Foster: I'll let the facts tell the story about Trump

A letter to the editor in response to my column last month suggesting those with “Trump derangement disorder” are actually seeing the truth validated the very point I was making.

Kevin McQuaid (letter, May 29) is obviously confused about the points I was making because he starts with a reference about the “rich getting richer” and alludes to socialism. I didn’t write a word about socialism so he obviously wants to unload on that topic while taking a jab at my commentary.

Truth be told, socialism is worthy of a separate column, but let’s stick to the facts about Trump and the “accomplishments” McQuaid claims he has achieved.

Yes the economy is growing nicely, thanks to the momentum of seven consecutive years of growth under President Obama, who inherited an economic mess when he was inaugurated. President George W. Bush admitted that fact before he left office. Unemployment was about 10 percent when Obama took office at the start of 2009 and the economy shrank 2.5 percent that year.

Unemployment had dropped to about 5 percent when Obama left office while stock indexes, a key indicator of confidence in the U.S. economy, tripled from 2009 to 2017. For Trump to duplicate that figure, the Dow Jones Industrial Average would have to climb from about 25,000 to nearly 60,000 while he’s in office.

In reality, the U.S. economy is on the verge of a major correction, thanks to Trump’s warmongering in the Middle East and tariff war with China. Instead of meaningful negotiations with our major trading partners, he tries to threaten and bluff them into accepting his terms. That may work in his real estate dealings in New York, but not so well with leaders in other countries.

In fact, Trump has alienated not only the Chinese but many of our NATO partners. There’s open talk in the European Union that the U.S. has abdicated its leadership role and can’t be counted on for support. These are the same countries that sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks to aid America’s war effort.

Trump recently sent an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and more troops to the Middle East to counter a perceived threat from Iran. It makes you wonder how fast these same countries would come to our aid should war break out with Iran, especially remembering flimsy evidence of weapons of mass destruction that underpinned the war in Iraq.

It’s surprising that Trump doesn’t get along with the ayatollahs in Iran because he’s best buddies with two of the most notorious dictators in the world — Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un.

We know why he’s friendly with the Russians who lent him millions while money-laundering with condo sales at Trump properties. Then, to protect their “comrade,” they helped his election campaign in 2016 with an assortment of dirty tricks and email hacking. They hoped for sanctions relief after his election, but all that did was stiffen Congress’ resolve to hold them responsible.

Kim Jung Un, on the other hand, is a great mystery for Trump’s adulation. With few foreign accomplishments on his resume, Trump wants to make a deal with Kim in the worst way. And it’s liable to be the worst way because Kim is playing to Trump’s vanity and has no plans to give up his nuclear weapons or abandon his missile program.

McQuaid said he could go on about Trump’s efforts to bolster national security and repeal the Affordable Care Act. In reality, neither area has gone well for Trump.

He’s created a continuing border crisis by separating children from families of immigrants seeking asylum in this country. His answer is to build a border wall the length of the border that is only needed near ports of entry. And what experts say is needed are more agents and monitoring equipment for surveillance. Build a 30-foot wall and you can bet 31-foot ladders will be used to scale it.

Trump promised a better health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, but like all other Republican promises on health care over the past decade, nothing has been put forth. Insurance rates under Obamacare actually have stabilized the past two years despite Trump’s effort to cut funding for enrollment navigators.

Republicans took a beating in the 2018 midterm elections with health care the number one reason voters supported Democratic candidates. Look for rising drug costs to be at the top of election issues next year. Republicans promised to rein in the cost of medications and they need to act fast to avoid another empty promise to the public in 2020.

As for McQuaid not liking my writing style, I’ll just stick to the facts. They’re a stubborn thing and hard to explain away with bluster and name-calling.

— John D. Foster, a Carthage resident and former editor of the Panola Watchman, is a regular contributor to the Saturday Forum. Email

Today's Bible verse

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

— Psalm 42:11

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