Today is the second day of data driven arguments for voting and certainly not for Trump or his enablers. Tomorrow’s article with be more emotionally driven. Let’s continue to explore.
Trump likes to tout how he lowered taxes. He did. As I among many others predicted it didn’t improve the economy. The tax cuts disproportionally went to the people who need a passport to visit their money and big business. If you want to jump start the economy you increase consumer demand. The easiest way to increase consumer demand is to give the consumers at the lowest economic levels more money. It is simple – they spend it and quickly.
I call Trump’s big tax cut (and contrary to what he says it is not the biggest in American history) the Trump Tower Tax Cut because you had to be able to afford to live in Trump Tower to really benefit from it. It was less a tax cut than a redistribution of wealth from the lowest ranks to the top. To the average American worker it was worth $6.21 a week. If you were supporting a family of four on that paycheck, depending on where you live, that might pay for a visit to McDonalds once a month. In other words for most Americans it was far from a game changer.
The promised additional jobs never materialized because, as predicted, big business used the windfall to buy back stocks. (Remember the top 10% owns 84% of the shares.) In fact many of the businesses that most benefited from the Trump Tower Tax Cut also received the bulk of the federal stimulus money to weather the pandemic. That is a classic example of the current day Republican mantra: Privatize the profits and socialize the losses.
I’m a farmer and the Republican watch out for my interests
Trump started a crazy trade war with China that has only hurt Americans, particularly the farmer.
Despite Trump’s repeated lies (I can no longer call it rhetoric) to the contrary, consumers pay tariffs. It is simple, when you increase the cost of a good or service the cost is passed along to the final consumer. Trump’s trade war made imported goods more expensive for American consumers. Obviously there has not been a huge uptick in consumer demand for “replacement” American goods. If there was where are the resulting jobs?
I’m a city boy and have never lived on nor worked a farm. However I can read, analyze statistics and know a bit about economics and business. American farmers spent decades cultivating relationships with Chinese customers. After Trump’s declaration of a trade war China’s first reaction was to impose retaliatory tariffs on American (mainly agricultural) products thereby raising their price to the Chinese customers. Since farm products are largely commodities the Chinese customers simply went to other suppliers leaving American farmers in a bad situation. The farmer took a double hit compared to the city dweller; they lost income and like their city cousins were forced to pay higher costs on effected consumer goods like washing machines.
There were some “welfare” programs the federal government provided to farmers. They were inadequate, certainly not a long-term solution and insulting. In many cases the benefits did not cover the losses. A handout is not a long-term solution. In particular farmers are a hearty, self-sufficient lot. They work hard and take pride in being self-sufficient. They want an opportunity, not a handout. They view a handout as demeaning.
We always hear about the family farm and even semi-ignorant city boys have a soft spot and respect for the family farmer. The real insult in the relief program was that the vast majority of the money went to corporate not family farms.
We are a military family
Trump talks a good game about being pro-military and pro-veteran; the reality is very different. In the interest of brevity I’ll just use three examples.
During the 2016 campaign Trump made a big deal of staging a “telethon” in direct conflict with a debate he bailed out of. (Anything sound familiar about that?) The beneficiaries of the event were veterans’ organizations. During it he made a show of personally pledging $1 million. He attempted to welch on the deal (like so many business deals in his past). He only paid up after David Farenthold of the Washington Post ran a series of articles calling his lie out.
This year it was reported and verified that he called dead veterans “Losers” and “Suckers”. If you or your kid is in the military do you think that you, he or she is either?
Again it was widely reported and there appears to be proof that Russia put and paid a bounty on the heads of US service members killed in the Afghanistan. In several subsequent conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin Trump didn’t even broach the subject. When questioned about it Trump just said he didn’t believe the reports.
I grew up working class on that line between upper lower class and lower middle class. Not poor but far from wealthy. I remember my elders continually telling me that if you have your health you have everything. My ethnic heritage is Polish. I have an extremely limited vocabulary and it will be to the surprise of few that it includes several dirty words. One of the interesting things is that many dirty words in Polish are not at all dirty when translated directly to English. The dirtiest word I know directly translates to disease.
Over 50 times the Republicans have tried to repeal Obamacare (a/k/a the ACA) in the Congress. The closet they came to success was under Trump when the late John McCain saved the program. As of this writing they are challenging the ACA in the Supreme Court with the Trump administration asking for its repeal. In fact that appears to be one of the reasons they rushed the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.
Obamacare has only grown in popularity since its inception and one of its most popular features is the guarantee of coverage without a premium increase for those with pre-exiting conditions. That is understandable since some 129 million non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing condition. Statistically it is almost impossible for you not to either be one of them or have someone in your extended family that is.
Trump and his sycophants continually talk about their replacement plan that will have all of Obamacare’s features and more at a lower cost. I know malarkey when I hear it. If they had such a plan they would have revealed it years ago and be “shouting it from the mountains”.
I could go on but it’s time to wrap up. Be selfish and help yourself and your family. (Trump and his minions aren’t going to help you!) Unless you are very wealthy and you and your family are healthy and immune from disease vote in your self-interest, vote for Democrats.
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