Pollsters were proven right, as the 2108 Presidential election returned Pres. Samuel Hussein Tyler to the Oval Office. Tyler, the only candidate approved for the ballot, won his sixth term for the Social Democrat Regulation party. The SDR, who trace their heritage to the US’s third President, Thomas Jefferson, successfully argued that no other candidate had sufficient backing to warrant a ballot appearance. Write in candidates included Libertarian Ron Paul III, at 22%, among other lesser parties.
Tyler ran on a platform of expanding federally mandated holidays. “The Ancient Romans had over 150 holidays, and yet we in the 22nd Century have yet to manage half that amount. The regulatory class is overworked and underpaid. We will implement five new Federal holidays and restore the 8% annual pay increases that were put on hold in the second half of this year,” said the President. With over 40% of US citizens employed by the Federal Government, Tyler’s brand of populism was a crowd pleaser on the campaign trail.
Tyler also promised aggressive action on unemployment: “We commit to lowering unemployment below 10% by the end of my term. We must increase investment in education and job training. We must invest in infrastructure and other needed projects to put Americans back to work.” The aggressive stimulus plan to cut unemployment by half was met with skepticism by the nation’s creditors, however.
Meanwhile, the disputed States of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama continued to refuse to participate in the democratic election process. While short of seceding from the US, these states have refused to implement the wage and price freezes of 2098. These manufacturing powerhouse States claimed that in order to continue to make the majority of the US’s goods, they needed to hire and fire employees based on demand. While the majority of voters polled considered this an extreme position, Tyler nonetheless remains unable to enforce his signature economic legislation in the powerful States.
Once the election celebrations are complete, Tyler returns to Washington’s many troubles. The US has not made an interest payment on its debt in over six years, and the creditor coalition continues its threats to refer the matter to the UN. Inflation remains stubbornly above 100%. Congress has refused to pass a budget, or any other substantive laws, in over a decade, forcing the Supreme Court to mandate government spending and policy on Congress’s behalf. Still, polls show Tyler remains popular among SDR members. His steady hand following the serial impeachments of three Presidents in the mid 2070’s still carries great weight amongst his SDR backers.