In a column for Washington Monthly, Annie Kim suggested that Donald Trump will likely be handcuffed by his own economic policies as he attempts to deal with the collapse of the U.S. economy in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic that raged out of control on his watch.
With close to 40 million Americans now unemployed and the president’s administration pumping trillions into the economy to keep the country afloat as businesses shutter, Kim suggested that Trump is in a major bind of his own making that could cost him re-election.
Noting that the president has already taken to boasting “Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back,” as businesses slowly restart opening after shutdown orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the columnist stated that the reality on the ground is quite different.
“For all his cheerleading, Trump is unlikely to get the kind of robust rebound he’s hoping for—in large part due to sabotage inflicted by his own policies,” she wrote. “Thanks to his administration’s early and ongoing failures to address the coronavirus outbreak, much of the nation still lacks the testing and contact tracing infrastructure necessary to control the virus’s inevitable resurgence. Mixed messaging from federal and state officials and patchwork guidance from location to location have also heightened the anxiety for Americans, most of whom remain reluctant to leave their homes.”
Complicating the president’s desire for a rapid economic recovery are his own fiscal policies put in place during his three and a half years in office.
“Another handicap will be the fragility of the American economy, brought upon by the Trump’s pre-pandemic fiscal recklessness. When the president assumed office in an emerging recovery from the Great Recession, he had a golden opportunity to shore up the nation’s fiscal reserves and invest in its economic resilience,” she explained. “Instead, he pushed through one of the largest corporate tax cuts in history, padding the bank balances of billionaires while miring the rest of the nation in eye-watering levels of debt. As a consequence, America entered the Covid-19 pandemic already financially crippled. Now, in the face of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, it is ill-positioned to aid its citizens, let alone rebuild for the future.”
Trump’s signing of the 2017 tax bill that “permanently slashed the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent,” is proving to be the biggest mistake of his presidency now that country has been ravaged the health crisis, she explains.
“At the time, Republicans touted the measure as a bonanza for job growth and worker wages. Predictably, however, companies didn’t respond to the tax cuts by creating more jobs. Instead, they engaged in a record-breaking number of stock buybacks to pump up share prices, while most of the individual tax breaks benefited the nation’s wealthiest families,” she wrote. “The only thing the legislation really accomplished was to blow a crater-sized hole in the federal budget, which until then had seen six straight years of declining deficits under President Barack Obama.”
“Since the passage of the first tranche of coronavirus relief bills, including the CARES Act, the federal budget deficit is projected to reach a whopping 17.9 percent of GDP this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a level unmatched since World War II. Public debt, meanwhile, will exceed the size of the entire economy, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB),” she elaborated, before adding, “Rather than tax cuts for corporations and the very rich, Trump could have pumped more resources into the nation’s workforce development and adjustment programs. That would have been beneficial no matter what, but it would have cushioned the blow of disruption for the more than 36 million Americans now unemployed since mid-March. He could have restored our infrastructure for public health, so that the nation could in fact have “the best testing in the world,” not just his empty boast to that effect. He could also have continued to pay down the national debt and built a rainy-day reserve for crises precisely like the one we’re facing now.”
“As badly bungled as his pandemic response has been, Trump’s pre-pandemic policies and priorities will prove equally destructive,” she wrote before concluding, “The result: Whenever the pandemic ends, America’s convalescence will be long and slow.”
You can read more here.
America is on pace for record-shattering early voter turnout — including in critical states: report
On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.
"Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic," said the report.
15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.
Kayleigh McEnany ridiculed for Leslie Stahl stunt: ‘You people are so bad at this’
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared a tweet Tuesday with an image of her handing Lesley Stahl a book on President Donald J. Trump's accomplishments on health care. Kayleigh wrote, "She couldn't believe how HUGE it was and said, 'I can hardly lift this!!"
The reactions on social media rolled in from there.
Is this English? pic.twitter.com/q6i7Ifjy5l
— NostraDonny (@Nostradonny) October 20, 2020
‘Trump is too stupid to realize he may get to his most feared number on COVID-19 deaths’: Keith Olbermann
Host and progressive paragon Keith Olbermann has been issuing "worst person in the world" videos in which he makes a new case each week that President Donald Trump is the worst person and why.
He began by citing that COVID-19 is continuing to surge, with the astounding number of just over a 30 percent increase in the past two weeks. In Texas, hospitalizations are up 35 percent in as many weeks. Even the first lady can't get over her symptoms of the virus
"We could be just a month -- perhaps just days -- away from the exact same nightmarish, healthcare scenes and draconian closures and even lockdowns that snuck up on the proactively stupid, the psychotically self-absorbed, and the criminally negligent murders -- you know, on Donald Trump," he explained.