MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE
Jeff Bell a candidate for US Senate from New Jersey appearing in Hoboken last week had a direct message to Mile Square and NJ voters: "Liberate the economy."
Bell knows much about liberation. He was an advisor, speechwriter and observer to President Ronald Reagan making him a witness to what led to unbridled growth in federal revenues during the greatest peacetime economic expansion in US history. That engine came about through the historic Tax Reform Act of 1986, a point of controversy then and consternation to liberals since but the record of increased revenues and decades long prosperity are a model the nation only hopes it could repeat today.
In an environment where government success is touted by lowered unemployment totals created by "the disappeared," the hundreds of thousands who fall off government statistics monthly never to be heard from again, the 80s look like the good old days. Bell however sees opportunity on both the domestic and international front saying it can be fixed and of the latter with ISIS trampling over the Middle East, "It looks bad but I think it can be turned around quickly, more quickly than people think."
Bell admitted concern his ties to President Reagan might be too distant to NJ voters but discovered it isn't the case saying most older voters remember him and the times fondly and there's "an aura" surrounding him for young voters.
Looking back Bell admitted he nor others realized the glow on America was as strong under the leadership of President Reagan as most Americans say looking back in Gallup polling consistently over many years. Of his remarkable character, Bell said he like many didn't realize the greatness in their midst saying the presidency is often seen as a great burden and isolating but Reagan didn't seem to be affected negatively by it. "He had no self pity. He had no feeling of isolation whatever. He never brooded over the fact he wasn't appreciated. It was one of the most revealing things about him," Bell said with a hint of admiration.
Viewing the current state of New Jersey and the larger national economy, Bell didn't hesitate to advocate for his solution. He's an advocate of moving the US back to the gold standard. The idea is novel among some economists but on the whole is viewed as not politically viable or practical. Bell didn't shy away from taking on that challenge noting, "What they call QE (quantitative easing), it's printing money."
Looking at the state of affairs economically impacting American families he cited, "People's wages are not going up." From his perspective Bell thought it remarkable the current Administration didn't understand that fact as it tries to convince people they are better off than they believe. He noted New Jersey continues to see an eroding tax base as younger people are electing to move to Pennsylvania with its more competitive, re: lower taxes saying NJ should cut taxes.
On the energy and environment, Bell spoke directly of his perspective, "Ten years ago, environmentalists saw natural gas was a clean energy source. Then we found out we had more then we ever imagined and now all of a sudden their against natural gas." He added the unfortunate cause, "They want to drive up energy prices and heating prices in the name of fighting global warming," he said noting "it's unproven" human activity is the cause.
Of his opponent former Newark Mayor Cory Booker he summed up his current and future contribution to the state of affairs predicting what he'll deliver. "Nothing. He has nothing to contribute because he agrees with President Obama. He thinks we need to keep printing money, adding more debt and stimulating the economy by spending money. They tried that for six years. It hasn't worked."
For a replacement for Attorney General, Bell said he supports "someone who upholds the law and supports the Constitution." Saying of the outgoing Eric Holder, "He doesn't uphold the law... he just decides to uphold the laws he supports. No Attorney General has ever behaved like that before."
Asked what final message he had for Hoboken and NJ voters, Bell had a simple, positive message. "Liberate the economy." It's a message in direct contrast to the government actions espoused by his opponent, a favorite to continue as a NJ Senator.
But for this man who had a first row seat at the Reagan Revolution, it's not about who's favored or who has more campaign cash; it's about ideas. Somewhere up above, Ronald Reagan is looking down and smiling.
Talking Ed Note: Jeff Bell's appearance in Hoboken last week was sponsored by the Republicans of Hoboken and hosted by Chair Diana Davis. For more information on Jeff Bell's platform, see his campaign website: http://bell2014.com.