Morning in America Delivered by Democrats

Democratic presidents presided over higher stock market returns and corporate profits, greater compensation growth and productivity increases.


Author: Leo Gerard

Emphasis Mine

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.”

To hoist America up out of that bogus hellhole, Trump proposes the same tired-and-untrue tax- and regulation-cutting formula that Bush did. The one that actually did drop the country into a hellhole – the Wall Street collapse, massive foreclosures and high unemployment.

Trump offered yet another tax plan last week – the third of his campaign. This one, just like Bush’s, lavishes tax cuts on the rich. He would hack the 35 percent business tax rate to 15 percent. He would eliminate the estate tax paid only by the nation’s richest 0.2 percent. So, basically, Trump would cut taxes for himself – a 10 billionaire.

In Trump’s previous tax plan, low-income people, those in the lowest taxbracket, would have paid 10 percent, but now Trump makes them pay more. They’ll have to cough up 12 percent.

At the same time, Trump said, he’d eliminate all that pesky government regulation that’s getting in the way of business doing whatever it wants. So, for example, he’d abolish that annoying regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That’s the one that just fined Wells Fargo $100 million, part of a total of $185 million in penalties, for issuing credit cards and opening accounts without customers’ consent, sham accounts that customers learned about only after they started accumulating fees and damaging credit. Republicans like Trump have tried to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from the day Democrats created it.

By cutting taxes on the rich and letting businesses run roughshod over consumers, Trump claims he would create 25 million jobs over a decade. This is Reagan and Bush trickle-down economics. It worked great for the rich. They got richer and richer. It never worked for the rest. The rest always do better when there’s a Democrat in the White House, as there is now. The Census report issued last week showing progress on wages is testament to that. But there’s more. Far more.

Princeton economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson found in 2013 that since World War II, the economy performed significantly better under Democratic presidents, regardless of the measurement used. For example, Democratic presidents average 4.35 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. Under Republicans, it was 2.54 percent.

Democratic presidents presided over higher stock market returns and corporate profits, greater compensation growth and productivity increases.

Economist Steven Stoft analyzed 72 years of jobs data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, during which Democrats controlled the White House for 36 years and Republicans for 36 years. He found that 58 million jobs were created under Democrats and 26 million under Republicans. That means Democratic presidents created more than twice as many jobs.

Significantly, because Trump is telling African-Americans how horrible their lives and their communities and their schools are, and how great he would be as a Republican president for them, a study published by the American Political Science Association found that that over 35 years of Republican presidents, black unemployment rose 13.7 percent. On the other hand, over 22 years of  Democratic presidents, black unemployment fell 7.9 percent.

And here’s another noteworthy fact as Trump runs around claiming he’s going to bring manufacturing back, even though he manufactures his own signature suits and ties and shirts offshore in places like China and Mexico and Bangladesh: Democrats create manufacturing jobs; Republicans destroy them.

Bloomberg news service analyzed data from the past eight decades and found manufacturing jobs increased under each of the seven Democrats and decreased under the six Republican presidents.

Even as employment expanded, manufacturing jobs declined under Republican presidents. The largest losses occurred under Reagan and the two Bushes – an average of 9 percent.

Republicans are bad for jobs. They’re bad for manufacturing. They’re bad for the GDP in general. Trump’s 25 million job promise? Malarkey.

Moody’s Analytics looked at his tax, trade and immigration policies and projected they’d cause a recession and eliminate 3.5 million jobs. That was before he changed his mind on taxes again and released the third plan this week, but it’s virtually unchanged from the previous two, other than costing low-income people more.

Americans should reject Trump’s Republican trickle-down promises that have done nothing for workers in the past but swipe their cash and flood it up in torrents to billionaires like Trump.

Americans who want a job, a raise, improved GDP, more American manufacturing, better health insurance – just improved security in general – should look to the Democrats. They’ve got a long track record of actually delivering on those promises.

Leo W. Gerard is president of the United Steelworkers union. President Barack Obama appointed him to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. Follow him on Twitter @USWBlogger.


Trump Panic on the Right: They’ve Created This Monster—and Some Are Getting More Desperate to Find a Way Out

Hugh Hewitt wants to derail Trump by changing convention rules—but few are brave enough to join his fight.

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey / Flickr
Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Source: AlterNet

Author: Heather Digby Parton/Salon

Emphasis Mine

It seems odd that after an overwhelming litany of crude, demagogic insults over the course of the last year, Republican leaders have suddenly recognized that Donald Trump is a racist whose reckless rhetoric is likely to destroy the Republican Party. Evidently, the “Mexicans are rapists” comments in his announcement speech a year ago didn’t ring any alarm bells. But better late than never. Party leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both decided they needed to denounce his blatant bigotry, although they made clear it wasn’t a deal breaker. Better an unfit, racist, authoritarian megalomaniac than a Democrat in the White House. You go to Hades with the devil you have, not the devil you wished you had.

There have been a few prominent Republicans who have publicly withdrawn their endorsementsSenator Mark Kirk said he could no longer support Trump because he doesn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief. This has also been obvious for the last 12 months, but again, it’s to his credit that he’s belatedly decided that it’s a disqualifying characteristic. He’s decided to write in the name of General David Petraeus, which he may want to re-think considering the news this week that Petraeus was not only found guilty of “mishandling” classified information by sharing it with his mistress, he also shared Top Secret information with reporters. It’s really tough finding a decent Republican to vote for these days.

Other GOP officials are in various stages of panic, and Trump tried to calm them with his stiff, unconvincing speech on Tuesday night without much success. But he was unrepentant and unimpressed. Before he gave the speech he let the New York Times know exactly what he thinks of his fellow Republicans:

“Politicians are so politically correct anymore, they can’t breathe,” Mr. Trump said in an interview Tuesday afternoon as fellow Republicans forcefully protested his ethnically charged criticism of a federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against the defunct Trump University.

“The people are tired of this political correctness when things are said that are totally fine,” he said during an interlude in a day of exceptional stress in the Trump campaign. “It is out of control. It is gridlock with their mouths.”

All of this has led to a new sense of urgency in the #NeverTrump camp, even though the pipe dream of knocking Trump off his recently acquired throne is as unlikely as ever. Joe Scarborough, formerly a huge Trump booster, was nearly hysterical on Wednesday, saying:

“Donald, guess what, I’m not going to support you until you get your act together. You’re acting like bush-league loser, you’re acting like a racist, you’re acting like a bigot … Until you … prove to me you’re not a bigot and you don’t take my party down in the ditch, you don’t have my endorsement.

It is in your hands on whether you are going to prove to the Republican Party and me personally that you’re not a bigot. Don’t use Hillary Clinton as an excuse, as your blank check to say racist things about [a judge] born in Indiana. No, Donald, you don’t get to play it that way.”

Radio and TV pundit Hugh Hewitt was one of the first right-wing media personalities to expose Trump’s gross lack of knowledge about world affairs when he asked him about the Iranian Quds force on his radio show and Trump clearly had no clue what he was talking about. Nonetheless, Hewitt promised to support Trump if he became the nominee and has stuck with him as he demonstrated his unfitness for office over and over again. But the racist attack on the federal judge has put him over the edge and he is now suggesting that the GOP must do something drastic: change the rules of the convention and give the nomination to someone else. He was so overwrought he exploded with crazed mixed metaphors on Wednesday saying, “it’s like ignoring stage-four cancer. You can’t do it, you gotta go attack it. And right now the Republican Party is facing—the plane is headed towards the mountain after the last 72 hours.”

Trump supporters were not amused…

But if they don’t ban Hewitt from the convention and take his suggestion seriously, which some people seem to be doing, who could possibly step inPaul Ryan, everybody’s favorite blue-eyed dream boat, has said he will not do it. And as noted, he doesn’t believe Trump’s racism—or any other of his pathological personality characteristics—are deal breakers in the first place, so he’s out. Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard wrote an open letter to Mitt Romney to run as an independent, but there’s little reason to think he’d go along with seizing the Republican nomination from Trump at the convention and even less reason to think the delegates would want him to. But there is one possibility that has the political world aflutter: the Great Whitebread Hope himself, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. There was a time when he was lauded as the most formidable Republican in the land, a Harley driving, union busting, tax cutting superman destined for the White House. Then he ran for president and showed himself to be a dud of epic proportions. He proved himself to be uninformed, boring and amateurish and ran through his millions in big donor money in record time. By the end of September he was gone, the first of the “Deep Bench” superstars to drop out. Apparently, he’s tanned, rested and ready to rumble. After months of tweeting his lunch orders and informing his followers he got a haircut, he’s back in the game:

And this comment to a Wisconsin radio station sent a frisson of anticipation through the Never Trumpers:

He’s not yet the nominee. Officially that won’t happen until the middle of July, and so for me that’s kind of the timeframe. In particular I want to make sure that he renounces what he says, at least in regards to this judge.

Or else what?

The problem with this scenario is that these elite Republicans are failing to take something very important into consideration: their voters. It’s certainly possible that they are in danger of losing some faction of the party over Trump’s repugnant behavior. But there is little reason to believe it’s a majority. This week, millions of them went to the polls and voted for him even though he had already won the nomination. Granted, he’s not the electoral juggernaut he pretends to be, but he is the legitimate winner of the Republican nomination and his voters will not take kindly to having their wishes ignored.

Moreover, the Republican rank and file doesn’t agree with the premise that Trump is out of bounds in the first place. This YouGov survey done after Trump made his bigoted comments about the judge show 81 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of independents believe they were racist. But only 22 percent of Republicans agree. In other words, 78 percent of GOP voters are just fine with Trump and seem to agree with his statement that “people are tired of this political correctness when things are said that are totally fine.”

Scott Walker’s ill-fated campaign fizzled so early in the primary process that he never faced the voters. His performances in the debates were rated dead last in every poll. The fact that Republicans are contemplating pulling him out of mothballs in the vain hope that he, of all people, will be able to vanquish Trump at the convention is so desperate you almost have to feel sorry for them. But then you remember that they created this monster and deserve what they’re getting. Let’s just hope they don’t somehow manage to take the rest of us down with them.

Heather Digby Parton, also known as “Digby,” is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.