By Jim Sullivan
As we have been reading, the Federal budget deficit for the last 12 months has ballooned to $3 trillion (!) due to the coronavirus. While Mr. Trump has done some undeniably good things while in office, the severity of the pandemic is attributable to Mr. Trump’s inept handling of COVID-19 in the U.S., as is the resulting economic fallout. He will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever, if not the worst, for the following reasons:
- His execrable lack of leadership in handling the pandemic has amplified the spread of COVID-19 and caused many more deaths than necessary. Conflicting messages from his administration about the seriousness of the pandemic gave many people unspoken permission to not take it seriously. All Mr. Trump had to do at the beginning of COVID-19 was appear on television wearing a mask and standing next to an American flag. He should also have invoked widespread activation of the Defense Production Act to ramp up supplies of PPE and COVID-19 testing kits. We are currently short of both items.
- The economy is now in terrible shape and will be for at least a few more years as a result of the pandemic. By his failure to lead in the fight against the pandemic, Mr.Trump has damaged the economy a lot more than it had to be. People continue to flout sensible rules about not spreading the pandemic. Remember the true story I sent out recently about an employee who refused wear his mask to a meeting in his workplace, stating that he was following the direction of his President?
- Mr. Trump encouraged people in Michigan and (I think) at least one other state to go against their governors’ orders for sensible precautions against COVID-19, thus abetting the spread of the pandemic.
- In 2017 he unnecessarily cut taxes for the wealthy. This has ended up contributing to the current $3 trillion deficit. There are now even some wealthy people saying they should be taxed more—in other words, they think Mr. Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy are a bad idea. While he was campaigning he lied in stating that wealthy people should be taxed more.
I think Mr. Trump’s prospects for reelection in November are slim to none. This is no reason, however, to relax in our support of Joe Biden and Democratic contenders for the House and Senate. Remember that in 2016 Mr. Trump was widely predicted to lose the election to Hillary. The country cannot afford to let Trump win again, so “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
Jim Sullivan is a Citizen Journalist and retired businessman with graduate degrees in political science and business. He lives in Ventura with his wife Juliette and two family cats.