In reply to my recent guest column on the “New Democrats,” some believe that Trump’s economic policies have benefited mainly the rich. Trump’s tax reforms and deregulation have raised wages and driven unemployment to record lows. 

Here are some demographic data on wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

During the first eleven quarters of Trump’s presidency, for the bottom 10% of earners over age 25, wages rose an average of 5.9%.  This compares with increases of only 2.4% during Obama’s entire second term.  

Wages increased 3.2% for the middle two quartiles under Trump, whereas under Obama from 2012 to 2016 increases were 2.2 to 2.7%. 

For those without a high school diploma, wages increased at an annual rate of 6.1%, and 3.9% for those with some college.  This is three times higher than under Obama’s second term. 

Wages have increased 5.8% for teens, 4.4% for ages 20 to 24, and 4.8% for ages 25 to 34. Also, under Trump, the 20.8% poverty rate for Blacks and 17.6% for Hispanics is the lowest on record.  

The Council of Economic Advisors reports that from the end of 2016 through the first half of 2019, the net wealth of the top 1% of households rose 13%, minuscule compared to the 47% increase by the bottom 50% of households.   

Other data also show that Trump’s economic policies have significantly helped the middle and lower classes.  

On a separate topic, in one of the early Democrat debates the candidates were asked if illegal border crossings should be decriminalized.   

Virtually all raised their hand in agreement.  To be specific, Democrat candidates Booker, Warren, Steyer, Sanders and Buttigieg are in favor of decriminalization.  

It is common sense that decriminalizing illegal border crossings means we would have open borders. One Democrat, Robert Francis O’Rourke (Beto), said that the border wall should be torn down.      

 

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(3) comments

Stephen Baird

The major talking point of Trump supporters is 'look at the economy'. The economic growth is an extension of what was already happening under the Obama administration. And the tax cut definitely was primarily a gift to the wealthy. Now for other issues:

1) Health Care - Trump and the Republicans get an F; their actions under the radar lead to increases in the average premium of 23% in 2017 and 32% in 2018. I can document exactly why their actions caused this. Now we have large numbers of very bad, low cost plans being sold to the unsuspecting consumer as a result of the Trump administration allowing short term plans to last an entire year.

2) Global warming and climate change - the theory and the evidence is all there. All reputable climate scientists support the theory. The last decade featured 8 of the hottest years on record. Scientists can attribute more violent storms and flooding to the warming of the seas. Yet Trump backed out of the International Climate Change Agreement and propped up the coal industry to get votes. No amount of help to the coal industry will enable it to be competitive with natural gas and renewable energy. Trump's score: F

3) Middle East - Withdrawal of our troops from Syria without any prior planning and against the advice of our Military led to many lost lives (the Kurds) and left them in no-mans land. They are being persecuted in Syria and the Turks won't let them cross their border. The so-called Mid-East plan for Israel and the Palestinians is a non-starter and was strictly a political move to distract from the impeachment trial.

Withdrawing from the Iran Agreement was incredible dumb. Nothing was achieved except that now the Iranians are moving full speed ahead towards nuclear weapons.

4) As a result of the tax cut, benefiting the wealthy and stock owners, our deficit will increase by 2 trillion over the next 10 years. Trickle-down has never worked and those supporting that plan lied as they knew that. Where are the complaints from the Tea Party - hypocrites. The next step planned by the Republicans - cut Social Security and Medicare for our children and grandchildren to make for the tax cut deficit. Trump boasted during the 2016 campaign that he would balance the budget in 5 years and also stated repeatedly that he would not touch Social Security and Medicare.

Immigration: This is a difficult issue and both parties deserve some blame. However, the Trump approach is way off the mark. The vast majority of refugees are not sneaking in. They are turning themselves in at the border. We need to bolster our court system so it can handle many more cases and been much more humane in our treatment of the refugees.

Quincy Adams

Show your sources of information that backs up these claims. If I was to guess, this is it.

https://www.westernjournal.com/bottom-half-households-nearly-50-richer-trump/

This is total bunk. An extreme right wing “News” source that lies as often as Trump.

In any event I have two comments on this propaganda.

The predominant reason why lower incomes made larger percentage gains was from local and state increases in minimum wages, not the Federal minimum wage, which is still stuck at 7.25. Nothing to do with Trump. David Brooks made the same "mistake" in his recent column in the NYT. States, in recent years, have taken it upon themselves to raise minimum wages quite a bit, which takes precedence over the Federal minimum. And you certainly don’t hear Republicans rallying behind paying higher minimum wages.

As far as the bottom 50%’s net wealth increasing 47% vs the top 1%’s “minuscule” 13% wealth increase. That is bunk as well. The top 1% owns around 40% of all the wealth in America. In contrast, the bottom 50% of the population owns a whopping 1%.

The stock market has risen over 30% during the time frame cited. The top 10% of the population owns over 84% of the entire US stock market. The bottom 80% of the population owns a minuscule 7%. The bottom 50% much less that that.

Btw, Are you still pushing the false notion that 1998 is the hottest year on record and proves global warming is a hoax? You may want to pass that gem along to Trump. He could use it.

Jack McKinney

How about some figures for the cost of health care? National debt? Wage rates alone do not tell the whole story.

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