current economy. Well, summer is now over.

Time for some facts from the the national Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://bls.gov/).

In 2006, there were 6.9 million unemployed, with an unemployed rate of 4.6%. Payroll employment had an average growth rate of more than 149,000 per month.

As of today, there are currently 14.9 million unemployed with a 9.6% unemployment rate. In June, 2010, payroll employment dropped 175,000, in July, 2010, payroll employment dropped an additional 54,000.

In November, 2006, the Democrats took control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate (while Bush was still President). It should be pointed out that only the Congress, not the President, passes legislation to spend and tax. For the past four years, Congress has been 100% controlled by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their fellow Democrats.

In November, 2008, the Democrats took control of the White House and have completely controlled our national government since.

Who has been hurt by this? Besides every family being impacted by this dreadful economy, teenagers have been hit with a 26.3% unemployment rate. Black Americans have a 16.3% unemployment rate and Hispanic Americans have a 12.0% unemployment rate. On 9/11/2010 the headline read “US Poverty on track to post record gain” due to the current economic conditions.

Another interesting fact – according to IRS data, taxpayers aged 55 and older account for 71% of the dividends earned in this country. On January 1, 2011, taxpayers, especially Senior Citizens living on a fixed income, will face a devastating increase in the dividend tax rate – going from 15% to as high as 39.6%!

On January 1, 2011, since the Democrat controlled Congress has up to now, refused to extend the 2001 and 2003 Republican tax cuts, all American taxpayers face the largest tax hike in our history! It makes absolutely no sense, in the midst of the current economic recession, to raise taxes on anyone, especially those who create private sector jobs – the small business sector.

All the spending and borrowing by this Congress has achieved nothing but massive debt for our children and grandchildren. With no results to show, Congress and the President propose even more spending (and borrowing) in “Stimulus II”. I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, “the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result!”. Considering this, perhaps most members of Congress need a long rest.

The question is simple, not just for senior citizens, but for every American taxpayer. As we enter a national election season for control of the Congress, just ask yourself. Are you and your family better off today than four years ago (in 2006), when the Democrats took control?

The honest answer to that should determine how you cast your ballot on November 2nd.

Thomas F. Stokes

Middletown, NJ