Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Dec. 2, 2020

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McFeatters: Laying the facts out for undecided voters

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About 5 percent of likely voters will not decide whether to vote for Joe Biden or Donald Trump until the last few days or even hours before they cast their ballots. These are factors they are considering.

Biden helped the Obama administration lead the economic recovery from the Great Recession of 2008, orchestrating the auto bailout that saved thousands of American jobs. Unemployment declined but wages did not recover, leaving millions of middle-class Americans frightened and angry about the future.

Trump decided that a massive tax cut for large corporations and the wealthy would lead to trickle-down regrowth. It led to $2 trillion in new debt, but economists are divided on the results. Many argue the wealthy saved the money, rebought company stock and invested overseas. The stock market soared, but half of Americans have no connection to stocks.

Democrats in the House passed $3 trillion for Americans to survive the virus in a second round of aid but Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blocked a Senate vote. Trump suspended negotiations but then said he wanted more money, leading to confusion and inaction. Unemployment is now 8.9 percent; thousands of businesses are gone.

Biden helped organize a response to the deadly Ebola virus that prevented it from getting a foothold in America and controlled it overseas.

Trump said he purposefully downplayed the coronavirus pandemic to avoid a panic. He consistently undermined his own public health experts and epidemiologists and scoffed at the value of masks. He once suggested drinking bleach. Two weeks before the election, the Centers for Disease Control issued a new estimate that 300,000 Americans had died of complications from the virus, about 80,000 more than had been thought.

Biden helped pass the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) along strict party lines. The center plank, that all individuals must have health care, was overturned in court but the bare bones remained, meaning that about 100,000 preexisting conditions such as childhood cancer and heart disease must be covered by insurance companies and that children may stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. About 30 million Americans now have coverage they did not have.

Trump has asked the Supreme Court to rule that Obamacare in its entirety be struck down as unconstitutional. He has not put forth a replacement plan, nor have Republicans in Congress. Trump is hoping that his third Supreme Court nominee will be seated and vote against Obamacare.

When Trump contracted COVID-19, along with more than two dozen of his top aides, his wife and his son, he told Americans it was much ado about nothing. Then he said he could have died without a costly, experimental drug and steroids.

Biden, a practicing Catholic, has been known as one of the most decent people in Washington, D.C., for four decades, taking the train to be home with his children in Delaware every night after his first wife and daughter were killed in a car crash. There is no evidence his son Hunter did anything wrong despite Trump’s efforts to use the Justice Department against him.

Trump ridicules Biden’s career but is being investigated for tax fraud. He paid $750 in federal taxes the year he ran for president in 2016 and again in his first year in office. He owes $400 million in debt but has not said whether he owes it to foreign banks or governments. His businesses have benefited by more than $1.9 billion since he has been president. His administration has been one of the most scandal-prone ever.

Biden argues that Russia is one of America’s greatest foes. Trump, who tried repeatedly to open a hotel in Moscow, never has said a negative word about Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He said he believed Putin rather than America’s 17 intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and is doing so again in 2020. Trump also started a disastrous trade war with China.

Biden promises to work with Congress to overhaul America’s broken immigration laws. Trump wants to reduce legal immigration as well as illegal immigration, took billions of dollars from national defense to shore up portions of wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and separated thousands of children from their parents. Because of poor records, authorities have been unable to reunite more than 545 children with their parents despite court orders to do so.

Several decades ago Biden or his aides plagiarized a British politician’s speech and he dropped out of a presidential race. Trump has been documented by several news organizations as telling Americans more than 20,000 lies since he took office.

Biden praises civility. Trump foments divisiveness.

Biden wants police reform but is opposed to the defund police movement. Trump has praised supporters who have turned racial protests violent, has urged them to “liberate” states from coronavirus-prevention restrictions and has suggested they illegally intimidate voters at poll stations.

Biden has worked for women’s rights and civil rights. Trump has worked for voter suppression, is against a woman’s right to choice, has stoked racial division and, according to his former lawyer, paid two women to keep silent about his adulteries. About two dozen women publicly have accused him of sexual violence or harassment.

Biden believes in government. Trump has dismantled much of the government machinery set up to deal with such issues as consumer safety, environmental protection and fair business practices. Trump scorns science.

As long as we each shall live, we will never forget how we decide to vote this year.

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