Frankly, after receiving personal correspondence from the President, I was not surprised to hear Trump praised at the recent GOP convention. I was delighted to receive a letter from Trump asking me to join the Task Force. He described my exceptional “patriotism,” “self-sacrifice” and “loyalty” – I must admit that I was surprised to see him use the USPS, which he doesn’t support and is trying to subvert for the November election. 

I was thrilled to bury the hatchet and be placed on the “Presidential Honor Role.” Until I read the letter, detailing what he falsely claimed about his accomplishments and what he termed the other side’s extremism and radicalism, a theme reiterated throughout the GOP Nominating Convention. 

Trump described “turning us around from the ruinous path Barack Obama, Joe Biden and the Big Government Socialist Democrats put us on.” He then went on to state what he claimed the Trump administration had achieved. 

caricature of Donald Trump was created by DonkeyHotey

He took credit for a tax cut. Yes, Trump did push through a tax cut… which almost entirely benefitted America’s wealthy. As a fiscal conservative, I wondered why we were increasing the deficit in a time of economic prosperity when all economists say that’s when to bring down debt to prepared for hard times, like the Trump Pandemic. 

I wondered why Trump’s letter never mentioned that, as opposed to what he mistakenly stated. Obama/Biden actually decreased the deficit from $1.413 trillion in 2009 to $0.585 trillion in 2016.  

Even before the pandemic, Trump was projected to have increased the annual deficit to $1.083 trillion in 2020. Now, in large part due to his efforts to ignore the virus, we are projected to have a 2020 deficit of $3.7 trillion (https://www.thebalance.com/us-deficit-by-year-3306306). Once again, Trump’s continuing negligence in containing the Trump Pandemic via a national plan is largely the cause of the size of the shortfall. 

He also spoke of job creation and unemployment going down before the pandemic. However, once again he failed to mention that Obama/Biden had brought the unemployment rate down from 7.8% when they assumed office (from W) to 4.7% when Trump came in. In March before the pandemic really hit, it was 4.4%, very little different.  Because Trump attempted to dump all of the responsibility for fighting the virus onto the states, his correspondence doesn’t mention that unemployment is now 10.2%.  

Last year, 163 million Americans were working; it’s now down to 159 million in large part due to his poor leadership. Further, Obama/Biden created 8.9 million jobs (versus only 4.7 million for Trump before the virus). In fact, as opposed to what Trump said about Democrats, when it comes to job creation five of the top six Presidents are Democrats – the exception being Reagan. 

In his letter, Trump took credit for cutting regulations, rebuilding the “hollowed-out military” and “confronting… cyberattacks.” Objectively, his administration did cut government regulation protecting the public from exploitation by big business and polluters. The long-range effects on our health and that of our children will be dramatic and grave. 

Once again, Trump’s statements about our military being gutted by Obama/Biden are untrue. Military spending went up from $513 to $522 billion annually under Obama. It’s gotten even  worse under Trump, up to $633 annually. Has that made us more secure or is it just profiteering by the greedy military-industrial complex with no real benefits for Americans? 

As for cyberattacks, the Trump Administration has been widely criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for not taking the problem seriously enough. For example, GOP 

House Energy and Commerce Committee member Greg Walden, Foreign Affairs Committee member Michael McCaul and Financial Service Committee member Patrick McHenry recently sent Trump a letter which proposed levying sanctions against China to discourage their growing cyber hacking.   

In 2018, the Russian military attempted to hack into confidential Senate files. The Russian group was “Fancy Bear”, the same group hacking the 2016 Presidential race, which Trump continues to deny. Last May, Director Wray of the FBI said: “We continue to assess that the Russians are focused on sowing divisiveness and discord in this country and pitting us against each other – and that part I think we see alive and well”. Per the NYT and many others, the Russians are still at it in the 2020 election, as well as hacking intellectual property and research for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The facts prove that America is much worse off under Trump than Obama/Biden. Regrettably, I will have to turn down the exciting opportunity to be on Trump’s Presidential Task Force and Honor Role. Let’s hope the American public turns down the opportunity to see this con man in office again. 

###

Image Credit: the feature caricature of Donald Trump was created by DonkeyHotey (Flickr/Creative Commons).

Jack Bernard

Jack Bernard

Jack A Bernard is a retired SVP with a national healthcare corporation. He was Chair of the Jasper County, Ga Board of Commissioners and Republican Party. He was also on the Board of Health for Jasper County and is currently on the Fayette County BOH. Bernard has over 100 columns published annually, primarily in the South.