President Trump — Not Democrats — Is Really Helping Low-income Americans

Image for post
Image for post

As we listen to the numerous candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination to be president, the clear message is that the №1 priority of the party is to help low income Americans and thereby cure perceived social injustices.

This, they say, is done by increasing entitlement programs. History shows, however, this approach isn’t the best.

The Dems want the federal government to control the entire health care industry so that all Americans are covered with health insurance regardless of their ability to pay. Every American would be entitled to health care. Healthcare is a right, they argue. It’s an injustice that all Americans are not covered.

Additionally, young adults should be able to go to college regardless of their ability to pay. In fact, college should be tuition-free. This is an “investment” the country can and should make. After all, a well-educated population benefits all of us.

Some Dems further suggest that every adult American should be guaranteed a minimum basic income. They argue this, too, would be an investment that would eventually yield positive results. Americans would feel more secure, which should make them more productive.

While they seem to say that their programs primarily benefit the middle class, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Take a look at health care. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), just under 85% of Americans had health insurance. Nearly all were generally satisfied with their healthcare although there was a constant complaint about the increasing cost.

After the ACA, health care coverage peaked at 91%. In other words, the ACA helped about 6% of the population. That means 20 million Americans clearly benefited. Meanwhile the 85% (285 million) who previously had health insurance saw the cost increase even faster, while the quality of care and the selection of physicians decreased. Now, only one third of Americans are satisfied with their coverage, mostly because there is an increase in underinsured Americans.

But 20 million low income Americans were helped.

How about college tuition? The Dems want all Americans taxpayers to pay for all eligible Americans to go to college without incurring any cost. Right now, all eligible Americans can go to college, but they must bear the cost. The cost varies widely depending on the college selected. It also varies by how much the college wants you and how much they believe you can pay.

This system has resulted in college graduates having an average debt of nearly $30,000. Especially for those who graduated from 2008 to 2016, the poor job market made the burden of that debt often unbearable. Dems say this is an injustice.

Of course, the problem is not the $30,000. Nor is it the cost of college, which is admittedly getting much too high. The problem is the lack of opportunity to earn sufficient income. The debt is repaid over a 10 year period, meaning the monthly payment is about the same as a car payment, about $390.

That debt is a problem if a grad has a low-income job or no job at all. That may have been the problem for those that graduated in the economically stagnant time (2008–2016). But the growing economy of the last two years has been providing better opportunities. Graduates’ salaries are increasing.

If the growing economy results in a new grad earning an extra net income of $5,000 per year, that more than covers the cost of the student loan.

The Dems’ approach calls to mind the story of a hungry person and a prosperous fisherman. The fisherman could just give some of the fish he caught to the hungry person. The fisherman doesn’t need all that fish anyway. But that creates two problems that last infinitely.

One, the hungry person now relies on the fisherman for food. And two, the fisherman has to continue to catch enough food for his family and extra food for the hungry person.

This is exactly what is happening in large inner cities where families are locked into welfare for lifetimes or even spanning generations.

The other solution is the one that any businessperson would easily understand. That is simply to give the hungry the opportunity to catch their own fish. That creates no long term problems.

President Trump, who is a businessperson and not a politically correct politician, is trying to do just that. He recognized that burdensome regulations, high tax rates and a handcuffed banking system were holding back economic growth. The economy can’t provide opportunity unless it is growing.

Trump got rid of counter-productive and growth stifling regulations. He convinced Congress to lower tax rates and then convinced them to repeal some banking regulations. These acts have provided opportunity, especially for low-income Americans.

New opportunities are becoming available to all Americans. Unemployment rates in virtually every category are at or near historic lows. The problem of underemployment is being minimized, as college grads are finding jobs more suited to their education level and at higher salaries. Suddenly the student debt is not a problem.

Lower-income workers are seeing their wages rise at the fastest rate in decades. Now many more people can afford to buy their own health insurance or can get insurance through their employer.

Although the mainstream media continue to portray Trump in a very negative and biased light, he is really the one who is helping those Americans who really need the help, not by giving handouts to those in need, but by providing opportunity for everyone to earn income to purchase what they need.

That’s the American way.

Dr. Busler is an economist and a public policy analyst. He is a Professor of Finance at Stockton University. His op-ed columns appear in Townhall, Newsmax.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store