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Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, July 10

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, July 10

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Facts back Obama’s economic successes

I don’t know where Mr. Edwards in his July 3 letter (“Trump’s economy trumps Obama’s”) got his figures on economic growth when he attempted to refute a previous letter to the editor comparing Obama’s record with Trump’s (1.5 percent v. 3 percent GDP growth). But I suspect he heard the president himself make that claim.
Trump is fond of using quarterly GDP figures. So when the GDP rose 3 percent during one quarter (3 months) during his first term, he bragged that Obama’s economy never hit such a high. That’s false; the economy breached the 3 percent quarterly threshold four times between 2009 and 2016. Trump was undoubtedly referring to annual GDP growth under Obama, which at its highest was 2.9 percent, exactly the same as 2018 under Trump.
True, the unemployment rate has reached its lowest point in decades during Trump’s administration. But Mr. Edwards fails to point out that unemployment dropped 4.4 percent under Obama (9.1 percent at the tail end of the Great Recession in 2011 to 4.7 percent in Jan. 2017), compared to a drop of 1.1 percent under Trump (4.7 percent to the current low of 3.6 percent). Clearly, then, the decrease in the unemployment rate is part of a decade-long economic expansion that also accounts for the reduction in the number of people on food stamps.
Finally, Mr. Edwards should recognize that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to thwart the economic tailspin in 2008, which is exactly what it’s supposed to do during a recession, not to artificially boost stock market prices to make Obama look good.
Fred Como
Burnt Hills

July 4th celebrates deliberation, not war

Donald Trump insisted on having tanks and military equipment in the Washington, D.C., Fourth of July parade.
Fourth of July celebrates that a deliberative body, arguing civilly, made a vital step in creating a more just and compassionate form of government than the world had ever known.
Millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide have enjoyed far better lives under this form of government.
Fourth of July does not celebrate that firearms had to be used in a bitter conflict that caused suffering and death on both sides.
Let us all hope for, and work for, a time when tanks are a museum curiosity much like medieval armor is today.
Roger Grasier

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