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Reich writes: "Almost one year in, it's time for another update for Trump voters on his election promises."

Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)

New Year's Update for Trump Voters

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

30 December 17


lmost 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 got 83 percent of the tax cut and the richest 0.1 percent, 60 percent of it. But more than half of all Americans — 53 percent — 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. (Just as well: His plan would have knocked at least 23 million off health insurance, including many of you.) Instead, he’s doing what he can to cut it back and replace it with nothing. 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’ crumbling infrastructure. You bought it. But after his giant tax cut for corporations and millionaires, there’s no money left for infrastructure.

5. He said he’d clean the Washington swamp. You bought it. But he’s brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, 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, lawyers and consultants who are crafting new policies for the same industries they recently worked for.

6. He said he’d use his business experience to whip the White House into shape. You bought it. But he has created the most dysfunctional, back-stabbing White House in modern history, and has already fired and replaced so many assistants (one of them hired and fired in a little more than a week) that people there barely know who’s in charge of what.

7. He told you he’d “bring down drug prices” by making deals with drug companies. You bought it. But now the White House says that promise is “inoperative.”

8. 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.

9. 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 new tax law for corporations and the rich.

10. 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.

11. He said that on Day One he’d label China a “currency manipulator.” You bought it. But then he met with China’s president Xi Jinping and declared “China is not a currency manipulator.” Ever since then, Trump has been cozying up to Xi.

12. He said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. You bought it. But then he bombed Syria.

13. He said he’d build a “wall” across the southern border. You believed him. But there’s no money for that, either. Chief of staff John Kelly says it is “unlikely that we will build a wall, a physical barrier, from sea to shining sea.”

14. 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. 

15. He said he would not be a president who took vacations. “I would not be a president that takes time off,” he promised, and he called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-Chief.” You bought it. But since becoming President he has spent nearly 25 percent of his days at one of his golf properties for some portion of the day, according to Golf News Network, at a cost to taxpayers of over $77 million. That’s already more taxpayer money on vacations than Obama cost in the first 3 years of his presidency. Not to mention all the money taxpayers are spending protecting his family, including his two sons who travel all over the world on Trump business.

16. 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 at its Indiana plant to Mexico. Notwithstanding, the federal government has rewarded United Technologies with 15 new contracts since Trump’s inauguration. Last year, Microsoft opened a new factory in Wilsonville, Oregon, that was supposed to herald a new era in domestic tech manufacturing. But in July, the company announced it was closing the plant. More than 100 workers and contractors will lose their jobs when production shifts to China. GE is sending jobs to Canada. IBM is sending them to Costa Rica, Egypt, Argentina, and Brazil. There have been no “consequences” for sending all these jobs overseas.

17. He promised to revive the struggling coal industry and “bring back thousands” of lost mining jobs. You bought it. But coal jobs continue to disappear. Since Trump’s victory, at least 6 plants that relied on coal have closed or announced they will close. Another 40 are projected to close during the president’s four-year term. Utilities continue to switch to natural gas instead of coal.

18. He promised to protect steel workers. But according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, which tracks shipments, steel imports were 19.4 percent higher in the first 10 months of 2017 than in the same period last year. That import surge has hurt American steel workers, who were already struggling against a glut of cheap Chinese steel. For example, ArcelorMittal just announced it will soon lay off 150 of its 207 steel workers at its plant in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

19. He said he’d make America safer. You believed him. But according to Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 377 mass shootings so far this year, including 58 people killed and hundreds injured at a concert in Las Vegas, and 26 churchgoers killed and 20 injured at a church in Texas. Trump refuses to consider any gun controls.

20. He said he’d release his taxes. “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 during the campaign. He hasn’t released his taxes. your social media marketing partner


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+26 # Blackjack 2017-12-30 14:36
Rubbish! Just more fake news! Can't confuse the Trumpsters with the facts! They're too smart for that!
+14 # RLF 2017-12-31 07:23
It's a religion!

I think the Trumpsters think draining the swamp means getting rid of career government workers. Just think they see the problem differently that the left. Seems like Career types in at least the EPA are running for the hills!
+6 # ericlipps 2017-12-31 18:36
Those who ever believed Donald Trump would "drain the swamp" as he promised were suckers. Why would he destroy his natural habitat?
+46 # Lolanne 2017-12-30 15:27
Lies from the liar-in-chief. Wonder how all those folks who believed him are feeling by now. Some are likely waking up -- I saw a piece (I think on Daily Kos) that included a photo of a man holding up a big sign saying "I Made A Huge Mistake!" I suspect there are lot like him out there. And still others who won't believe anything negative about him no matter what happens. Blind allegiance is a monstrous and dangerous thing. And that goes for this republican congress, too - it's even worse for them, because they know full-well what they're doing, unlike some of the truly ignorant who support him. They know better, but they're following along blindly anyway. "As long as we keep getting richer, who cares???" seems to be the republican attitude. The tide will change,though.. .2018 is just about here!
+6 # RLF 2017-12-31 07:26
So we can vote in a bunch of Corp. friendly Dems who will give us the Trump light version where the rich still get richer? Stop feeding me the "it's not a zero sum game" horsecrap and actually do something for labor.
+4 # Lolanne 2018-01-01 13:37
Quoting RLF:
So we can vote in a bunch of Corp. friendly Dems who will give us the Trump light version where the rich still get richer? Stop feeding me the "it's not a zero sum game" horsecrap and actually do something for labor.

Not sure where that "zero sum game" came from. I didn't mention it or labor in the comment I posted. And I certainly don't think the Dems are the answer to all the country's woes. But they're a damn site better than trump & co. any day of the week. Of course, that's not really a ringing endorsement, since just about anybody, including my 11 and 12 yr-old granddaughters, wd be better than trump. Unlike him, my granddaughters know the difference between right and wrong and they understand what compassion is and what being fair to all means.
+18 # Clementine 2017-12-30 16:00
May every Trump voter burn in hell
+23 # PABLO DIABLO 2017-12-30 16:20
You mean, he lied? At least he ended complacency. 90 Million REGISTERED voters DID NOT VOTE.Maybe next time the Democrats can find a candidate that can beat him.
+27 # futhark 2017-12-31 02:30
They had one. Bernie Sanders.
-8 # ericlipps 2017-12-31 18:39
Rubbish. Sanders couldn't even beat Hillary Clinton. And if you think she won the Democratic nomination by dirty tricks and even illegal actions, what do you suppose the Rump would have done?
+41 # Wise woman 2017-12-30 16:58
I hope these people who voted for trump start to feel the effects of his lying about most everything. Maybe by 2018 they'll be able to see straight and start voting for what helps them instead of what hurts them and the rest of us.
+11 # RLF 2017-12-31 07:30
We can only hope but I've seen the quality of the Rep. president go down every time since 1980 and keep hoping the same thing. I'm afraid a shock is necessary. Something that makes it impossible to dispute blame no matter what the lies. I think the tax bill could be the GOP coffin nail. Screw with the economic engine of this country on the coasts and just watch how fast the rest of the country drops!
+48 # futhark 2017-12-30 17:05
Dr. Reich is correct about Trump on all 20 counts. The only logical conclusion we can draw from this pattern is that when Donald Trump makes a promise we can be certain that the opposite will happen.
+17 # Kiwikid 2017-12-30 23:10
I wish that were true - unfortunately there were many promises promises he has kept - all pandering to his red-necked base.
+11 # goodsensecynic 2017-12-31 11:51
Q: How do you know what Trump is saying is a lie?

A: His lips move.
-44 # wantrealdemocracy 2017-12-30 18:50
Better than Hillary. Maybe we can learn to not vote for any Democrat or any Republican. I'm tired of trying to figure out which is the lesser evil.
+29 # wrknight 2017-12-30 21:14
Better than Hillary? You gotta be shittin' me.

It was truly difficult to determine which of the two were the worst prior to the election. But since the election, Trump has resolved that question quite clearly. Hillary could never begin to reach the depths of depravity that Trump has achieved.
+3 # ericlipps 2017-12-31 18:57
It really wasn't that difficult, if one actually listened to what each candidate said. Hillary: "We're stronger together." Trump: "Mexican illegal immigrants are rapists and drug dealers." And which candidate was it who proposed banning Muslims from entering this country "until we figure out what's going on"? Not Hillary.
+4 # Robbee 2017-12-31 22:31
20 broken promises! - New Year's Update for Trump Voters
Robert Reich, 30 December 17

Quoting wrknight 2017-12-30 21:14:
Better than Hillary? You gotta be shittin' me.

It was truly difficult to determine which of the two were the worst prior to the election. But since the election (yada, yada)

- not exactly!

before the election most of us distrusted hillary to some mythical extent that we figured meant exactly the opposite

at the same time most of us here trusted dickhead to be too mythically ingenue not to mean what he said - we gave him our free pass

what you call "truly difficult to determine" was only hard because most of us held hillary to an impossible standard! how sad!

don't it always seem to go?
that you don't know what you got, till it's gone?

maybe next time some of us will have learned something? who can tell?
+6 # futhark 2017-12-31 02:34
Millions share your frustration. Perhaps the best thing that will come from the 2016 presidential election is that it will break the political duopoly that frustrates and inhibits the true public interest, whether it is finding alternative ways of conducting the elections (getting rid of the Electoral College), of funding campaigns (passing the "We, the People" amendment, or energizing other existing "third parties" (I have voted Green in the last 3 elections) time will tell.
-1 # Robbee 2017-12-31 22:47
Quoting futhark 2017-12-31 02:34:
I have voted Green in the last 3 elections) time will tell.

- interesting! - how has voting green worked out for you? too soon to tell? what?

in the long run, we are all dead! is that when time tells you something?

in 2000 3% of the voting public voted the equivalent of green - for nader

never since has the % of voters who voted the equivalent of green exceeded 1%

greens helped elect bush2cheney and now, dickhead - does this mean anything to you?

the trend is that fewer progressive voters are choosing to be irrelevant to progress - does this mean anything to you?
+5 # ericlipps 2017-12-31 18:52
And what, exactly, makes the Rump "better than Hillary"? All we really have to go on where she's concerned is speculation based on hostile assessments of her record as First Lady, senator and Secretary of State I'm sure many here would think that's more than enough. But with Trump, we have his record as president to evaluate, and that speaks for itself.

It might he said that Hillary's record is utterly damning. But that's what progressives said about Earl Warren when Eisenhower picked him for chief justice of the Supreme Court. As governor of California, Warren had enthusiasticall y supported locking up Japanese-Americ ans after Pearl Harbor, and the rest of his record made Ike confident that he'd be welcomed by the South. Before long, Southern (and Northern) racists were screaming for his head, and the Warren Court went on to establish itself as the most liberal in this nation's history.

All of which suggests that the Bernie-shrieker s who so hate Hillary Clinton that they actually think Trump is better don't have a clue.

I calmly await the inevitable barrage of vicious retorts and thumbs down. Go to it, folks; frankly, I don't give a damn.
0 # Kiwikid 2018-01-02 13:27
Hillary has been in the political maelstrom for decades. She has made mistakes - the only way to avoid making mistakes is to do nothing (or to be a critic - sniping from the sidelines with no skin in the game).
President Chump has no prior history (at least in an elected position) - he has taken no political risks, it would never occur to him to 'do the right thing', even if deeply unpopular, simply because its the right thing. Politically he was a blank slate - he could say whatever he liked to get elected. And he did. Principles, values, truth, right and wrong, seem to play no part in his 'thinking'. That folks could not see this (and many still don't) and make their choices accordingly is mind boggling.
+1 # Robbee 2018-01-01 10:16
Quoting wantrealdemocracy 2017-12-30 18:50:
Better than Hillary. Maybe we can learn to not vote for any Democrat or any Republican. I'm tired of trying to figure out which is the lesser evil.

- that was your personal problem, you worried only about lote

that is to say, you never looked for any good in hillary!

you never cared how good hilll would have been for women, blacks, latinos, higher ed students, obama's no-nuke deal with iran, enhanced aca, overruling "citizens united" for billionaires as her litmus test for nominating a supreme, so on and so forth ad nauseam now - now you represent the bad hangover of all those who disregarded bernie's endorsement then - what could bernie know? we are so much smarter than he?

you were blind then, and now your answer is to to stay blind forever! a pox on you humbugs!

you can lead "want real democracy" toward knowledge, but you can't make "want real democracy" venture anywhere close! - gather round! humbug speaks! humbug says humbug is tired? looking at nothing but lote has finally and completely worn "want real democracy" out?

robbee proposes that "want real democracy" wake up! open your mind!
+22 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-31 08:28
I think Reich forgot to include something about selling the American democracy out to the Russians. And all the "doing Putin's bidding" stuff.

Still, he is right that Trump is an abysmal president. For me, the most shocking and horrible thing is his march to war against N. Korea. His threat at the UN to totally destroy N. Korea was horrifying because the US has done it once and is easily equipped to do it again. This time nuclear bombs would probably be used.

We definitely do need to get rid of Trump and the malicious republican/capi talist faction he fronts for. But we will never do it by impeachment, Russiagate, or any of that. We will do it by a strong, reformed, and democratic socialist democratic party. The issues are clear. Democrats just need to stand behind them. Right now, the leadership does not.
0 # Robbee 2017-12-31 23:06
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov:
The issues are clear. Democrats just need to stand behind them. Right now, the leadership does not.

- our ident russiabot has a poor record for noticing what dem leadership promotes - rr's lack of local info says more about rr, and where rr says it from, than about us!
0 # Robbee 2017-12-31 23:35
# Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-31 08:28
The issues are clear. Democrats just need to stand behind them. Right now, the leadership does not.

- starting first thing in 2018, (bernie started early, not that there's anything wrong with that) i'd like to see bernie, elizabeth, keith, chuck, nancy, tony, and all dem congress, campaign to UNcut taxes on billionaires! - repukes rushed this monstrosity thru closed doors, horse-trading with billionaires, no public comment! - some unwise details need to be corrected! asap! - may dems have the enthusiasm and energy! power to dems! power to people!

note, rr - the test is not whether rsn or msn reports that anybody promotes raising, UNcutting taxes on billionaires - it is, instead, whether they openly promote doing so, thanks!

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