By HENRY GARRIDO
Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump portrays himself as a champion of the financially suffering middle class and disaffected blue-collar workers.
He can say what he wants. But I agree with Vice President Joe Biden, who says Trump’s claim to be the “people’s candidate” is “a bunch of malarkey.”
When you examine Trump’s qualifications for the job of president and his policies, it becomes quite clear that he is unfit to be president and that his interests don’t coincide with ours.
A business background does not mean you’re necessarily prepared to run a government. Business is about profits. Government is about providing services.
Many foreign policy experts believe Trump doesn’t have the background or temperament to represent the United States on the global stage. They are also wary that as president, Trump would have his finger close to the nuclear button.
Trump’s business background does, however, offer a glimpse of his management skills — and what we see is troublesome. He isn’t a self-made real estate mogul. He got his start with a $1 million loan from his father.
Ripping off workers and contractors
Trump’s business history includes four casino bankruptcies, shirking his obligation to contribute to the pension and welfare benefits of unionized employees and failing to pay contractors. Though he is now carrying out a vicious anti-immigrant presidential campaign, Trump had no problem using undocumented Polish workers on the Trump Tower project in Manhattan.
As for Trump’s policies, we have deep reasons to be concerned.
There appears to be little he would do to stop to the rising inequality and the attack on working families that have occurred over past four decades.
The Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, estimates that Trump’s tax plan would need to be paid for with $12 trillion in spending cuts to avoid big increases in budget deficits. In contrast, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s tax plan would raise $1.1 trillion in revenue over the next decade by making the wealthy pay their fair share.
Under Trump’s plan, the top 1 percent of taxpayers would enjoy more than one third of the tax cuts — $4.4 trillion. Only 13 percent of the cuts would go to 60 percent of lower-income taxpayers.
Trump’s family would save $4 billion because the plan would abolish the estate tax.
An analysis by the economic research and risk management group Moody’s Analytics describes Trump’s economic plan as “fiscally unsound.” In addition to the $12 trillion loss of revenue over ten years, the plan would lead to a “lengthy recession,” the disappearance of nearly 3.5 million jobs, and 7 percent unemployment, according to Moody’s.
Trump’s deportation plan would cause an economic downturn by reducing the number of consumers of goods and services by 11 million. High tariffs would mean higher prices for consumers and especially harm his supporters — less educated voters with modest incomes.
Trump is silent about policies for working families — equal pay, paid family leave, earned sick days and expanded child care — that Clinton supports. He would abolish the Dodd-Frank law, which contains regulations that aim to curb financial practices that led to the 2008 economic crash.
Clearly, Trump doesn’t represent the interests of working families.
So, let’s not get complacent because his campaign appears to be imploding and Clinton leads him in the polls. The stakes are too high.
This originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Public Employee Press.