On the economy: We’ve embarked on an unprecedented binge of deficit-financed stimulus in good times. In just the past fiscal year the deficit ballooned by an extra $300 B, far more than foreseen. That’s a great stimulus for the election, but it will be a long, cold winter.
Erratic tariff policy is already causing layoffs and market swings, with the major impact delayed until after the election. George Bush’s 2002 steel tariffs cost 200,000 jobs; this time effects will go much wider. And there is no pot of gold from these trade wars.
Finally we’re setting ourselves up for the very considerable economic consequences of ignoring climate change.
On personal welfare: Last year’s attack on ACA showed no commitment to do anything serious about healthcare—other than remove the progressive tax that funds it.
The huge business tax cuts have produced no wage increases beyond inflation (and no jump in business investment either). Further those tax cuts have left no room for education, infrastructure, or social services, leading to recent plans to cut Medicare and Social Security.
Supreme Court justices were chosen to fight unions and satisfy the moral pretensions of the evangelical right. Roe v Wade is only the beginning.
On freedom: We’ve had ongoing and increasingly brutal attacks on truth and the media. Trump’s attempts to control the FBI have not succeeded, but by all accounts a win in the mid-terms means replacing Sessions with a more obliging alternative. We’re reached the stage where we actually have to worry about the Justice Department!
On democracy: It needs to be emphasized that the Kavanaugh appointment completes Trump’s control of government. With a committed majority on the Court and capitulation by Republicans in both Houses of Congress, there is effectively no check on what he does. We haven’t had time yet to understand how bad this is going to be. Even Constitutional limits only work if the Court will enforce them. Without a Democratic majority in the House, there is nothing protecting the nation from whatever comes into his head—trade wars, real wars, silencing of opposition, personal vendettas, whatever.
Our founding fathers chose democracy for a good reason. They knew all about one-man rule. Democracy is inherently fragile, but that’s what made us what we are. We need to preserve it. VOTE.
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