Biden (copy)

President Joe Biden speaks about infrastructure spending at the La Crosse Municipal Transit Authority in La Crosse.

As the November election swiftly approaches, political ads are filled with more rancor and misinformation. When it comes to economics, know the facts so your vote is based on accurate information.

The Biden Administration just reported a $1.4 trillion reduction in the U.S. deficit, the largest drop in U.S. history. Deficits under the prior administration soared. This historic reduction came after the enactment of new programs to support families and businesses during the COVID downturn.

Politicians often claim that government spending causes economic hardship when instead these programs helped the economy to improve, creating more jobs for you and me. The policies increased economic growth, which generated more revenue, driving down the deficit.

Republicans argue that deficits hurt the economy, a disproven trope going back 40 years to the Reagan Administration. They then, of course, target for the chopping block social programs that help average families.

The charade about deficits provides cover for Republicans to weaken Social Security and Medicare, pulling these vital safety nets away from millions of hard-working people. But yet they themselves voted in the last administration for $2 trillion in tax cuts that disproportionately benefitted the wealthy, significantly increasing the nation’s debt.

Many voters do not comprehend the extent to which the billionaire class is battling to control our nation, manipulating voters to advance their cause.

If Republicans take power, Social Security and Medicare will be cut, drug and health care prices will increase, student loan forgiveness will be undermined, and essential family aid for child care restricted. Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage and work to further weaken unions. All of these positions harm average families.

As the deficit plummets and the economy thrives, continued Republican critiques of social programs expose their true libertarian agenda to radically deconstruct the American experiment. Their bogus rationales for cutting social programs fall apart in the real world of economic success that arose from deficit spending — otherwise known as stimulus.

The U.S. created 10 million new jobs — a two-year record for any president. Unemployment is currently the lowest it has been in 50 years, and major infrastructure investments passed by Congressional Democrats will build more jobs next year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported wages increased a significant 6.9% last year.

The next line of exhausting Republican attacks is that the economy is sour because of increased prices. This, of course, is a global phenomenon and not the result of U.S. policies. Britain, Germany and other EU nations are suffering with higher rates of between 8% and 10% inflation.

As the economy grows, and the global community confronts war, costs can rise, but don’t believe the lie that government spending harmed our economy — it did just the opposite.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis just calculated that the “current-dollar” GDP increased 6.7% annually. Last quarter, the GDP increased 8.5%. “Current dollars” measure actual business activity, while the 2.6% gain, also reported, is adjusted for inflation.

Our nation’s economy is doing very well. Bloomberg noted that overall corporate profit margins are the largest in 70 years, with prices charged by businesses outpacing increased costs for production and labor.

The New York Times reported that Exxon and Chevron, the nation’s two largest oil producers, saw record earnings in 2022. Exxon’s profit of “nearly $20 billion for the July-September period was a record for any quarter, and 10 percent higher than the previous record, set the quarter before.” Their profits tripled from a year ago. Chevron gained an $11.2 billion profit, just below last quarter’s all-time record high.

Bloomberg reported that U.S. companies are exporting record amounts of oil and fuel to foreign nations, leaving less supply for folks here at home. The zeal to maximize profits outweighed any concern about protecting prices at the pump for Americans.

Democrats are helping families get ahead, and their policies are working. But in a frantic effort to secure election victory, Republicans lie about our economic success. They blame inflation on sound policies that improved American lives, instead of on record-breaking profits secured by major corporations.

The data are in. Big corporations are gouging American citizens. That’s why costs are going up. Let’s address the question of corporate loyalty to America, instead of incessantly attacking successful programs that advanced the economic health of everyday working men and women.

Jeffrey Leverich is a Stoughton resident.

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