Letters to the Editor
April 4, 2024

To the Editor:

One issue many voters consider as their choice for president is the state of the economy. It’s my hope we’ll be able to have an honest debate during the month of April on that one issue. It’s quite evident there are Biden/Trump camps within the Gazette community. It would be good to have us informed on the issues we all face.

Many polls indicate the pressing concern is the economy. And your economy is based on your income. Most fact checkers wish to point out not one president can take full credit for, or blame for, the economy.

Under Trump, job gains averaged 176,000 jobs a month until March of 2020. Then the world was brought to its knees by the pandemic. Reports fluctuate as to the number of jobs lost in 2020. It depends on what data you rely on. It ranges from 30 to 40 million in the Spring of 2020 from the pandemic and related shutdowns.

Fast forward to Spring 2021 when Biden took office to today. More than 14 million jobs have been created with a monthly average of 400,000 more positions. As of December 2023 the creation has slowed to 216,000 a month average. Nationally unemployment remained low under both Trump and Biden. Trump saw it reach a half-century low of 3.5 before the pandemic. Under Biden it stands at 3.7 percent.

As you go to work keep in mind weekly earnings didn’t keep pace with the cost of living. In fact earnings fell 3.4 percent. The labor force under Biden remains below the pre-pandemic peak suggesting more have decided not to work or retire.

Also keep in mind, as many economists believe, without the massive pandemic relief measures Biden entered into, it would have taken much longer for the economy to recover.

That takes us to the next discussion - inflation and the interest rate.

Patti Walker
Fillmore, Ca.