In 2016, we Mainers bucked a 24-year trend and awarded Donald J. Trump one of our state’s four electoral votes. After four years of prosperity and promises kept, the President has earned all four of our state’s electoral votes.
Last year, Maine recorded its lowest unemployment rate ever recorded, 2.9%. Before the pandemic, there were more jobs available than workers willing or able to fill them. For the first time in decades, wages were rising for those at the low end of the pay scale.
That strong economy with better paying jobs didn’t happen by accident. It was the result of pro-growth policies passed by President Trump and Congressional Republicans. For example, the Trump Administration ended eight unnecessary regulations for every new one created by bureaucrats. Less red tape to navigate leads to more successful small businesses and more jobs.
Trump and Republicans also passed historic tax reforms, putting more than $1,400 back in the pockets of the average Maine families. The standard deduction and child tax credit were both doubled, ensuring that working families were among the biggest beneficiaries of the lower taxes. These actions supercharged the economy, making it the strongest in 50 years.
But, beware, Joe Biden and his Democrat supporters want to reverse those tax cuts, which would stop the recovery and hurt Maine families.
The solid foundation of lower taxes and less red tape is allowing our economy to quickly recover when states reopen from the COVID-19 lockdowns. The number of first time unemployment claims has fallen to the lowest level since the virus reached our shores. The national economy surged by a 33% annualized rate during the July 1 to September 30 quarter. This dramatic recovery is playing out with help wanted signs popping up across Maine. Since the depths of the lockdown in April, Maine has already regained more than 53,000 jobs – half of those lost since the start of the shutdown.
Helping American families recover from the forced shutdown has been the President’s top priority. The CARES Act sent emergency relief checks directly to families to help them pay the bills while mostly staying home from work. The enormously successful Paycheck Protection Program awarded more than $2.2 billion of forgivable loans to help 28,000 Maine businesses stay afloat and preserve more than 200,000 jobs.
Trade with other countries must be fair in order for our economy to grow and our families to thrive. Donald Trump is the first President in 40 years to act on this, including pushback against China. He negotiated the new bipartisan United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing the destructive NAFTA trade deal which helped shutter dozens of Maine factories and kill thousands of good paying jobs.
Liberal Maine Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree voted against the USMCA even though Canada is our largest trading partner. While in the Senate, Joe Biden enthusiastically supported the one-sided NAFTA deal.
Maine has suffered along with the rest of the country and world from the coronavirus pandemic. Against harsh criticism from Joe Biden and many other career politicians, President Trump was right to stop travel early on from hotspots like China and Europe. That decisive leadership likely saved hundreds of thousands of American lives. Trump then harnessed the strength and ingenuity of U.S. companies to work with the federal government to fast-track the production of tens of thousands ventilators and more than 140 million COVID-19 tests, and the development of new vaccines to beat the virus.
Together, we should continue down the path of getting our lives back to normal. This means reopening the economy so we can get back to work, and reopening schools so kids can learn, grow and be with their friends once again. Seven short months ago we had all this. We can get there again, but we need the right leader in the White House – President Donald J. Trump. Joe Biden’s endless lockdowns and a long, dark winter are not the answer.
Maine voters will play a key role in helping decide which path America chooses. Let’s choose sunshine and success, not fear and failure. Go vote for another four years under President Donald J. Trump.
Bruce Poliquin is the former Congressman from Maine’s Second Congressional District and former Maine State Treasurer.