On issues important to Nevada, the choice for president is clear

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Former Vice President Joe Biden is joined by his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., at a campaign event Aug. 12 in Wilmington, Del.

This is my last column before Election Day 2020. It is important that I do all that I can to encourage Nevadans to vote, and to vote for America by electing Joe Biden. But Sun readers already know where I stand — I have been clear about that for a very long time.

Today, I am publishing two columns that I believe are very important for all Nevadans to read. The first is by my friend Jim Murren, who everyone knows was the longtime CEO of MGM Resorts International until earlier this year, when, following his retirement, he was chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to help lead Nevada’s coronavirus response and recovery effort.

Jim’s efforts on behalf of Nevadans have been outstanding. He is a man who enjoys statewide credibility, and so should his words.

The other column is also written by a dear friend of over 55 years. His name is Bill Clinton and he needs no introduction to Nevadans.

When Bill ran for president in 1992 and 1996, Nevadans bought into his vision and gave him their support. And by all accounts, the Clinton administration was a time of economic growth, civility, international agreements and comity throughout the country.

He, too, has some thoughts that I believe all Nevadans should read and give attention to as we did when he asked for our votes 28 years ago. He told us the truth then and he is telling it straight today.

I commend his words to our readers and all voters.

— Brian Greenspun

This column grows out of a conversation I had with my friend Brian Greenspun about why the outcome of this election could have an even bigger impact on Nevada than many other states.

There is much at stake in this election, but the three questions that will affect most people right now are: 1) Who will handle the COVID-19 pandemic better? 2) Who will bring the economy back stronger? and 3) Who in the face of all this adversity will do more to protect and improve health care coverage? I believe the answer to all three of those questions is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

1) We can’t get the economy going unless we stop the explosion of new coronavirus cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a strong national effort on masks will save 130,000 lives by March. That and sensible social distancing will allow more businesses to stay open and more people to travel safely while we await the development and widespread use of a vaccine. Nevada desperately needs this. It will take a disciplined effort, one Joe Biden has vowed to lead. Donald Trump has made it clear that he won’t. With record numbers of infections in many states, he is pretending it’s over. We need a leader who will deal with the virus not deny it, saving lives not squandering them. The choice is clear.

2) No one knows exactly what the post-COVID-19 economy will look like, but we do know there are areas we have to support and opportunities we have to develop. We need a national infrastructure initiative that improves the safety and efficiency of our roads, bridges, railways and airports. And we need affordable, rapid broadband that reaches every small town and rural county in the U.S. Without that, these areas cannot become full participants in the American economy and we won’t be able to bridge our economic, social and political divides. We need to develop our renewable energy potential. Every scientific study I’ve seen says the U.S. ranks first or second in the world in the capacity to generate energy from the sun and wind. Nevada has developed some of this potential, but you’ve only scratched the surface. There are thousands of new jobs and hundreds of small businesses just waiting for the right doors to open. Joe Biden will open them; Donald Trump won’t.

Finally, Congress and the White House have to work together to give our states more help. They’re running out of money like everyone else. State and local governments provide education, essential health services, law enforcement and other services. We have to help them all, red states and blue alike. Joe Biden will do that; Donald Trump hasn’t.

For those reasons and more, Joe Biden will do better by our economy than Donald Trump.

You don’t need to take my word for it. Moody’s Analytics, a nonpartisan organization, analyzed the two candidates’ plans and concluded Biden’s plan would create seven million more jobs than Trump’s, with a lower unemployment rate, higher income gains for middle- and lower-income workers, and an additional trillion dollars in economic growth.

3) The health care issue is the one you might feel first. In the week after the election, President Trump’s case to get rid of the Affordable Care Act with nothing to replace it with will be heard by the Supreme Court. If he prevails in court, 20 million people will lose their coverage and about 80 million will lose their protection against higher premiums because of preexisting conditions. If Joe Biden wins the election, no matter what happens in court, he will improve on the Affordable Care Act, keeping protections for preexisting conditions, providing a “public option” so that millions more people can get more affordable coverage, and using the buying power of the federal government to lower prescription drug costs. A lot of Nevadans will be affected by which path we choose.

4) There’s one more big question. Who will try to be a president for all of us? Donald Trump continues to divide us every day. Joe Biden talks every day to all of us — Democrat, Republican and independent, Black, Latino, Native American and white working class — who feel left out and left behind. If you believe we need a president for all the people, there is only one choice: Joe Biden.

I love Nevada. As president, I honored my commitment to keep you from a nuclear waste dump decision driven more by politics than science, and you were part of the most broadly shared prosperity in more than 50 years. And I’m grateful that you supported me in 1992 and 1996, and Hillary in 2016. Since I left the White House, I have been back to visit Nevada many times. I know you can recover and build a future brighter than ever. But you have to make the right choice now.

I’ve known Joe Biden for more than 30 years, as a senator, vice president and friend. I’ve gotten to know Kamala Harris and am impressed by her record and her ability to get things done. They’re a great team and will be a great president and vice president, serving all of us and bringing us all together. For your sake and for your children’s future, please vote for them.

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