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September 30, 2023

Letter: Which party is better for America?

Polls leading up to the recent election reported much of the public thinks the Republican Party handles the economy better. That’s not my opinion after reading “Letters from an American,” a daily newsletter from Heather Cox Richardson, professor of American History who has taught at Boston College, MIT and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jobs—Richardson reported that since Joe Biden took office, America added 10 million jobs, almost 700,000 in manufacturing. And companies are continuing to invest in new industries, like chip manufacturing and storage batteries for electric vehicles  

Unemployment—Under the Democrats the rate has dropped to 3.7%, under Donald Trump it reached an all-time high of 14.70. 

Infrastructure—Across America, roads, airports, bridges and ports are being rebuilt. 

The Deficit—Despite the Democrats’ spending to invest in America, the federal deficit this year fell by $1.4 trillion—the largest-ever decline. In contrast, the deficit climbed every year of Trump’s presidency; the Republicans added $400 billion to the deficit by giving a $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and corporations. In fact, Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have exploded deficits, while Democrats have brought them down. Reagan increased the deficit from $70 billion to $175 billion, George H.W. Bush took it to $300 billion. Then Bill Clinton got the deficit to zero, but George W. Bush took it back up to $1.2 trillion. Barack Obama cut that back to $600 billion. Trump’s tax cuts sent it skyrocketing by almost $7.8 trillion, even before pandemic spending sent it higher still. 

Taxes—Under the Congressional Republican plan, they will repeal Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provisions that require large profitable corporations to pay taxes and stop wealthy people and corporations from cheating on their taxes. This is expected to add up to $3 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy, so Americans with incomes over $4 million per year would get tax cuts averaging over $110,000 per year.

Medical Care—The GOP Plan is to repeal Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices (made possible by Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act), and cut Medicare and Social Security. They would eliminate the $2,000 cap on drug costs, repealing IRA improvements to the Affordable Care Act premium that would raise health insurance premiums by an average of about $800 for 13 million people starting next year, resulting in about 3 million people becoming uninsured.

Climate Change—They also plan to eliminate tax credits that will save Americans thousands of dollars if they buy an electric vehicle, weatherize their homes, install a super-efficient heating and cooling system, install rooftop solar, or make other investments to cut their energy usage.

Even if you put aside the turmoil caused by election deniers, the radical shifting of Republican Party policies, the racist and hateful rhetoric, the insurrection at the Capitol, the criminal charges against the former President and his business—which party is better for America?

Phill Laursen


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