According to a wave of recent polls, the economy is the dominant issue on the minds of Americans as they prepare for next week’s election.
A recent Pew poll found that nearly eight in 10 voters said the economy would be “very important” to their voting decisions. Another such poll, conducted by ABC News and Ipsos, showed that nearly half of respondents cite the economy or inflation as the issue that worries them most. The poll said concerns about the economy and inflation are “much more likely to push voters toward Republicans.”
But this impulse is not only rash, every available piece of evidence clearly shows that the GOP is not the right party to turn to if you are looking for better US economic performance in the future.
In fact, it’s not close. When it comes to the economy, the GOP is the problem, not the solution. On the contrary, it is a greater obstacle to our economic well-being today than it has ever been.
At the same time, the economic record of President Joe Biden and the Democrats is not only consistent – in terms of job creation, deficit reduction and improving our competitiveness – over the past two years, their balance sheet has been extraordinary, often record. Hit.
The story tells a very hard story. Ten of the last 11 recessions started under Republicans. The one that began under former President Donald Trump and the current GOP leadership was the worst since the Great Depression — and while perhaps any president presiding over a pandemic could have seen the economy suffer, mismanagement Trump’s blatant response to COVID-19 has clearly and significantly deepened the problems facing the US economy. Meanwhile, historically, Democratic administrations have overseen recoveries from these Republican lows. In the seven decades before Trump, real GDP growth averaged just over 2.5% under Republicans and just over 4.3% under Democrats.
Republicans have also historically presided over huge expansions of the US deficit, while Democrats (since the administration of Bill Clinton) have overseen dramatic deficit reduction. Ronald Reagan more than doubled the deficit from $70 billion to over $175 billion. George HW Bush nearly doubled that amount to $290 billion. Clinton ended his administration with a surplus of $128.2 billion.
George W. Bush inherited it…and left office with a record deficit of over $1.4 trillion. Obama cut that by nearly $1 trillion. Each of Donald Trump’s last two years in office has seen federal budgets run deficits of more than $3 trillion. In fact, in total, the national debt grew by nearly $8 trillion during Trump’s tenure. According to ProPublica, it was the third largest such increase in US history, after George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War years.
What about job creation?
The United States lost jobs under Trump and created relatively few under George W. Bush. Of the 14 presidents since World War II, seven have been Democrats and seven Republicans. Of the seven with the highest job creation rates, six were Democrats. Of the seven with the lowest job creation rates, six were Republicans.
And now? Biden and the current Democratic Congress have created more jobs than the last three Republican administrations combined.
The rate of job creation in 2021 was the highest on record in a single year. GDP growth in 2021 was the highest since 1984. This year, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, its lowest level in 50 years. Within this, we see record high unemployment for blacks and Latinos.
Ok, you might say, but what about inflation?
Rising prices are a real problem for many Americans. But the origins of inflation have very little to do with the Biden administration or Congress. Inflation is a global problem that is linked, economists say, mainly to supply chain problems associated with COVID, the escalation of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and corporate profits.
What makes the Republican focus on this issue so outrageously hypocritical is that Trump’s mishandling of the COVID crisis, his support for Putin, and the Republicans’ protection of big oil (and big business) have actually helped create the conditions that pushed prices up. Additionally, Republicans have unanimously opposed all measures taken by the Biden administration to reduce prices and help those affected by inflation, including the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic efforts to reduce drug costs and help those hardest hit.
Meanwhile, the United States just posted stronger-than-expected growth in the last quarter and gasoline prices, an oft-cited sign of inflation, have been falling for months.
At the same time, a substantial majority within the GOP has sought to block virtually all new economic measures proposed or passed by Biden and the Democratic Congress. This includes the America Recovery Act which lifted millions out of poverty and spurred job creation, the Chips and Science Act to improve competitiveness, and even the so-called “Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill” which raised the support of less than half of the GOP caucus in the Senate.
You might assume that if the GOP opposed these moves but criticized what Biden was doing, they had alternative plans that they presented to the American people. But you would be wrong. In fact, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has bragged about not discussing his platform until after the election. They don’t have an inflation plan. And the plans they said they admired – like that of UK Prime Minister for a second, Liz Truss – were a disaster.
The last time Republicans were in power, during the Trump years, they passed precisely important economic legislation, a tax cut that benefited the very wealthy at the expense of everyone else and, as we have established, helped blow up the federal budget deficit.
Republicans are just bad at managing the economy. They have been for as long as anyone can remember. And they continue to be, albeit reaching new levels of cynicism and obstructionism never before seen, which make the current crowd of Republicans look even worse than their highly unsuccessful predecessors.
History and data clearly show that Democrats are good for the economy, while Republicans, especially current Republicans in Congress, are not.
Republicans then consider cutting Medicare and Social Security, raising costs for average Americans on a wide variety of fronts, and they’re even considering cutting support for Ukraine, at a critical time in his war to defend his democracy. and stop Russian aggression that threatens not only them, but the West.
The Republicans have done a great job of tricking voters into believing that their simplistic economic philosophies of tax cuts and minimal regulation are “good for business.” But facts, history and logic show otherwise.
If you care about the economy, want to fight inflation, want to create jobs, want a better life for your family, want to preserve democracy and want to defend your basic rights, then you should vote for the democrats.
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