President Donald trump was criticized by democratic presidential candidates Thursday for directing economic gains to corporations and the rich at the expense of the middle class — countering his portrayal of the U.S. economy as a success.
On his election campaign, Trump has praised his economic record, pointing to the record-long expansion, unemployment at a half-century low and the past week’s breakthroughs on trade deals with China, as well as Mexico and Canada. However Democrats on the debate stage in Los Angeles argued that the spoils of growth have been distributed non uniformly.
While referring to a question suggesting that Americans are feeling a stronger economy, Joe Biden said: “I don’t think they really do like the economy. The middle class is getting killed,” it’s being “crushed. He advocated for education policies and better health care so that the common people can have a higher quality of life.
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, chastised a key measure that Trump has often cited as proof of his success — rallying U.S. stock markets that closed at a fresh record highs Thursday. “Where I live people aren’t measuring the economy by how the Dow Jones is doing,” said Buttigieg. “This economy is not working for most of us.”
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang said the headline unemployment rate doesn’t account for people who are underemployed or are forced to hold two or three jobs. The accelerating economic growth and surging corporate profits stand in contrast with “people’s living experience on the ground.”
Another democrat, Elizabeth Warren echoed that assertion, adding that the middle class is being “hollowed out” and the poor ”left behind.” Both the Massachusetts senator and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are champions of an additional levy to tax the very rich.
Sanders, during the debate, said that we need an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1% — that is what our campaign is about.
A liberal activist and billionaire environmentalist, Tom Steyer, also endorsed a wealth tax and said Democrats need to knock down Trump’s message that the economy is doing well.
“The question is did we talk enough about what he’s definitely going to run on, which is the economy,” Steyer said, referring to Trump, . “It’s really important that we take him down, go right at his strength and expose him as a fake. And he’s been terrible for Americans on the economy.”