Robert B. Reich: Trump making little progress on promises to voters
Almost one year in, it’s time for another update for Trump voters on his election promises:
1. He told you he’d cut your taxes, and that the super-rich like him would pay more. You bought it. But his new tax law does the opposite. By 2027, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the richest 1 percent will have gotten 83 percent of the tax cut. But more than half of all Americans will pay more in taxes. As Trump told his wealthy friends at Mar-a-Lago just days after the tax bill became law, “You all just got a lot richer.”
2. He promised to close “special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors … but unfair to American workers,” especially the notorious “carried interest” loophole for private-equity, hedge fund and real estate partners. You bought it. But the new tax law keeps the “carried interest” loophole.
3. He told you he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “beautiful.” You bought it. But he didn’t repeal and he didn’t replace. Instead, the new tax law will result in 13 million people losing health coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
4. He told you he’d invest $1 trillion in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. You bought it. But after his giant tax cut for corporations and the rich, there’s no money left for infrastructure.
5. He told you, “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” You bought it. But he and House Speaker Paul Ryan are already planning such cuts in order to deal with the ballooning deficit created, in part, by the giant tax cut for corporations and the rich.
6. He promised “six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit.” You bought it. But the giant tax cut for corporations and the rich doesn’t leave any money for this.
7. He promised “a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.” You bought it. But foreign lobbyists are still raising money for American elections.
8. He said he’d drain the Washington swamp. You bought it. But he’s brought into his administration more billionaires and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses, and he’s filled departments and agencies with former lobbyists who are crafting new policies for the same industries in which they recently worked.
9. He promised that the many women who accused him of sexual misconduct “will be sued after the election is over.” You bought it. He hasn’t sued them, presumably because he doesn’t want the truth to come out.
10. He said he would not be a president who took vacations, and he called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-chief.” You bought it. But since becoming president, Trump has spent nearly 25 percent of his days at one of his golf properties, reports Golf News Net, and it’s come at a cost of at least $43 million to American taxpayers, according to TrumpGolfCount.com.
11. He said he’d force companies to keep jobs in America, and that there would be “consequences” for companies that shipped jobs abroad. You believed him. But despite their promises, Carrier, Ford, GM and the rest have continued to ship jobs to Mexico and China. Carrier (a division of United Technologies) has moved ahead with plans to send 1,000 jobs to Mexico. Still, the federal government has rewarded United Technologies with 15 new contracts since Trump’s inauguration.
12. He promised to “bring back thousands” of lost coal-mining jobs. You bought it. But coal jobs continue to disappear as utilities switch to natural gas.
13. He promised to protect steel workers. But according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, steel imports were 19.4 percent higher in the first 10 months of 2017 than in the same period last year. ArcelorMittal just announced it will lay off 150 of its 207 steel workers at its plant in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
14. He said he’d make America safer. You believed him. But according to Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 377 mass shootings since he became president. Trump refuses to consider any gun controls.
15. He said he’d release his tax returns. “I’m under a routine audit and it’ll be released, and as soon as the audit is finished, it will be released,” he promised. He still hasn’t released his tax returns.
Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of “Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few,” now available in paperback. His film “Inequality for All” is available on Amazon, DVD and On Demand, and his documentary “Saving Capitalism” is now on Netflix. His daily blog is at www.facebook.com/RBReich.