By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… I believe the November election is right around the corner and all Americans should stop listening to campaign ads and think for themselves.
Stripping out the personalities, let’s look at the things accomplished between 2016 and 2020. The unemployment rate fell below 4%. The unemployment rate for African Americans fell to 5.9%, the lowest rate on record. Asian and Hispanic unemployment rates also hit record highs. The unemployment rate for women has reached its lowest level in 65 years.
Americans have seen an increase in money in their pockets thanks to the booming economy. Poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanics hit record highs in 2017. More than 6 million workers received bonuses and tax breaks. Legislation was signed that reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, making over $1 billion available for vocational education programs.
A new trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico replaced the old North American Free Trade Agreement. The US-Korea Free Trade Agreement was renegotiated to preserve and expand jobs in the US auto industry. These deregulation efforts have yielded $23 billion in benefits to American families and business owners.
Market access for US agricultural producers has been expanded. Argentina opened up to American pork and beef, Brazil to American beef, Japan to lamb and Idaho potatoes, and South Korea to American poultry. By imposing $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, America has held China accountable for its unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft. The administration has authorized $12 billion to help farmers hit by China’s retaliatory tariffs.
The United States has become a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in 60 years. US coal exports increased by more than 60%. The Administration approved the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Permits have been issued for the New Burgos Pipeline to export US oil to Mexico.
Americans have enjoyed greater health care freedom thanks to legislation that ended the penalty imposed by the Affordable Health Care Act. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a record number of generic drugs. Reforms were implemented to how much Medicare would reimburse hospitals for drugs purchased under the $340 billion program, saving seniors $320 million. “Right to try” legislation has expanded access to experimental treatments for terminally ill patients.
America has withdrawn funding from a United Nations (UN) agency for colluding with China’s brutal forced abortion and sterilization program. The federal government has lifted constraints on each state’s ability to exclude family planning service providers from abortion services from the Medicaid program.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, violent crime has decreased every year from 2016 to 2020.
The Department of Justice announced nearly $100 million in grants to hire hundreds more law enforcement officers. The DOJ worked with international partners to arrest and charge approximately 4,000 members of Mexico’s notorious MS-13 gang. The DOJ announced the creation of the National Public Safety Partnership launching an initiative to work with cities to reduce violent crime.
Legislation was passed to improve the federal gun background check system and prevent dangerous criminals from having guns. Customs and Border Protection apprehended 17,256 criminals and 1,019 gang members in 2018. Six thousand known or suspected gang members were deported from the country.
Legislation has been signed providing $700 billion for defense in 2018 and $716 billion in 2019.
American men and women in uniform have won the largest military pay increase in nearly a decade.
Due to the new national security strategy to protect America from all threats, our military commanders have been given broad authority to lead the fight against ISIS. The territorial caliphate of the Islamic State has been defeated. Three of the world’s leading terrorists have been eliminated: Qassim al-Rimi, General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi-al-Mohandas.
A record $73.1 billion has been set aside to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs. That funding included $8.6 billion for mental health services, $400 million for opioid abuse prevention and $206 million for suicide prevention. The VA Mission Act allowed eligible veterans to use walk-in community clinics. The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act simplified the process used by veterans to appeal benefit claims. The Forever GI Bill provides veterans, service members and their families with enhanced education benefits.
Jerusalem was recognized as the capital of Israel and the American embassy was moved there. The United States withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council because of its bias against Israel. The United States has made it clear that it will not accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over Americans and that it will continue to protect American sovereignty. In addition, the release of many American citizens imprisoned abroad was accomplished.
America encouraged NATO members to increase defense spending and realign Alliance priorities. America has bolstered its support for Ukraine’s defense by increasing arms sales to its military.
I will not compare these facts to the actions of America’s current leadership. I’ll just ask you to make that comparison and then ask yourself: How are we doing in America?
When you consider the rampant inflation, the embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan, the southern border issues and the lack of control over crime in our own inner cities, does this represent an improvement over the previous four years?
I would just ask you to assess for yourself and determine whether the administrative changes that have taken place as a result of the 2020 election are good or bad.
The question posed by Ronald Reagan, then presidential candidate in 1980, is still relevant today: “Are you better off than four years ago?
That’s the question the American people will have to answer in this year’s midterm elections.
Thought of the week… “America was not built on fear. America was built on the courage of the imagination and an unbeatable determination to get the job done.
–Harry S. Truman