Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in election night event at the Chase Center in the early morning hours of November 04, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in election night event at the Chase Center in the early morning hours of November 04, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

America’s Debbie Downers have political motivation to trash talk a growing economy.

Life’s too short—especially in these times—to hang out with people who are always bringing you down. The negativity, the never-ending criticism—it all seems designed to keep you as miserable as they are. Even when things are looking up, there’s some Gloomy Gus telling you it won’t last. There’s no good reason to stick around with someone whose unhappiness depends on your unhappiness. 

That’s why it’s time to break up with the people talking down this country’s very real economic recovery.

These are the same politicians, after all, who still refuse to take a pandemic seriously even after it has killed more than 800,000 Americans. To them, the inflation that accompanies a restarting economy is less about your wallet and more about their standing as America’s Debbie Downers.

“This is a gold mine for us,” is how Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida gleefully talked up the financial struggles of working families. 

You’d think he would be happy about what the US economy has accomplished in 2021 despite GOP obstruction. 

Last May, more than 21 million Americans were getting some form of unemployment relief. Now that figure is 90% below that.

A year ago, experts said it would take until 2024 to get the unemployment rate down to 4%, but it’s already at 4.2%  today. There are 6 million Americans who are in jobs that were created this year, and the country is on track to make up the remaining 4 million jobs shortfall to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

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We learned this week that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 3% in November—a lower rate than the month before COVID-19 caused mass layoffs. The current jobless rate is equal to the previous record-low set in November 2018.

Wages are forecast to rise another 4% in 2022, the fastest growth since 2008. Those larger paychecks are reflected in retail sales that rose from $549 billion in 2020 to $638 billion this year. This didn’t happen by accident. A series of pandemic relief packages put help directly into households that are spending the economy back to health, most recently the American Rescue Plan that passed in March without any Republican votes.

This recovery was a distant dream one year ago when not a single person had yet been fully vaccinated. We end the year with more than 70% of Americans over 12 fully vaccinated. It’s an amazing feat, but we’ll never know how much better it could be right now had a block of Americans not politicized a pandemic, slowed recent pandemic relief efforts, and continued to stand in the way of proposals that would make child care, health insurance, utility bills, and prescription drugs less expensive.

We’ll never know how much better it could be right now if President Joe Biden’s detractors focused on fighting the pandemic and proposing actual alternatives to his plans instead of fighting safeguards, talking nonstop about an election that’s been over for more than a year, and trying so hard to block the effort to know who was behind the attack on our nation’s Capitol.

Republicans, big business, and industry groups have spent $34 million dollars so far in 2021—a non-election year for most of us—on TV ads to convince people to believe their country is doing a lot worse than it really is. But corporate profits are up, and the US economy grew about 6% this year and is forecast to grow almost 4% next year—compared to an average annual rate of just over 2% since 2000. 

The recovery has been unprecedented in its speed and success, but that progress is threatened by politicians hellbent on stopping the return to normal so they can spend the next election cycle saying they should be rewarded for rooting against what’s been accomplished this past year.

Christmas was all but canceled last year. Now, vaccines and millions of better-paying jobs mean the stores are busy and dinner tables will be comfortably crowded once more. So treat yourself this holiday season to a little positivity and make it a resolution to stay safe, enjoy the comfort of loved ones, and spend a little less time with those who can’t be happy unless you’re not.