Mia Love: Hope and change lies with us, not the federal government

Mia Love, candidate for Congress in Utah’s 4th District, stars in a new National Republican Congressional Committee #OurAmerica video, part of a push which started with this trailer. The NRCC says it’s “designed to demonstrate that the House GOP understands where solutions and progress in America comes from: the people, not Washington. Mia Love is a perfect example of this.”

Since Love’s such a crowd-pleaser around here, here’s her story— one of immigrant parents working hard to rise from meager means, one of tightening the belt at home and expecting the government to do the same, one of doers and dreamers not crowded out or replaced by giant federal programs.

“For the first time, parents don’t believe that their children are going to have the same opportunities that they’ve had,” Love says in the two-and-a-half-minute video, with a cameo by her teenage daughter. “If we make Washington smaller and people bigger, we’ll have a better country.”

I wish this message were a little more forceful about the debt as a dream-crusher for generations to come, but it’s admittedly difficult to combine harbingers of doom with an ultimately uplifting message about keeping America a place of independence and opportunity.

In light of Love’s sad words about many Americans worrying that this is, indeed, the new normal, here’s a tour of the swing states in the Obama economy today. No wonder we’re worried:

In Ohio, citizens were greeted with the news that as many as 6 million people will be owe the Obamacare tax in 2016, up 50 percent from earlier estimates of 4 million. That tax will be $695.

In central Florida, incomes continue to fall while the numbers needing food from local charities rise:

Figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau show three Central Florida counties fared worse than the state’s overall 14.6 percent decline in median household income. In Osceola County, Central Florida’s hardest-hit, median income plunged 22 percent from 2007 to 2011. Orange County came next, falling nearly 19 percent, followed by Volusia County with a 16 percent drop.

In Green Bay, the number of homeless increases as Wisconsin heads into its winter months.

In Iowa, school district budgets are so hard-pressed by quickly increasing free- and reduced-lunch roles that they’re setting limits on how many lunches other students can charge, as outstanding lunch debts climb to $147,000 in Des Moines. In some school districts, officials are resorting to collections agencies. The problem is two-pronged. In good times, lax government accounting rules allowed students and teachers to charge lunches indefinitely without any deadline for payment (sound familiar, feds?). Now that the economy has been down for several years, schools are unable to keep pace with the increasing demand for free lunches, which means debts have to be collected or those who do pay will have to pay more for their lunches.

Liberals will tell you the only solution to these woes is more expensive expansion of federal programs with money we don’t have that eventually has to come out of the pockets and paychecks of generations to come. Jobs would be better.

Of course, there’s a tendency to lose perspective about what, ahem, builds an economy when one politician becomes the banner you salute, literally.