Letter: Unemployment, crime ballooned under Trump


I read the recent letters of Messrs. Hickey and Merrill with some interest. But now that we have the hyperbole and unsubstantiated claims out of the way, let us review some actual statistics.

Mr. Merrill maintains that crime has skyrocketed under President Biden, and yet FBI data released this week indicates that last year we had one of the lowest rates of all violent crime in 50 years and the murder rate saw the sharpest decrease in history. By contrast, the CDC tells us that in Mr. Trump’s last year the murder rate rose by 30%, and reached a level not seen since 1997. In terms of jobs, while Mr. Trump ended his presidency with a 6.3% unemployment rate, up from when he took office, under Biden unemployment has been under 4% for a record 27 months.

Mr. Hickey touts the strong stock market under Trump, neglecting to mention that the major stock indexes all hit record highs this week – a clear indication of investor confidence in the economy. Remember when Trump assured us that the market would simply collapse under Biden?

Mr. Hickey suggests that the energy independence under Trump has been lost, yet the Energy Information Administration reported in 2023 that 2022 marked the highest level of U.S. energy independence since before 1950. Inflation was low under Trump, mainly because of a pandemic related decline in fuel consumption, but it was even lower in other developed countries, like the UK. Inflation in the U.S increased significantly due to supply chain issues, but the increases were higher in other developed countries, like the UK.

Global economic shocks do not happen in a vacuum. More recently inflation eased in April, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported last week that the goods and services consumed in the U.S. in 2019 were cheaper in 2023 than they were four years ago because incomes grew faster than prices over that four-year period.

Mr. Hickey maintains that under Trump immigration was under control – although 1.4 million did cross the southern border on his watch. Since then, numbers have increased significantly, mainly due to country-of-origin events over which we have limited control. Setting aside for a moment the fact that we need millions of immigrants, documented or not, to keep our economy growing, immigration remains a concern for many.

But Customs and Border Protection announced last week that between December and April border arrests decreased by about half. It is reasonable to assume that numbers would have been even lower had Trump not torpedoed the bi-partisan border security bill passed by the senate last year.

Mr. Hickey believes we should at least give Trump a chance. It seems to me that he was given a chance, ending with a violent attempt to destroy the constitutional order upon which this country is built.

Dr. Bernd Fischer

Oak Harbor