The biggest lie ever told in American politics is the claim that Donald Trump cares about working people.
He never has. He never will.
As a bankruptcy-prone business mogul, Trump has always financed his lavish lifestyle at the expense of the workers and contractors he screwed over. Now he is doing the same thing as president, having engineered a government shutdown that on Friday denied 800,000 federal employees their paychecks.
“Cheating, scamming, and ripping off workers is a Donald Trump tradition that goes back decades. Federal workers are just Trump’s latest victims,” says Public Citizen president Robert Weissman. “For decades, Trump repeatedly didn’t pay those who worked for him, and now that he’s in the White House, little has changed. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers and employees of federal contractors are suffering the same fate because of the Trump shutdown.”
This shutdown, says Paul Shearon, the president of International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, is “completely unnecessary.”
“The real problem is that President Trump has shut himself down and he’s refusing to do his job as chief executive,” says Shearon, whose union represents judges in US immigration courts, scientists, engineers and technical workers at NASA, and highly skilled workers at the EPA and NOAA.
The human cost is severe for federal workers who, as American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. says, have take home pay of about $500 a week and in many case “struggle to make ends meet even without a missed paycheck.” Yet Trump is “holding employees’ paychecks hostage over demands for a border wall.”
Trump presumes that unpaid federal workers can just “make adjustments,” while claiming that he “can relate” to the difficult circumstance he has imposed upon them.
This, says Weissman, “is pretty rich coming from a six-time bankrupt real estate mogul who inherited his daddy’s fortune. Working families who are living paycheck to paycheck and can no longer afford to pay for rent, groceries and medical bills because of Trump’s reckless shutdown have every right to be furious at the president’s oblivious and patronizing remarks.”
Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that “the American worker will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.”
That was a lie.
As Weissman says, Trump has as president “betrayed workers at every turn.”
“From rolling back health, safety and wage protections to misleading coal miners to tax giveaways for billionaires and big corporations that left most Americans with a pittance,” he explains, “it should be obvious by now that Trump holds working people beneath contempt.