The Progressive Populist: Donald Trump Is Waging a War on Workers

The following is an excellent article written by Robert Borosage in the June 15, 2017 issue of The Progressive Populist on page 9 titled “Donald Trump Is Waging a War on Workers” and I quote:

“Donald Trump Is Waging a War on Workers”

By ROBERT BOROSAGE

Donald Trump has ginned up a continuous din in his first four months as president, with each outrage or grotesquerie immediately followed by another.

Amid the furors, it is easy to lose track of the key standard by which Trump will be judged by his key voters: his oft-repeated campaign pledge that “the American worker will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.”

These pledges have continued since Trump became president. He told the Conservative Political Action Conference that “the forgotten men and women of America will be forgotten no longer.”

In the flood of reviews of Trump’s first 100 days, which focused heavily on his scandals and gaffes, few noted that he failed on this measure.

The working people who were crucial to Trump’s victory may not be impressed by more evidence that he’s a scoundrel. Most of them considered him a scoundrel when they voted for him. Their hope was that he might be their scoundrel, in contrast to the “corrupted politicians” and “failed political elite” that he railed against.

Trump understands this. That’s why so many of his stunts and boasts – the Carrier deal to keep 800 jobs here, posturing over the North American Free Trade Agreement, claiming credit for new jobs stemming from corporate decisions made long before he was elected – are designed to be seen and loved by working people.

But these stunts cover the reality: Trump is shafting the very working people who supported him. Consider these key measures.

Jobs

Trump constantly promises “lots of jobs,” and boasts of cracking down on companies moving jobs abroad. Trump officially buried the Trans Pacific Partnership, but that was dead anyway. He issued a “Buy America, Hire America” executive order, but that just called for a review, not action.

Beneath the noise, workers are getting betrayed. Trump has introduced no jobs bill. His much-ballyhooed plan to rebuild America was glaringly absent from his first budget, which actually cuts spending on infrastructure.

He has abandoned the End the Offshoring Act he promised in the first 100 days, which would use tariffs to discourage companies from moving abroad. Worse, he’s backed off pressuring China on the unprecedented trade deficits we suffer, and in so doing sacrifices American jobs for China’s supposed help with North Korea.

Rather than ripping up NAFTA, he now says he’ll renegotiate it, with his Commerce Secretary bizarrely suggesting that the TPP might serve as the “starting point.” His tax proposal would end taxation on profits reported abroad, giving companies even more incentive to ship jobs or create tax dodges abroad.

Worse, Trump has refused to use the power that he has. The federal government spends about $470 billion per year on contracts with firms that employ about one of five workers in the private sector. The president has the power to make his pledge of “Buy America, Hire America” a centerpiece of our procurement policy.

As research by Good Jobs Nation shows, 41 of the top 100 recipients of federal contracts engage in offshoring of jobs. Those companies received $176 billion in federal contracts in fiscal year 2016, which is over one-third of all federal contract spending. Trump could issue an executive order excluding firms that offshore jobs from qualifying to bid on federal contracts. That would have an immediate and profound effect on offshoring. Instead, Trump bloviates, but doesn’t act.

Wages

Trump promised workers good jobs with good wages, but he has acted repeatedly to drive down wages. He won’t ask the Republican House to vote on raising the minimum wage. He supports the right-wing push for a “right to work” law, designed to weaken unions. Neil Gorsuch, his Supreme Court Justice, will no doubt provide the fifth vote for gutting public sector unions.

Trump joined the Republican Congress to repeal Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplace” executive order, which was designed to protect federal contract employees from wage theft and workplace injuries. And the Trump administration has moved to delay – the first step to overturning – the Department of Labor’s overtime rule that would have guaranteed a 40-hour week and overtime pay for 4.2 million additional workers.

Health Care

The cruelty of Trumpcare has received significant attention. As Thomas Edsall details, Trump’s base face the most risk if this bill passes. The plan takes health insurance from millions of people, savages Medicaid, hikes premiums particularly on older workers, and undermines coverage of pre-existing conditions in order to provide the wealthy with a massive tax break — $7 million a year for each of the 400 richest Americans with annual incomes over $300 million.

Low-wage whites are a majority of the Medicaid recipients in four states — Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — that gave Trump his victory. Older workers with modest incomes who don’t get insurance from their employers will fare the worst under Trumpcare. Nate Cohn of the New York Times found that voters hit the hardest by this health care plan, and would get at least $5,000 less in tax credits, supported Trump by a margin of 59 to 36 percent.

Retirement

One of Trump’s first acts in office was to delay implementation of the fiduciary duty rule that requires investment advisors not cheat their clients with retirement accounts. The rule would have saved workers an estimated $17 billion per year in unnecessary fees and costs. Trump signed a repeal of the Department of Labor rule that assisted local governments in setting up public IRA programs to aid 55 million private sector workers without a retirement plan at work.

These assaults are only part of the story. Trump’s budget makes child care more expensive, and cuts after-school and summer programs. He’s joined with Republicans in Congress to repeal occupational protection rules for miners and construction workers.

He has called for cuts in everything from education to protection of clean air and clean water. He would cut the Department of Labor budget by 20 percent, dramatically reducing enforcement of worker rights, occupational health and safety laws, and protection against wage theft. The Economic Policy Institute’s report on Trump’s first 100 days provides a more detailed indictment.

This war on workers isn’t a bug, but a feature of a White House that has turned its economic plan over to Goldman Sachs alums and stocked its cabinet with “billionaires, bankers and bigots,” in the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Trump could have pushed to forge a bipartisan coalition to back his populist promises. Instead he chose to let the Republican majority in Congress, driven by the radical Freedom Caucus, define his priorities. In his first months in office, he has betrayed the voters who put him there.

The question is when they will finally understand what has happened. Trump keeps posturing as a populist. The outrage of the day – from Comey to the Kushner family business in China – captures media attention. Policy is complicated, but the story is clear. Trump is betraying his promise on jobs and shafting workers. Progressives should make certain this reality isn’t lost in the din.

Robert L. Borosage is a founder of the Campaign for America’s Future (ourfuture.org). Email borosage@ourfuture.org. Follow him on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/borosage. This originally appeared at TheNation.com.

From The Progressive Populist, June 15, 2017″

(AFTER READING THIS GREAT ARTICLE, I NOTICED THAT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S BIGGEST LIE IS THE FACT THAT HE SAYS HE’S A POPULIST.  ANYONE THAT IS DUMB ENOUGH TO BELIEVE HIM, JUST DOESN’T READ TOO MUCH BECAUSE I READ THE PROGRESSIVE POPULIST, WHICH IS A GREAT MAGAZINE AND WORKING FOR WORKING PEOPLE.  NO DOUBT, PRESIDENT TRUMP DISTORTS HIS VIEW BY CALLING HIMSELF A FRIEND OF WORKERS, WHICH HE CLAIMS HE IS.  THE VOTERS, BELIEVING THAT, AND FINALLY REALIZE THEY GOT LIED TO, SHOULD CALL, WRITE OR EMAIL REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP AND CALL HIM A LIAR.  TELL HIM WE CAN’T KEEP ACCEPTING $7.25 AN HOUR AS A PERMANENT WAGE SCALE BECAUSE, AFTER AWHILE, YOU SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO A RAISE TO $10.00 AN HOUR AND ASK HIM IF HE WOULD SUPPORT THAT.  I JUST KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED FOR YEARS AT $7.25 AN HOUR WITH NO RAISES, LESS THAN 40 HOURS A WEEK AND NO HEALTH CARE.  WITH THESE LOW WAGES OF $7.25 AN HOUR, LESS THAN A 40-HOUR WORK WEEK, CHILDREN WITH HAVE TO LIVE WITH THEIR PARENTS FOREVER.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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About tim074

I'm a retired dairy farmer that was a member of the National Farmer's Organization (NFO). Before going farming, I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force where I saved up enough money to get my down payment to go farming. I also enjoy writing and reading biographies and I write about myself as well as articles and excerpts I find interesting. I'm specifically interested in finances, particularly in the banking industry because if it wasn't for help from my local Community Bank, I never could have started farming which I was successful at. So, I'm real interested in the Small Business Administration and I know they are the ones creating jobs. I have been a member of Common Cause and am now a member of Public Citizen as well as AARP. I have, in the past, written over 150 articles on the Obama Blog (my.barackobama.com) and I'd like to tie these two sites together. I'm also on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and find these outlets terrifically interesting particularly what many of these people did concerning the uprising in the Arab world. I believe this is a smaller world than we think it is and my goal is to try to bring people together to live in peace because management needs labor like labor needs management. Up to now, that hasn't been so easy to find.
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