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Ask the candidates

RICHARD MORRIS

Williamsport

In his “State of the Union” address, President Trump lauded his economic achievements. Summing up, he said Americans now enjoy the highest median household income ever. (Half of households earn above and half earn below the median.)

In real dollars, the median household income increased by $2,651 during Trump’s term to $64,430.

Missing is that this success is built on enormous deficit spending. The Federal Reserve determined the national debt rose by $2,428,830,000,000 during Trump’s first three years. By dividing this deficit by the 128,580,000 households in the nation, we see the government borrowed an average of $18,889 per household during Trump’s presidency. Thus the federal debt per household exceeded the median income increase by $16,238 under Trump.

There are several reasons for this; most significantly, Trump’s tax act paid for large tax breaks for the rich and corporations by raising the federal deficit.

Compared to the prior tax code, a person earning $1 million last year saved $26,000 in taxes and a corporation earning the same amount saved $140,000.

As the federal deficit grows (it’s now $22 trillion, or $67,237 per American), the interest on it will consume a larger portion of the federal budget. Taxes must rise or government programs, like Social Security and Medicare, must be cut. The question voters face in 2020 is: Which party will cut which programs and/or where will each party place the tax burden? Hint: According to Fox News, Trump’s budget for 2021 proposes $465 billion in cuts to Medicare providers, which will no doubt be passed to patients.

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