President Donald Trump made a lot of promises while campaigning in Michigan. He looked Michigan’s middle-class and working families in the eyes and told them he would “drain the swamp” and make the economy work for them.
But that was “Campaign Trump.” Campaign Trump cared only about what it would take to win. “President Trump,” on the other hand, is either clueless or couldn’t care less about delivering on the things he promised.
He said he’d drain the swamp. Instead, he’s stacked his administration with billionaires, Wall Street bankers, lobbyists, and D.C. insiders, while letting his immediate family abuse their positions for personal gain. In fact, former ethics advisor to George W. Bush called this pay-to-play, “corruption, pure and simple.”
He promised that no one would lose health care. Instead, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Trumpcare throws 24 million people off their health care, guts Medicaid by more than $800 billion, drastically increases premiums for older Americans, and ends protections for people with pre-existing conditions, all to finance massive tax breaks for people like Trump.
He said he’d help Michigan workers. Instead, Trump proposed a budget that axes job creation programs, slashes job training, and defunds economic development, and then has the audacity to claim credit for jobs that were already added through negotiations and policies put in place during the Obama administration.
He said he’d call China “a currency manipulator on day one.” Instead, Trump failed to stand up to China – declining to label them a currency manipulator and cut deals with the Chinese government to further his personal business interests.
He said he’d rip up NAFTA. Instead, after talking to the leaders of Canada and Mexico, Trump completely backed down on NAFTA, breaking yet another promise to struggling Michigan workers.
Standing up for the “forgotten man.” Instead, Trump has forgotten that man. His first act in office was to increase mortgage rates, making it harder for working people to buy a home. His budget cuts job training, Meals on Wheels and funding to protect the Great Lakes.
Furthermore, he’s made it easier for unscrupulous bankers and brokers to cheat hardworking Americans out of their retirement savings. All to finance yet another tax break for the rich, while his proposed tax plan raises taxes on the middle-class, including an increase in the federal gas tax.
Bottom line, Trump ran on false promises and exploited Americans’ anger and anxiety toward a rigged economic system that makes billionaires out of people like him and leaves workers struggling to make ends meet.
Trump is just a Republican in cheap clothing who, pretending to be a man of the people, has done nothing more than carry on the GOP tradition of taking from those who work for a living and giving massive tax cuts to the richest individuals and families, like his own, who have enough, but will never stop wanting more.
Brandon Dillon is chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.