Nine years after the Great Recession began during the tax- and regulation-slashing Bush administration, some startlingly good economic news arrived from Washington, D.C., last week.
The incomes of typical Americans rose in 2015 by 5.2 percent, the first significant boost to middle-class pay since the end of the Great Recession, and the largest, in percentage terms, ever recorded by the Census Bureau. In addition, the poverty rate fell 1.2 percentage points, the steepest decline since 1968. Also smaller were the numbers of Americans without health insurance and suffering food insecurity.
That sounds good, right? Especially after all it took to pull out of the Bush recession. During the month Bush left office, 818,000 Americans lost their jobs. Unemployment increased to 10 percent before President Obama’s stimulus programs started ratcheting it down to the current 4.9 percent. Now, wages are beginning to rise again. It seems like an event that Ronald Reagan might call morning in America. But not the current Republican nominee. Trump says, “This country is a hellhole, and we’re going down fast.”
Can we have a word? I continue to hear from many of you who say you won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because, you claim, (1) she’s no better than Donald Trump, or (2) even if she’s better, she’s still corrupt, and you refuse to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” or (3) you don’t want to reward the Democratic Party for corrupt primaries that gave the nomination to Hillary instead of Bernie Sanders.
Please allow me to respond.
(1) Anyone who equates Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton hasn’t been paying attention. Trump is a dangerous, bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac with fascist tendencies who could wreak huge damage on America and the world. Hillary isn’t perfect but she’s able and experienced. There is simply no comparison.
(2) Even if you see Hillary Clinton as the “lesser of two evils,” the greater of two evils in this case (if you see the choice in these terms) is seriously evil. You’ve probably had occasion in the past to vote for someone who doesn’t meet your ideals, when the alternative is someone who falls much further from those ideals. This doesn’t mean you’ve sold out or compromised your principles. You’ve just been realistic and practical. Realism and practicality are critically important now.More ...
For months, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had distanced himself from his own tax plan, released during the primary campaign, and promised to put out a new version. He finally followed through on that promise last week, releasing details as part of what he called an “economic policy package.”
But while Trump had originally disavowed his own proposal because he wanted to give the middle class a bigger benefit, his new plan ends up doing the opposite.
In May, he was asked about analyses that found most of the tax cuts went to the richest 1 percent of Americans. “I will say this, and I’m not necessarily a huge fan of that,” he responded. “I’m so much more into the middle class who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country.”
Later he said of the new plan that the wealthy would end up paying more, while under his new plan, “Everybody’s getting a tax cut, especially the middle class.”
But the new plan is out, as is a new analysis from the Tax Foundation. And it does not find this to be the case.More ...