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The Fraudulent Administration of Donald Trump: Unfulfilled Promises

December 22, 2017

As the clock winds down on the first year of the Trump Administration, taking stock of how reality matches up to campaign rhetoric may be a useful and educational experience. So far, promises of populist progress for the vast majority of the American people appear to be taking a back seat to a decades-old GOP policy agenda more than the promises made which encouraged millions of voters to support Donald Trump in November 2016. The year end flurry of activity to pass a tax cut law which furthers a right wing agenda espoused by Speaker Ryan since at least his days as Chair of the House Budget Committee speaks volumes as to where this Administration is willing to go in order to be able to declare a legislative victory despite the effects such legislation promises to deliver to the nation as a whole.

Congress, under firm GOP control, has shown no inclination to allow populist policies hinted at by President Trump on the campaign trail. A promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a system that did a better job of achieving quality affordable health care to all resulted in months of frantic but fruitless legislative activity which, if passed, would have resulted in millions of people being forced to lose health insurance they had just recently acquired. Any attempts to actually improve the system have been relegated to the dustbin of history and the ACA is being sabotaged by, among other things, a provision of the new tax cut legislation which does away with the portion of the ACA which makes health insurance coverage mandatory for each individual. Repeal of the individual mandate will result in millions of people choosing not to pay for insurance, and premiums to become unaffordable for millions more – effectively throwing the out of the insurance market as well.

President Trump dutifully did make what attempts he could to achieve some of the other big-ticket items from his campaign. While the infamous border wall he promised to build between the U.S. and Mexico has been beset by funding problems (for some reason, despite his claims to the contrary, Mexico has been reluctant to pay for it, and Congress hasn’t seem fit to do so, either). He has been trying to tackle some immigration issues using Executive Orders which have been dealt several blows by our judiciary system. His Administration has also stepped up efforts to deport many undocumented immigrants and keep out others (primarily Hispanic and Muslim) in order to somehow fight terrorism and drug trafficking while keeping immigrants from stealing jobs competing with American citizens.

Part of Trump’s assault on immigration has included his stated intention to end the DACA program instituted by the Obama Administration which deferred action to remove immigrants brought here as children, allowing many to remain here legally for specified time periods to live, work, go to school, etc. For many, this is the only home they’ve ever known. Congress, of course, is responsible for passing legislation dealing with all these immigration issues, but has been putting off doing so for decades – just as it has most other important legislation. This year’s budget, as has been the case for quite some time, is being delayed by continuing resolutions for a couple weeks or months at a time so Congress can take recesses to recharge without shutting down the government again.

Many of the Trump campaign promises fed on racism and pitting working folks against each other, demonizing some (Hispanics and Muslims, for example) to favor white working class people. He made some high profile attempts to keep factories open here (along with the jobs they provided) rather than moving abroad, but the results have been spotty and costly. The tax law just passed gives huge tax breaks to big business with no guarantee that the money will in anyway make it to the pockets of the majority of the workers in those companies as opposed to their executives and shareholders.The relative pittance meted out to working families in terms of reducing their taxes is set to expire in a few years, while the corporate breaks are open-ended.

Any economic boost that could put major money back into the economy from the bottom up – like major infrastructure spending – has been relegated to the back burner while both the Congressional GOP and President Trump appear to be maintaining their focus on the tried and failed philosophy of trickle-down economics, where you make the rich richer and coddle the corporations so they’ll miraculously become socially conscious benefactors and invest in their workforces to boost demand for goods and services and create the need for new and better jobs. Hasn’t worked in this country since Reagan started preaching it back in the 1980’s, but this time, by golly, it will. In the meantime, economic, educational and political inequality continues to grow exponentially each time one of these tax cut phases is initiated, to be followed by belt-tightening austerity felt primarily by the less well-to-do once the religion of balanced budgets reasserts itself.

Trump’s theme of Make America Great Again has been amended sarcastically or satirically as Make America Hate Again (white supremacy, anyone?) which more accurately describes the results of his policies on our society once implemented. Lying to people or pretending that policies are meant to benefit everyone provide a distraction for sufficient robbery of the bulk of the population to further the wealthy few to take place that the resultant economic collapse hides the fact that we are not all victims of some random economic calamity. The recovery, like the catastrophe preceding it, comes on the backs of the mass of humanity, not the oligarchs. In he aftermath of the last recession, how many working families were bailed out, as opposed to banks and other big corporations? Who paid for the bailouts and what benefit did they obtain in return, other than that chances are they’ll have to do it all over in a few years or decades?

So far, the economy has hummed along nicely for President Trump, but that is hardly due to any steps he has taken to make it do so. Trade and domestic economic policies – including workers’ rights and protections – are promising to get worse as his favoring of corporate management over workers becomes more apparent. Rhetoric doesn’t feed families and sophistry doesn’t create jobs without solid investment and the desire to truly advance the ability of average workers to make ends meet on a daily basis. If his economic plans for the country match what he has done with his businesses, I doubt our economy is in good hands. How many success stories have we heard coming out of Trump University?

Make America Great Again domestically for Trump seems to mean  making life increasingly easier for the wealthy, giving them more economic wealth and political power to maintain their status, while impoverishing more of us and disenfranchising more of us from any sense of real political power to influence the future of own governance. On the world stage, Making America Great Again pits us increasingly against more and more people and countries as our government seeks to wield its power militarily and economically to exploit resources and people abroad for the benefit of American workers, corporations and oligarchs (at least rhetorically, because the workers wouldn’t be gung-ho nationalists if they realized they were themselves being hoodwinked to protect the interests of their bosses by being pitted against their foreign peers).

At any rate, the Trump Administration has thus far failed to inspire confidence in many of us in its ability to improve our prospects as individuals or as a society. They have done much to indicate that they are participating in government as a kleptocracy rather than a democracy, which he has shown his greatest degree of competence in to this point. His foreign policy is a shambles threatening to be even more deadly on a worldwide basis than even his worst predecessors achieved. As long as allow the rest of the government to steer him along the current path it has taken this year, things will not become greater for most of us – not in terms of quality of life, actual liberty (including civil and human rights) or the pursuit of anything resembling true happiness and fulfillment. Recent elections and polls have been promising signs that we may still be able to turn things around in the not-too-distant future, but it will take a lot of hard work by many people to do so.

Suggested Further Readings:

Al Franken rips Trump in farewell speech to Senate

The GOP’s Tax Cut Bonanza Is a Major Attack on Medicare

GOP Budgets, Statements Make Plans Clear: Costly Tax Cuts for Wealthy Now, Program Cuts Later

Paul Ryan just admitted that Republicans are going to destroy Medicare to pay for their despised tax cut

The Republican Cure Is Always Worse Than The Disease: The Property Tax Edition

Republican Tax Cuts Are Not About Economic Growth or Lifting Working-Class Incomes

Why Making American Corporations More Competitive Doesn’t Help Most Americans

Republicans Declare War On Higher Education

GOP member of Congress: Trump said he’d target Social Security ‘the 1st day of his 2nd term’

The Myth Of Trump’s Economic Populism, As Proven By The Tax Bill

Sinking in the Swamp

Americans pessimistic about Trump, country: AP-NORC Poll

How Trump Will Betray His Base

How the GOP Tax Plan Could Raise Taxes In Your State

Donald Trump’s Fake Populism: Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Isn’t

Trump Promised A Tax Cut Aimed At The Middle Class. Looks Like He Missed — Badly.

“How much will Trump personally benefit from the GOP tax cuts?”

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4 Comments
  1. Thank you for the reblog, Robert.

    Like

  2. Excellent analysis, Rick. The million dollar question is whether Trump’s voter base will realize he’s betrayed them. I suspect this is why he has delayed signing the tax cut bill – Republicans are worried about the effect of the cuts on the 2018 midterm. But surely he can’t delay signing it for nearly a year, can he?

    The British spy think tank Chatham House is predicting the tax cut will kill his voter base. I wonder how Fox News has been covering it – since that’s their main source of news. I can’t bring myself to watch that network because it makes me sick to my stomach.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. He signed the bill. They’re counting on a well-financed publicity blitz, the slowness of the overall effects taking place and 11 months worth of Trumpian distractions ( which he is expert at, especially as it pertains to media manipulation) to make the midterms not too awful for the GOP. After all, the next phase will be to blame the easily predictable budget deficits on social safety net spending instead of the unpaid for tax cuts that are the true cause.

    Like

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