Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Trump failed on crime, economy

It is difficult for me to understand why anyone would vote for a man who was impeached twice, convicted of tax fraud and sexual abuse, disrespects veterans, and admires Adolf Hitler. So, I appreciated the recent letter to the editor from a Trump supporter explaining why he will vote for Trump in the upcoming presidential election. The letter provided two main reasons: 1) high inflation under Biden, and 2) rampant crime under Biden.

Regarding the economy, it cannot be denied that prices for most things have grown higher under Biden. However, most economists agree that Trump’s efforts to improve the economy actually had very little effect. His signature tax cuts for the wealthy mainly resulted in an increase in the deficit with no lasting improvement in the economy. Most estimates are that Trump’s tariffs cost the U.S. 100,000-200,000 jobs due to increased import costs for employers. 

Though the economy has not been great under Biden, his policies have helped prevent a post-pandemic recession that many economists had predicted. American wages are now growing faster than inflation, thanks in part to stronger labor unions, which Biden has strongly supported, and Trump wants to destroy. Unemployment has returned to pre-pandemic levels, and arguably, the pandemic would have had less of an impact on the economy if Trump had taken the threat of the pandemic more seriously from the beginning instead of hindering the best efforts of the CDC. The stock market has also hit all-time highs under Biden.

Regarding crime rates, the reality is that crime rates have gone down in many categories under the Biden administration, whereas they went up under Trump. According to FBI crime statistics and the Council on Criminal Justice, homicide rates went up by 20-30% in 2020 compared to 2019, likely partly due to a surge in firearm ownership in 2020. The same FBI reports indicate that crime went down in almost every category in 2023 compared to 2022. This included a 13% drop in the murder rate from 2022 to 2023, which is the largest one-year drop in the murder rate ever reported by the FBI, whose data date back to 1960. Similarly, in 2023 rape declined by 12.5%, robberies by 4.7% and property crime by 4.3%. Trump has repeatedly claimed that crime is currently out of control in the U.S., but this is a lie. In fact, national rates of murder and overall violent crime were lower in 2023 than they were under Trump in 2020.

So, the economy and crime do not seem to be great reasons to vote for Trump. His lies about ballot insecurity and migrant crime seem to motivate some voters, but these arguments have also been disproved repeatedly. I’m voting for Biden for many reasons, but the strongest in my mind are his dedication to preserving democracy and human rights, his work toward protecting women’s healthcare (including the right to an abortion), his work in reducing gun violence, his work to mitigate the climate crisis, and his moral integrity.

Mark Spritzer

Middlebury

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