aside Labor Is Becoming Disenchanted With President Trump

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RICHARD TRUMKA

Income Inequality in the US is larger than ever and the US income disparity far surpasses that in other developed rich countries. Typically, the richer, more developed countries have lower income disparities between the rich and the middle class/ poor with the exception of the USA. I blame the republicans’ reliance on “trickle down economics” tax cuts as the one of the causes for this state of affairs as well as the republicans’ policy of Union busting.

It behooves the Democratic Party to back Union members, not just in words but with substance. It appears that this group of voters who voted for the republican President Donald Trump are fast becoming disenchanted.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On January 23, 2018, Michael Tackett of the New York Times penned the following report, Union Chief Says Trump, Having ‘Actively Hurt’ Workers, Is Losing Support 

Excerpts: 

“The president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., Richard Trumka, who flirted with an alliance with President Trump, delivered a searing critique on Tuesday of the president’s first year, saying that he had used the White House “to actively hurt working people” and favor corporate interests.”

“Broken promises are bad enough,” Mr. Trumka said during a meeting with reporters. “But President Trump has also used his office to actively hurt working people. He has joined with corporations and their political allies to undermine the right of workers to bargain collectively. He has taken money out of our pockets and made our workplace less safe. He has divided our country, abandoned our values and given cover to racism and other forms of bigotry.”

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“Mr. Trumka, who was criticized by some Democrats and union members for his early show of support for Mr. Trump’s presidency, also said internal union surveys showed that the president was losing favor among workers.”

“When Mr. Trump was inaugurated last January, an internal survey found that 45 percent of union members approved of him and 55 percent disapproved, according to Mike Podhorzer, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s political director. Now, he said, 37 percent of members approve of the president while 63 percent disapprove.”

“That finding mirrors a rise in support among union members for Democratic candidates, Mr. Podhorzer said, including in Rust Belt states.”

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“Lindsay Walters, a deputy White House press secretary, responded, “President Trump was elected to revitalize the American economy, and has continued to generate results that have advanced American workers. Through the passage of historic tax cuts, over 2 million workers will benefit from the numerous announcements from companies offering bonuses, increased wages, and other benefits to their employees.”

“Working-class support for Mr. Trump, a wealthy Manhattan real estate developer and reality television star, was among the more surprising twists in the 2016 campaign. An upswing in the support of white, working-class voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin helped deliver Mr. Trump the White House, despite his popular vote loss.”

“Those voters will be critical both to Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020 and to Republican fortunes in the midterm elections in November. If, as Mr. Trumka suggested, support is eroding, then the president’s hold on the Rust Belt would be shaky.”

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“Mr. Trumka said the president had been generous with access to the Oval Office and administration officials, and he described Mr. Trump as “charming person to person.” One meeting scheduled to last 30 minutes went on for nearly three hours, he said.”

“But those meetings, and the president’s affability, failed to yield results, Mr. Trumka said.”

He added, “We have a president who is on all sides and no side.”

“On specific issues, Mr. Trumka criticized Mr. Trump for failing to “label China as a currency manipulator” and said the president had rejected plans to “revitalize our coal communities.”

“And despite calling himself a ‘builder president,’” Mr. Trumka continued, “he’s done nothing to invest in America’s infrastructure.”

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“He promised a trillion and we’ve seen nothing so far,” Mr. Trumka said of the president’s pledge to deliver an enormous program to rebuild the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and other infrastructure.”

“He tells whoppers all the time and denies the obvious truth,” Mr. Trumka said.”

“Mr. Trumka said his union would participate aggressively in the midterm elections, backing candidates who supported its agenda in what he labeled “Tier 1” states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, and in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona. Labor unions will also target another dozen states.”

“Historically, labor has aligned strongly with the Democratic Party, but Mr. Trump’s election showed that many in the rank and file were open to a Republican candidate. Mr. Trumka said union members were willing to vote for Mr. Trump because they felt establishment candidates in both parties had failed them, and they were ready to give the first-time politician “a chance.”

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“Now, he said, workers are far less enthusiastic. The tax cut plan, Mr. Trumka said, favored companies over workers, adding that it “rewards outsourcing” of jobs.”

“What he’s doing hasn’t matched up with what he’s said,” Mr. Trumka said.”

“In the last election, Mr. Trump outperformed Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012, by four percentage points among union members. But, Mr. Trumka noted, Hillary Clinton under-performed President Barack Obama by about 10 percentage points among union members.”

“Instead of delivering change, Mr. Trump is “doubling down on everything that got us to this point,” Mr. Trumka said, referring to the president’s tax and economic policies.”

“But Mr. Trumka also cautioned Democrats to outline an agenda that would appeal to union workers or risk losing their votes again in the midterm elections.”

“Mr. Trumka had initially joined the president’s business council, but resigned in August after the president’s seemingly ambivalent remarks about racists protesting in Charlottesville, Va.”

7 comments

    • Dear Roger,

      He is clueless and his Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin has just publicly announced that US dollar being weaker is a good thing. Which planet are we are we on ?

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Pulling the ‘weak currency’ is good for exports trick are they?
        Trouble with that one is the cost of imports goes up.
        You never have a free ride with currencies. It’s quite a balancing act and much of it has to do with international perception of your nation…..

  1. Gronda, the difference in sales and delivery is being realized. There is an interesting piece that much of the economic boon in the US over the last 104 consecutive months has gone to the cities and less to the towns and rural areas that favored Trump. This shows how he appealed to those citizens for votes, but has focused more on the benefitting the wealthy. If he wanted to start on a better footing, he would have made infrastructure investing his first mission. He would have had more bipartisan buy-in. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      It is my opinion that Steve Bannon was the true populist but he was also anti-immigration and a racist. The president has delivered more to the anti-immigration/ racist part of his base but he has failed miserably in delivering on his promises to the populist part. This guarantees him a loss in the future.

      Everything he is doing or has been doing actually harms the populist part of his base.

      Hugs, Gronda

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