Oshkosh, Wis. — Today, President Trump will visit Oshkosh in a desperate bid to distract from the sputtering economy and failure to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the headlines or political calculations behind the visit, one thing is certain, Wisconsinites know Trump’s pandemic economy isn’t working for them.
Check out some of Opportunity Wisconsin’s conversations with newly unemployed Wisconsinites.
While billionaires have raked in a staggering $637 billion in new wealth since the pandemic began, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the same period. While the Trump administration has handed big corporations and wealthy individuals massive tax cuts and bailouts, Trump has also refused to extend the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for newly unemployed Americans — the program that served as a financial lifeline for 700,000 Wisconsinites until the program expired on July 31.
Since then, the Trump administration has only offered weak half-measures to struggling families. One such measure: the president’s recent executive order issuing a minimum-25 percent pay cut for families depending on unemployment assistance.
“President Trump is completely out of touch with Wisconsinites’ everyday reality. This pandemic has been a wall-to-wall nightmare for millions of us here on the ground — people are losing jobs and losing loved ones. Folks don’t know where their next paycheck will come from, or if it will come at all, and the president only seems interested in bailing out corporations,” said Reba Krueger, Deputy Program Director for Opportunity Wisconsin. “I’d like to introduce the president to the people and families who have been struggling to make ends meet while he’s in town, to show him the truth about his pandemic economy: it’s not working for Wisconsinites.”
Earlier this month, the Labor Department announced that unemployment is still 6.7 points higher than it was before the pandemic, and the economy is grappling with nearly 13 million fewer jobs compared to the pre-pandemic economy. While Senate Republicans leave Washington, D.C. for the summer without passing a COVID-19 relief package, and the Trump administration continues to stonewall progress on a relief package that would extend unemployment paychecks, unemployment remains at the highest it’s been since the Great Depression.
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