“Promises made, Promises Kept” will be Donald Trump’s slogan as he campaigns “six or seven days a week” for Republicans this fall. During the 2016 election, Trump promised workers “more jobs and better wages,” that he would bring jobs back from abroad. “Every policy decision we make must pass a simple test,” he said, “Does it create more jobs and better wages for Americans?”
Now on the stump, Trump touts “the best economy in the history of our country. Factories are reopening. Jobs are pouring back into the United States.” He has scrambled to get a semblance of a new NAFTA deal (thus far without Canada) in place before the election, and he boasts of his escalating face-off with China, while claiming that workers are benefiting now from his “lovely tax cuts.”
Don’t fall for the con. Real wages have fallen over the last year, despite an economy nearing full employment. Good jobs are still being shipped abroad. Our trade deficit with China climbed to its highest level on record in 2017. The $4,000 raise promised to workers out of the tax bill is nowhere to be seen. As Americans for Tax Fairness has documented, only 4 percent of workers received any increase from the tax cuts, while, as predicted, corporate CEOs used the cut for a record-breaking $700 billion in stock buybacks, lining their pockets and those of investors. Earlier this year, a careful analysis of government data showed that 43 percent of Americans couldn’t afford a basic monthly budget for housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, and a monthly smartphone bill.
Trump not only hasn’t delivered for workers; he’s joined the other side. It’s not an accident that workers in America have suffered stagnant wages and reduced benefits. It is the result of a systematic corporate campaign to crush unions, rig trading rules to benefit investors and undermine workers, and roll back public regulations and investments that benefit working people. Trump’s administration and the Republican Congress are doubling down on that assault.