The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. Submitted Oct. 24, 2020.
I’m sure I won’t be the only writer to point out that Donald Trump was NOT a hugely successful businessman before becoming president. He was given tens of millions of dollars from his father, yet managed to declare bankruptcy six times. He apparently owes “someone”, in some country, between $410 million and just over a billion dollars according to Forbes and the NY Times, a debt which comes due within the next three to four years. This actually makes him a national security risk and would disqualify him for a national security clearance if he weren’t president (Consider the leverage his lenders have!).
He’s reportedly paid more taxes to China than to America, although he refuses to release his tax information to refute that claim.
Then there’s his boast that he’s created the “best economy in the history of the world!” Actually, he inherited an economy from Barack Obama that had been growing for a record 90 months. Trump’s best year for economic growth was 2018 when the economy grew at 3.18%, which is lower than Obama’s best year, and only the 29th best year for growth since JFK. Obama created more jobs in his last 33 months than Trump did in his first 33 months (pre-Covid). Obama brought unemployment down from 10.2% to 4.7%; Trump rode that wave and reached 3.5%.
Trump always points to the stock market which has done well for those with investments…it’s gained 43% in his first 45 months. However, this pales in comparison to Obama’s 64% increase, or Bill Clinton’s 82%. Even before the coronavirus, he ranked just 6 out of the past 14 presidents in terms of stock market gains.
Median household income under Obama’s last two years in office rose $4800… Trump’s first two years, $1400.
Meanwhile, Trump’s tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy have sent our national debt to record highs, again, pre-Covid. My condolences to my granddaughter.
Trump will actually be the first president since Herbert Hoover to leave office with fewer people employed than when he was inaugurated.
So I’m not sure on what he’s basing his “best economy in history” claim.
On patriotism: My grade school granddaughter hasn’t brought home anything from school suggesting she should be ashamed of our country. Not sure where the need for “patriotic education” came from. She’s learning American history and civics. Period.
Re: Healthcare. Americans spend twice as much per capita on healthcare as other developed countries (more than $10,000 per person per year!), yet we have one of the highest rates of chronic health conditions, obesity, and suicide, and have one of the shortest life expectancies in the developed world. The number of us who’ve lost health insurance under Trump is estimated at 1.3 million (or more, according to some sources), even before Covid. With the pandemic job losses, it’s even higher. If he and the Republican attorney’s general are successful in their Supreme Court case to overturn the ACA, some 20 million more could lose healthcare, and the roughly 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions (like hypertension, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, emphysema, tobacco use, obesity, Covid, or being female!) could become uninsurable or have to pay higher premiums than they did before Obamacare.
A public option for those who are not already covered by employer-based health insurance or other private insurance as proposed by Joe Biden seems reasonable to me, and less like “socialism” than giving farmers our taxpayer money to offset what they’re losing as a result of Trump’s trade war with China.
The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act which Trump claims credit for, was actually signed into law by Barack Obama in 2014. Trump did make a minor tweak called the Mission Act in 2018, yet still claims credit for Obama’s original plan.
I am firmly opposed to censorship, and do feel that a well-informed voter should get information from a variety of respected and reliable news sources (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, etc.) in addition to Fox and Friends. I do surf them all, and believe that fact checking is crucial to making informed decisions at the ballot box.