Let’s Arm You With Some Facts
Want Some Discussion Points?
An informed citizen is an educated voter. It is important to know the facts when discussing issues with people who believe in untruths.
(Data from Factcheck.org; The Brennan Center for Justice)
Claim: Mail-in Ballots will cause Voter Fraud.
One of Trump’s many tweets about the subject, ” With Universal Mail-in Voting (not Absentee Voting which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE AND FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Mail ballot fraud is exceedingly rare because states have systems and processes in place to prevent forgery, theft, and voter fraud. Mail-in ballots are authenticated in several ways. In the 2016 and 2018 elections, a study of five states that did allow voting by mail without having to provide a reason saw no voter fraud scandals. One of the primary ways to verify voter ID is through the ballot envelope because a unique code is assigned to each voter. And the identity of the voter is usually confirmed in some other manner as well – signature matches, driver’s license numbers, witness requirements. Thirty-five states now allow “no excuse” mail-in voting. About ⅓ of states verify signatures and match voter information to existing voter registration records.
VOTING TWICE IS AGAINST THE LAW.
(Data from Politifact; Forbes Magazine, Markets Insider)
Claim: Trump says he is bringing back historic number of jobs.
Trump came to office with a string of 76 previous straight months of US job gains. Job creations under the pre-pandemic Trump administration were only a continuation of an improving job-market, and not anywhere near the turn-around that happened under Obama as he took office in the midst of the financial crisis dubbed The Great Recession.
Before the pandemic, Trump’s average monthly gain in jobs was 182,000. But during a comparable 36-month period at the end of Obama’s presidency, employers added an average of 224,000 jobs monthy.
And about 6.7 million jobs had been created by February 2020 since Trump took office in 2017. But that number is not “unprecedented.” Obama’s comparable 36 months created 8.1 million jobs – that is 23% more!
Right now, since the pandemic started, the US economy has become very fragile. One key reason the jobs numbers do look like they are increasing is that people are dropping out of the labor force altogether. This means that many American workers, chiefly the less educated and low-skilled, have become so discouraged that they have simply given up looking for a job. The economy right now is NOT CREATING jobs these workers need.
(Data from Politifact; Forbes Magazine, Markets Insider, Department of Labor)
Claim: Trump says the economy turned on a dime and that our nation’s manufacturing might is being restored even though people said it could never be done.
While there was a short uptick in manufacturing in 2017, it was short lived. The manufacturing sector under this president has been in a recession since mid-2019. The entire sector has declined because of a slow-down across the globe and because of tariff wars that drive US prices up and disrupt supply changes.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 12,000 new factories were built during Trump’s term, but most of those consist of five people or less. In December 2019 alone, about 12,000 factory jobs were lost.
Security of our Country
Claim: Trump is looking out for our country.
Trump is looking out for himself right now. He knows that he could be arrested as soon as the 2021 inauguration is over.
(Data from White House Press Briefing; Politico.com; AP News; The Hill)
Trump has claimed 210 times that he passed the biggest tax cut in history.
President Ronald Reagan passed a tax cut in 1981 which amounted to 2.9 of the gross domestic product. Trump tried many proposals, but none of them came close to that level. However, Trump has persisted in repeating this fictional phrase, and when he did eventually craft a tax cut, is was the equivalent of 0.9 GDP, making Trump’s the 8th largest in 100 years.
Biden and Socialism
(Data from White House Press Briefing; Politico.com; AP News; The Hill, NPR, Washington Post)
Mike Pence: “President Trump set our nation on a path to freedom and opportunity from the very first day of his administration. But Joe Biden would set America on a path of socialism and decline.”
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders did recently form their Unity Task Force and released a document, but it “falls short of Sanders’s push for radical change.” The 110- page document has been submitted to the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee and will be personally reviewed by Biden ahead of the nominating convention. The task force’s recommendations do NOT include a wide-scale systemic upheaval that Sanders called for during his campaign. A single-payer health care system as “Medicare for All,” a “Green New Deal” overhauling environmental policy, and doing away with Immigration and Customs Enforcement are NOT AMONG THE POLICY PROPOSALS. Biden has thanked the task force for their recommendations, and is calling for the Democrats’ left and centrist wings to come together.
Socialism actually refers to a an economic and political system under which the government controls industries and decides how products and proceeds are distributed.
And, ironically Trump and Republicans have blurred the line between capitalism and socialism by passing the CARES Act to aid businesses and provide $600 payments to unemployed workers during the corona-virus. Trump has also used federal money to rescue farmers who have been hurt by his trade disputes with China and other nations.
Joe Biden is not a socialist. He does not support the entirety of a Green New Deal. He does not support Healthcare for All. And he calls for background checks to keep guns out of criminal’s hands but has never said he is anti-gun.
Kamala Eligibility to Serve
(Data from Factcheck.org; Cornell Legal Information Institute)
Claim: Kamala Harris is not eligible to serve because her mother is from India and her father is from Jamaica. That means if Biden is unable to serve a full term as President, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be next in line to become Predident.
There is no question about her eligibility to run. Kamala Harris was born in the United States of America. Her parents were both immigrants – her father from Jamaica and her mother from India. The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, states, “All persons born or naturalized in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” This is regardless of the immigration status of the child’s parents.
The only requirements for presidential candidates in the US Constitution are that the candidate “must be a natural born citizen of the US, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.” That criteria has not changed since George Washington took office as our first President.
Of note, neither Ivana Trump nor Melania Trump were citizens of the US when their children were born here.
(Data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center)
Claim: The Virus is a Hoax.
Coronavirus is a hoax and part of a plot to sabotage the economy and hurt Trump’s reelection campaign. Trump has claimed everything from the virus being a “hoax,” to the virus being “under control,” to “one day – it’s like a miracle – it will disappear.”
A hoax would not be able to affect the entire population of the planet. The worldwide case number as of 8/11/20 was 20,159,258 with 738,063 global deaths. The U.S. has over 5 million confirmed cases and 164,101 deaths. The virus is real and the claim that the virus is a hoax is an insult and a danger to all.
The comment that one day the virus will disappear can be attributed directly to the Chinese Communist Party propaganda about the virus. Trump would rather believe that than his own government’s leading public health experts.
(Data from The Covid Tracking Project used by the White House and other organizations; White House Press Briefings.)
Claim: The White House website states, “President Trump has revolutionized America’s testing system, and under his leadership, our Nation has conducted far more tests than any other country.”
This week, for the first time since March, the number of people tested in the US went DOWN. Deaths rose for the fifth straight week. This week in the US, 7591 people died of COVID-19.
Testing has seen ongoing supply-chain problems, insufficient capacity at testing sites to meet demand, and backlogged testing labs. US testing has scaled up since March – but so have outbreaks this summer. The country needs to perform ever-greater numbers of tests just to keep pace with the virus.
Weeks ago, major testing companies and public health experts began warning that our national testing capacity was dangerously strained. This week, we see it in the data.
The Biden-Harrris “Plan to beat COVID-19” notes that the failure to test swiftly and broadly has led to the failure of getting the virus under control. It is unacceptable we still do not have the basic capacity in testing and contact tracing the country needs to manage the virus.
(Data from Robert Reich, Former US Secretary of Labor; Commerce Department Statistics)
Claim: Re-opening America will Revive the Economy.
The shutdown orders that began in March caused the economy to tank, so reversing that will bring the economy back. “The recovery has been very strong,” Trump said, and the comeback “won’t take very long.”
The virus caused the economy to collapse, not the shutdown. And the current resurgence of the virus is taking the economy down again. Governors opened prematurely because of Trump’s insistence. The Commerce Department reported that the US economy contracted between April and June at the fastest pace in nearly three-quarters of a century – as long as economists have been tracking it. The drop wiped out five years of economic growth. Every indicator shows that after a small uptick in June, the US economy is shrinking again. The virus is spreading again and states are now having to pause opening plans and impose restrictions. We need a unified plan for the country rather than competition among states.
(Data from the COVID Tracking Project used by the White House and other organizations)
Claim: Schools will be safe and should re-open this fall.
As our virus testing abilities decline, K-12 schools, colleges and universities have begun to bring students back to campus. The US is already seeing on-campus and residential outbreaks just as it saw with camps this summer. Evidence shows that US school closures this spring were associated with a sharp reduction in new COVID-19 cases. Additionally, Hong Kong and Israel, two countries that did have greater control of the pandemic have both seen spiking outbreaks with school re-openings.
If in-person learning continues to be widespread in the US, cases are expected to begin rising much more sharply through the fall and early winter.
(Just a fact)
Claim: Trump says, “Over the next two weeks, I’ll be pursuing a major executive order requiring health care companies to cover all preexisting conditions for all customers. That’s a big thing. I’ve always been very strongly in favor…This has never been done before.”
No executive order is needed to protect people with preexisting medical conditions because “Obamacare” already does that and it is the law of the land. If Trump persuades the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional, it is unclear what degree of protection an executive order would offer in place of the law.
(Data from NPR)
Claim: Biden wants to defund the police.
Biden’s criminal justice agenda proposes more federal money for “training that is needed to avert tragic, unjustifiable deaths” and hiring more police officers to ensure that departments are racially and ethnically reflective or the populations they serve. He is not calling for defunding of the police.
The U.S. Suburbs
(Data from www.politifact.org; White House Press Briefing)
Claim: Trump stated that Biden is “going to abolish the suburbs…”
Biden’s Unity Policy Paper calls to bring back an Obama-era housing rule in which local governments work with Washington to examine housing and segregation. The goal of this was to produce more affordable housing, including in the suburbs – but not only in them. Diversifying and integrating suburbs does not abolish them.
China and Travel Bans
(Data from Commerce Department statistics and US Customs and Border Protection at the request of ABC News; Fox News Town Hall; Coronavirus Task Force Briefings)
Claim: Trump saved lives by having the foresight to “close up our country to China.”
On March 17, he claimed a “number of lives;” on March 24, he claimed “tens of thousands would be dead right now if I didn’t make that decision;” and on April 7, he claimed “we would’ve had hundreds of thousands more people dying.”
Trump waited to restrict travel from China until February 2 even though the CDC announced on January 21 that the first travel-related case of coronavirus had occured inside the US. And this ban only applied to foreign nationals. By that time, the virus was already here and spreading. During December and January as the disease was taking hold in China, several hundred Americans had already traveled to the US and hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals arrived for business, education, tourism, and family visits. And even after Trump’s “China travel ban,” 18,000 Americans returned home from China in February and March. It is unclear how many travelers were even screened. In total, 759,493 people entered the US from China during the critical months of December, January and February.
And because Trump only banned travel from China, 3.4 million travelers poured in the US from other countries as the virus was erupting. Data from December, January and February show that travelers entered the US from eight of the hardest hit countries. For instance, 340,402 arrived from Italy, 418,848 from Spain and 1.9 million from the UK. Travel from Italy and Spain to the US was not shut down until March 13 and from Britain a few days later.
In addition, thirty-eight countries announced a travel ban with China before or at the same time as the US. Trump was not the first by any means.