Democrats do the most, and brag the least. And that’s our problem. ~Vicente Gonzalez (D-Tx)
Over the past few months I’ve talked a lot about our need to shake off the negative midterm juju that is seemingly pumped into our brains nonstop.
Fact is, this midterm is unlike any other. We’ve never had an election right after a constitutional right was taken away from half the population. That decision and the new reality for 50% of the population will be … uhh … motivating.
To say the least.
So I frankly don’t care what history says. I also don’t care if we seem to be up or down based upon the latest poll: we are in a close election.
And in a close election, we need to run into the final weeks of the season with good arguments about the toughest issues that face us.
The issue that Democrats lose to Republicans most often is the economy.
But that’s just due to public perception, based on 30 years of GOP message discipline and Democrats not knowing enough about our fabulous economic record to counter the Republican narrative.
So let’s fix that.
I have been following Simon Rosenberg, who is the founder of NDN and has done a lot of great work showing Democrats that we’re in this midterm race, and that there are paths to keep the House and the Senate.
He’s had a number of Zoom presentations that I’ve recommended called With Democrats Things Get Better. (I still highly recommend them.)
But because when I was telling my husband some of the top lines he was surprised, I realized that I should share them with you. Because in the closing days of the election, as your friends and family winge and say they “wish Democrats were stronger on the economy,” you can share the reality of Democrats’ history (and current record) of economic achievements:
First: under Biden we’ve seen jaw-dropping, historic job growth and record unemployment.
“More than 9.5 million unemployed Americans found jobs over the past 18 months, and the unemployment rate fell from 6.4 to 3.5 percent.” (See https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/08/22/yes-americans-are-better-off-under-biden/)
Let’s put that number in context with a really helpful chart from NDN. Under both Bushes AND Trump we added 1.9 million jobs. Biden – in less than two years! – has added 5x as many. (Read that again. Get out your calculator. It’s 5x.)
But it’s not a fluke. Since 1989, 45 million jobs have been created in the US, and 43 of those 45 million have been created under Democratic administrations.
And that’s not all! Business applications broke records – with the total applications (5.4 million) being the highest ever in 2021, a 53% jump above 2019 and 23% higher than 2020. Setting another record, 1.8 million of those applications are “likely employer” applications, which is up 37% from 2019 levels (an increase of 481,000).
Tell me again how Democratic policies don’t benefit “job creators”?
Even the press has stopped to take note of the job gains, which is newsworthy in its own right. Yesterday, the New York Times blasted the news: Factory Jobs are Booming Like It’s the 1970s: U.S. manufacturing is experiencing a rebound, with companies adding workers amid high consumer demand for products. Within the article we learn that as of “August this year, manufacturers had added … about 1.43 million jobs, a net gain of 67,000 workers above prepandemic levels.”
Oh? You don’t say.
Second: Under Biden there have been impressive wealth gains for average Americans. “[A]fter inflation, the net assets of Americans increased by nearly $2 trillion from the first quarter of 2021—when Biden took office—to the first quarter of 2022,” with the fastest growth among low- to moderate- income households. (See https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/08/22/yes-americans-are-better-off-under-biden/) Real net worth of the bottom 50% is up 60% from when Biden took office. Impressive!
Third: We’ve seen dramatic decreases in poverty levels leading to the lowest poverty rate in history. The poverty rate reached 16.1% in December 2020. It fell two points, to 14.1% in May 2022. That’s … huge. (It’s still too high. Let’s keep Democrats in the House and Senate majority and push that number even lower.)
Fourth: Since Biden took office we’ve also seen dramatic decreases in uninsured Americans. The National uninsured rate hit an all-time low of 8%. I’ll repeat that. An all-time low. From 2020 to 2022 the number of adults who are uninsured went from 14.5% to 11.8%. It went from 6.4% to 3.7% among children. That reflects approximately 5.2 million Americans that have gained health insurance coverage since 2020. (See ASPE Office of Health Policy: National Uninsured Rate Reaches All-Time Low in Early 2022)
Fifth: Democrats reduce the deficit. Republicans increase it. Say what? Isn’t “reducing the deficit” literally the mantra for Republicans? Why, yes it is! But the facts don’t lie so let’s look at them.
Here’s the change in annual deficit, by percent of GDP, per Presidency:
Biden -8.2% (2023 budget projection).
So, as you can see, the whole “Republicans reduce the deficit” argument is (to use a technical term) baloney. Their trickle-down economics never worked, and doubling-down on that failed policy never worked, but they’re still using it to pull the wool over their voters’ eyes.
Don’t fall for it. And don’t let your friends and family fall for it either!
Instead, as you hear people talking about the economy in the closing weeks of the election season, share the good economic progress we’ve made. Share some of these data points.
When people forward you the latest “bear market” article from the press, counter it with a message – based on real data – that looks at the full economic picture.
It’s a simple message: Unemployment down, deficit down, uninsured rate down, poverty down, factory jobs up, wealth up…. and outlook up.
Pass it on.
Let’s get to work.
Actions for the Week of September 27, 2022
Join Red Wine & Blue for the Power of Action Talk
I firmly believe in Action Therapy. When feeling anxious or troubled, I find picking up the phone to call Congress, postcarding for a candidate, or joining a phone bank to be therapeutic. I’m taking control of the situation and, in my own way, moving the ball forward.
(I’m assuming since you’re reading this that you feel similarly.)
So you should join Red Wine & Blue tonight for “The Power of Action”. We are all feeling the moment — Roe has been overturned and democracy is at stake. How do we process the anger and stress that we feel right now? Women get told to calm down — but instead let’s discuss why turning our “righteous rage” into action is powerful. Join us to hear from Nicole McNelis, a licensed mental health therapist and maternal mental health specialist who focuses on the needs of women, moms and. mom-to-be by creating spaces for women to explore their own unique challenges.
7:30-8:30pm EST. Sign up here: https://secure.everyaction.com/S2Kn-qDw30SP7_r3rjofXw2
Wednesday: Jan 6 Committee Hearing
Get the popcorn ready. The next Jan 6 Committee hearing is Wednesday at 1pm (EST). (https://january6th.house.gov/)
The Committee has gotten additional text messages and records, and has interviewed a number of new witnesses. Speculation is rampant about what it will include, but it’s all speculation. Tune in to find out! This is being presented as a “final” hearing, but that could change. Seems they’re trying to wrap things up with a bow to help people understand the significance of January 6 before the midterms.
Then on Thursday join the Jan 6th Justice Activist Call: Mobilizing this Fall & How Take Action to Protect Our Elections: Trump and his MAGA allies continue to work to sabotage future elections by changing state laws, threatening state officials and packing election administration offices so that they can have the final say over election results – even when they lose. We must hold them accountable! No one is above the law.
Phone Bank for Fetterman and Mandela
No doubt you know the importance of the Senate races in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. So join Indivisible National at 2pm (EST) on Sunday, October 2 and phone bank for both Senators and for Rep Matt Cartwright (PA). Sign up here: https://indivisible.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtdu2gqjstH9ylODIF-OyR1PjOoKWGxUjM
Deep Canvassing: Abortion Access
This is a super interesting event. On Thursday, Indivisible is hosting a Deep Canvassing Phonebank focused on abortion access for candidates on the West Coast. We know that voters are moving toward us on abortion and MAGA extremism. But there are still folks out there with conflicting beliefs, and through deep canvassing, we can move them to our side!
You’ll call voters who are likely pro-choice but don’t always vote for Democrats, have open conversations about their stake in abortion access, and move them to act on their beliefs by voting for progressive candidates. RSVP for the Deep Canvassing Phonebank to conflicted Pro-Choice Voters in AZ & OR-5 from 8pm-11pm ET/5pm-8pm PT.
They’re reporting that they’ve been moving around 10% of voters they talk to, which is a massive electorate shift especially in close races! Please note this is a 3hr event: you’ll receive a 1hr training on deep canvassing fundamentals, followed by a 2hr phonebank + debrief for the Give No Ground candidate of your choice in Arizona or Oregon.
WHEW! GO TEAM!
P.S.: Why don’t you make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two? I bet they need it.
If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!
Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every email! We’re in this together. Don’t you forget it.