Before Donald Trump took office, America was a wasteland. Corporations were all bankrupt, nobody had a job, Christians were banned from praying, gun ownership was illegal, you needed a permit to mow your lawn, and MyPillow.com sales were plummeting. And then Trump put on his Confederate cape, rallied QAnon and the Boogaloo Boys, and saved us from the tyranny of Czar Obama.
Trump had to create this narrative–and repeat it daily for years–to hypnotize the Red Hats into believing he improved the country. He knew he didn’t have the knowledge, policies, or skills, so he had to rely on propaganda, pathological lying, and psychological warfare.
Trump’s sleight of hand worked as he currently polls better than Joe Biden on how people perceive he’ll handle the economy–a staggering statistic given his track record of running up unprecedented annual budget deficits, ballooning the national debt, failed tax cuts, economic inequality, massive unemployment, and fleecing of America.
Trump’s strong economy is a farce.
Trump deregulated the worst polluters in the country to inflate their profits, which threatens the lives of people, animals, and the planet. He also deregulated financial institutions, which harms people’s economic security. We will pay for his irresponsible shortcuts for years to come.
The stock market has held up because millions of small and medium-sized businesses are either out of business or suffering, and those companies are not publicly traded. As a result, companies like Amazon, CostCo, Nike, and Walmart increased their dominance, profits, and stock price. That’s nothing to celebrate and isn’t an indicator of a strong economy. Also, 80% of the stock market is owned by the top 10% of the country’s wealthiest people, so the impact on the average 401K is much less significant than the amount Trump’s shortcuts will cost Americans in increased taxes and reduced safety nets like medicare and social security.
Trump refused to address climate change during his presidency, which will cost the federal government and the American people trillions of dollars in emergency relief. In Trump’s myopic world, if unemployment is low and the stock market is high, the economy is the strongest it has ever been. He doesn’t care if your house is underwater or burned down from a climate-change-intensified hurricane or fire. He’ll blame you for not raking the forest or throw toilet paper at you.
Trump failed to increase affordable housing, pass an infrastructure bill, or improve urban development. Instead of rebuilding our bridges, roads, and tunnels–the major arteries that enable commerce and support our economy, Trump squandered money repairing fencing on the border while lying to his followers about building new wall. He kicked the can down the road on the country’s most pressing infrastructure needs that sustain our economy.
Trump’s tax cuts for the mega-rich helped billionaires. Trump’s 2017 tax bill giveaway cut the corporate income-tax rate from 35% to 21%. Trump claimed the cut would create a surge in capital spending and wages. Instead, many corporations used the windfall to buy back their stock—thus boosting their chief executives and stockholders’ net worth. Workers got shortchanged as usual, and taxpayers got saddled with trillions in debt.
Trump bloated the national debt to $26.8 trillion by overspending on the military and cutting taxes for the rich while ignoring other pressing priorities. It doesn’t look like he’s going to honor his 2016 pledge to reduce the national debt from $19.2 trillion to zero unless he can come up with $26.8 trillion next month. Maybe Mexico? His pre-Covid annual budget deficits ran $1 trillion per year.
Before the pandemic, Trump merely continued the downward trend in unemployment from the Obama presidency–and then ruined it because he’s incompetent. When President Obama took office, unemployment was 7.2%. Obama reduced it to 4.7%, a reduction of 2.5%. It hit a low of 3.5% under Trump, which is only a reduction of 1.2% since he took office. Thus, the unemployment figure improved more under President Obama–and he did it more responsibly. And, of course, now, about 10% of Americans are unemployed as a result of Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus.
In the final three years of his presidency, after President Obama dug us out of the Great Recession, we added an average of 227,000 jobs per month. Before the Trump-induced recession, we added an average of 191,000 new jobs every month. Thanks, Obama. We’re now losing about one million jobs per month as a result of the Maskless Wonder mismanaging the pandemic response.
Wages increased at a higher pace under President Obama (1.3%) than under Trump (.8%). Income inequality hit historic levels under Trump. It’s one of the reasons he continues to say that he has “done more for African-Americans and Hispanics than anyone in history.” When he fails, he puts the hyperbole in fifth gear to bury the truth, and then attacks the media for sharing facts.
Trump failed to reduce healthcare costs, which continue to drain people’s savings and negatively impact the economy. His signature healthcare achievement was his failed attempt to strip people of their coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Trump crippled businesses with his tariff policy and further alienated our trading partners. Thousands of U.S. companies are now suing him for harming their businesses through an unlawful escalation of a trade war.
Trump’s greatest achievement isn’t the economy; it’s that he convinced people it’s the economy.
Pew Research reports that the current composition of the electorate is 33% Democrat, 29% Republican, and 34% Independent. By energizing Independents and Democrats to volunteer, donate, and vote, especially in swing states like Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, we can win in November. And that would be a great achievement.