#IVITEB – I’m voting in this election because…
#9 – Coronavirus, anemic economy & general malaise – we are decidedly NOT better off
I’m voting in this election because… the answer to the only question that really matters is a resounding NO!
Ronald Reagan asked the question of voters during a 1980 debate against incumbent President Jimmy Carter, and while I’m loath to repeat anything Reagan said, the question is germane to the 2020 election:
“Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”
The answer is the same now as it was then:
Here’s why –
Covid-19 has killed more than 231,000 U.S. citizens already. Experts say it’s possible we could lose at least that number again between now and the end of the year if more people don’t start doing what is necessary to slow its spread – wear masks, social distance, wash hands.
Many of the people who refuse to do the right thing also will argue that coronavirus was not Trump’s fault and, therefore, he doesn’t deserve the blame for what it’s done to the USA. They’re wrong.
While Trump might not have created the virus, his actions and inactions have cost hundreds of thousands of American lives. His mishandling of the federal response to the pandemic, and the pressure he put on governors to mishandle it in the same manner, have been grievous at best, criminal at worst.
And one of the greatest ironies is that if Trump had done the right things at the beginning, our economy would already be on a path of true and lasting recovery.
It’s the economy, stupid!
Remember that one?
As the story goes, James Carville coined the phrase, or at least popularized it, during the 1992 election campaign that pitted his boss, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, against incumbent President George H.W. Bush. The nation was in the midst of a recession, and The Ragin’ Cajun used the phrase to keep Clinton campaigners on message.
Well, it’s the economy, stupid! All over again.
And we’re not talking about the stock market, which is not a measure of how regular, workaday Americans are doing.
The fact is, approximately 25 percent of U.S. citizens lost jobs due to Trump’s idiotic and selfish nonresponse. Now he wants to take credit for “job growth” that is little more than recovery of a portion of everything that was lost on his watch. Doesn’t work that way. Further, at least 12.6 million people are still unemployed, and that figure does not take into account people who were forced to leave their jobs to care for kids during school closures or who left because of underlying health conditions. They could add another 5 million to the total.
Meanwhile, Trump’s and GOP enablers’ tax breaks to the richest of the rich aren’t working. Not that they were ever intended to “work” for anyone who actually works for a living, anyway. The people who make up the 99% are getting screwed. Again.
Bottom line – the economy sucks.
It will only get worse if Trump gets another term, along with the plight of earners like you and me.
Moving forward, the “cuts” become tax increases for most of us. As a Nobel laureate in economics wrote in The New York Times, “All taxpayer income groups with incomes of $75,000 and under — that’s about 65 percent of taxpayers — will face a higher tax rate in 2027 than in 2019. For most, in fact, it’s a delayed tax increase dressed up as a tax cut.”
Coronavirus and a horrific economy. Combined, they lead to something even more lethal for an incumbent:
I believe the majority of Americans are sick and tired of Trump’s chaos, lying and baseless misdirections. We’re disgusted with how things are right now. We’re angry that this administration has systematically attacked, and in some cases destroyed, the institutions and norms that protect our democratic system. We don’t want to be pitied by other nations anymore. And, finally, we want to regain decency, dignity and integrity that have guided most U.S. presidents for most of our history.
In short, we want to change.
Nope. Not Better Off.
These are the principal reasons the USA is in much worse shape and regular people are much worse off compared to four years ago.
They are why I’m voting in this election.
They are why you should vote in this election, too.
#VoteBidenHarris | #VoteBlueDownBallot
Please be sure to read the other posts in the #IVITEB series on IV Words:
#1 – The Climate Crisis
#2 – Women’s Rights
#3 – Criminal Justice Reform
#4 – I Am a Progressive
#5 – Guns Are Killing U.S.
#6 – Workers’ Rights & Protections
#7 – Voting IS Our Duty
#8 – Attacks on Press Must Stop
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Featured image by Nick Fewings via Unsplash