The claims the writer of the Oct. 7 letter made about “what the GOP stands for” can be summed up in two words: alternate reality.
His first claim of “building a robust economy” is not supported by economic data. Consider the following facts reported in an Aug. 20, 2019, Washington Post article:
The economy is growing at about the same pace as it did in President Obama’s last years in office.
While unemployment is historically low, the rate has been falling steadily since 2011, making it difficult to see much difference after Trump took office.
Government debt and the trade deficit (a central part of Trump’s 2016 campaign rhetoric) are steadily climbing due to his tax cuts and increased government spending.
On job growth, Trump has yet to top Obama — more than 250,000 jobs in 2014 and 227,000 in 2015.
Trump’s trade war has weakened the temporary economic growth experienced in 2018 following the implementation of his tax cuts and deregulatory actions.
At about the three year point in Obama’s presidency, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 46 percent vs. 25 percent for Trump.
Obama left the White House recording one of the best stock market gains of any president in modern history.
Trump’s tax cuts helped boost job growth in manufacturing in 2018, but his tariffs have sent the industry into a “technical recession” in 2019 – 22,000 jobs gained per month in 2018 compared to 8,000 in 2019.
Although average hourly pay initially increased under Trump, wage growth is stalling in 2019.
While there was a slight bounce in business spending in 2018, it has since plunged. Corporate leaders say they are weary of the trade war.
According to a JP Morgan forecast, tariffs could cost U.S. families up to $1,000 per year.
Since Trump took office, the U.S. has added $2 trillion in new federal debt. He campaigned on eliminating the federal debt in eight years.
According to data compiled from Jan. 2018 to August 2019 by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland — a coalition of businesses and trade groups that oppose tariffs — tariffs imposed by Trump have cost corporations $34 billion.
Regarding trade wars, farmers throughout the U.S. are in deep financial trouble because of Trump’s great trade negotiations. They have corn and soybeans they cannot sell for a price that pays for production, much less make a profit. Farm loan defaults are at an all time high.
Even beef producers are being hurt by Trump policies that allow beef from other countries to be labeled as U.S. beef if it is processed here.
Regarding international relations, Trump and the Republicans have been a disaster. There is no “revitalized” relationship with Israel — only Trump supporting a politician under investigation for corruption.
Never before has a U.S. president been laughed at when addressing the UN. Trump has alienated most of our allies while praising dictators like Putin and Kim Jong-Un.
The claim that Trump is “the most transparent President the nation has had in decades” is perhaps the most delusional statement in the Oct. 7 letter. If he is so transparent, where are his tax returns? He is the only president since 1974 who has not released multiple years of their tax records. What’s he hiding?
While other presidents have kept detailed records of their activity with foreign leaders, his dealings are kept secret. On Sept 27, the White House admitted that a conversation between Trump and the Ukrainian president had been moved to a private, top secret server.
Perhaps the only thing transparent about Trump is that what comes out of his mouth is totally unfiltered.
The sad truth is that Republicans seem caught up in an alternate fact universe of spin and illusion.
Trump is a rogue president who only trusts his own instincts and conducts the affairs of state with his thumbs. By all appearances, there is no official White House news source — only his tweets.
ABC News reported in September 2019 that the White House had not held a press briefing in six months.
Republicans keep calling Democrats hateful, but the only hate out there is being spewed from the White House. Democrats are not hateful — they are fearful that our country is becoming a Rogue Nation with a president who is mentally ill. Democrats everywhere are praying that rational Republicans will wake up and take their party back from the fringe group that is Trump’s base.
Myrna Campbell is the chairwoman of the Haywood County Democratic Party. She lives in Waynesville.