As the fog of impeachment fatigue disappears, we are able to focus once again on the condition of life in America. As we breathe the fresh air of a new year, it is a long-held tradition to review the year just passed. Looking back, we are particularly intrigued with statistics and rankings that inform us about the general condition of our fellow citizens. I submit that, as we enter a new election year, an assessment of 2019 tells us that we most assuredly live in good times.

Ronald Reagan, in his election campaign, famously asked, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” While we haven’t yet completed four years in the current administration, we can survey the past three with a special emphasis on last year, and in so doing determine that, not only are we better off, we, indeed, live in very good times.

With respect to the American economy, it is difficult to find the right words to express how well we are doing – “boomtown” and “spectacular” come to mind. We are currently in the largest economic expansion in history. We have the lowest unemployment since 1969 – with the lowest African American and Hispanic unemployment in history and the lowest unemployment of women since 1955. More Americans are now employed than ever recorded in our history. The poverty rate of 17.8% is a seventeen-year low. Even the liberal Washington Post states that overall wages, up over 3% for the year that has just ended, have indeed resulted from Trump’s tax cuts and sweeping business optimism.

The naysayers will now quickly jump in to say that the tax cuts have only benefitted the wealthy. Not true! Remarkably, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, in striking agreement, have just reported that “recent gains are going to those who need it most.” As proof, they both cite The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta finding that the bottom 25% of wage earners saw an increase in pay of 4.5%, while the top 25% experienced a 2.9% increase in earnings. The Reserve also reported that the average wage across the country has risen to just over $28.00 per hour. This may not impress the hard socialists on the left, but it certainly comes as no surprise to those of us who see small, local businesses thriving – many with “Now Hiring” signs posted on the front of their stores.

No less impressive is the stratospheric rise of the stock markets. All three indices, Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq, ended the year at all-time highs – good news for all Americans. Now again, to refute the claims of those, such as the attack-success socialists Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who say these gains only benefit the wealthy, we should point out that over 50% of Americans’ pension plans are invested in the stock market. It appears the stock market is good for all of us.

However, no matter how good our lives are, the trolls on the left will absolutely dismiss our national good fortune with one word, Trump. His larger-than-life persona overwhelms and dismays them. No reasoned arguments or power of words will dissuade them from their jaundiced view of our President. On this point, I can only opine that, although like many of you, I wish he would moderate his rhetoric, the fact remains that his policies and legislation have unquestionably made America safer and more prosperous.

With respect to foreign affairs, The Hill says it best: “The level of violence in the world today is historically low.” In support of this assessment, they cite four factors: increased military spending; pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; looking to end the Afghanistan War; holding Kim Jong Il in check. To this I would add the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Qassam

Soleimani. To those on the left who, incredulously, criticize the elimination of the latter, I simply refer them to the record of this terrorist whose great claim to fame is the development of an armor-piercing IED which horrifically killed and maimed hundreds of American soldiers. I believe Trump was right when he stated that Soleimani’s death was a step towards ending war not starting one.

Space here does not permit an exhaustive recounting of other major accomplishments under the Trump administration, so I must list some very special ones in point form:

· Phase One trade deal with China – tariff relief and more purchase of American agricultural goods.

· USMCA Trade Deal – requires automobiles to be 75% manufactured in America.

· Violent crime has fallen in each of Trump’s three years.

· Surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of oil.

· Signing of the biggest wilderness conservation bill in a decade and the designation of 375,000 acres as protected land.

· Largest federal employee wage increase in more than 10 years.

· Ending the low-expectations Common Core of Learning.

While this end-of-year review has not covered the entire gamut of how our nation has improved over the past three years, I trust that I have provided a factual basis for the claim that we most certainly are living in good times. Happy New Year!

Another View is written on a rotating basis by a member of a group of conservative Midcoast citizens that meet to discuss issues they think are of public interest. 

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