Trump Promises Real ‘Enemy of the People’

Donald J. Trump is busy trying to turn public opinion against news media outlets that provide us — on an almost daily blow-by-legal-blow — coverage of his corrupt administration. He has gone so far as to label journalists the enemy of the people.

Sorry, Donald, truth be told — and that’s what we do at The Shinbone Star — the enemy of our country is you, along with your empty campaign promises.

No wall built along our southern border will be paid for by Mexico. The massive tax cut passed late last year hasn’t pumped meaningful dollars into the average American’s paycheck. Coal miners are not back to work in record numbers and the coal industry isn’t in revival mode.

America under your watch is under attack by your love affair with chaos. Your empty, meaningless promises to the people of our country are simply sound bites designed to elicit emotional support for your political ambitions, which are aimed at salvaging your failing business enterprises at all costs.

You, Donald, and your empty promises are the enemy of our country. And this doesn’t even take into account your unpatriotic, “best buds” relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who helped get you into the White House in order to deconstruct our democracy.

Meanwhile, you use your bully pulpit to argue for patience.  Change takes time, you insist.

Well, let’s examine your attempts at representing reality in your promises. Let’s start with The Wall. You apparently have given up on your promise of getting Mexico to pay for it since the current federal budget calls for those costs to come from the military to the tune of some $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars. Guess that’s OK since you and your Republican lawmakers dumped some $60 billion in additional funding into the defense department’s coffers to go with the $560 billion in  largess from the previous year.

Question, Donald: Before giving the generals more money, did you, as any good businessman executive would, audit the defense budget to make certain the more than half a trillion in taxpayers’ dollars was being spent properly and not funding white elephant projects? No? Didn’t think so, but that’s how you operate and why your businesses either go bankrupt or require financial assistance from foreign (read Russian) investors.

Now, about that tax cut that you and your Republican cohorts in Congress bragged about late last year, how has that panned out for the American worker? You promised large increases in take-home pay. You promised that dropping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent would be a boon for workers because businesses would pass along savings to their workers with increased wages or bonuses.

A recent Bloomberg News report using private data from PayScale’s wage index shows a drop in wages in the second quarter of the year. While wages have risen by 12.9 percent overall since 2006, wages adjusted for inflation (so-called “real wages”) have actually fallen by 9.3 percent. Most notably, Bloomberg reported that between the first and second quarters of 2018 — after the tax cuts were enacted — real wages fell by 1.8 percent.

And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while wages and salaries increased by about 2.7 percent year over year in the first three months of 2018, that’s pretty much in line with inflation. But even as unemployment levels are historically low, worker pay isn’t rising.

Is there more pain in the tax cut for the American worker? You betcha.

It’s not that corporations don’t have more money to share with wage earners here at home. The tax bill has been a major windfall for corporations and the wealthy, but not the average Joe and Jane.

According to estimates from the Center on  Budget and Policy Priorities, the top fifth of earners get 70 percent of the bill’s benefits, and the top 1 percent get 34 percent. The new tax treatment for “pass-through” entities — companies organized as sole proprietorship, partnerships, LLCs, or S corporations — will mean an estimated $17 billion in tax savings for millionaires in 2018.

Plus, U.S. corporations are showering their shareholders with stock buybacks, thanks in part to their tax savings, and have returned nearly $700 billion to investors this year.

When the tax bill was passed, a number of corporations announced bonuses and investments. Some of those were recycled news, and regardless, while a $1,000 one-time payout is a nice boost, it is not a sustained benefit to workers in the same way a wage increase is.

You, Donald, and your empty promises are the enemy of our country.

Surely you’ve kept your promises to coal miners and their families. Yes? Nope.

Remember that May 2016 campaign rally in Charleston, W.Va. when you donned a hard hat, pretended to shovel coal and told the admiring crowd that they better get ready to work their assess off?

USA Today reported earlier this year that while coal employment and production are up slightly, coal consumption is down and coal prices have fallen below where they were the day Donald took office. Still, industry leaders insist Donald has had a positive influence, USA Today reported: For the first time in years, they say, miners are daring to feel optimistic about coal’s prospects.

Instead of listening to Donald’s bluster, coal miners should look at a few facts:

Coal consumption last year fell to 717 million tons, slightly lower than the year before, USA Today reported. Even more alarming for the industry: Almost all domestic coal consumption is in the power sector, yet despite an increase in natural gas prices in 2017, coal’s share of power generation for the year was just 30 percent, the lowest on record and lower than natural gas for the second year in a row.

Building false hope in a segment of American workers is cruel. Coal will continue to play a small part in the energy supply equation of our country, but there will not be a dramatic recovery in the industry as promised by Donald, most economists and energy industry experts agree.

You, Donald, and your empty promises are the enemy of our country.

One thought on “Trump Promises Real ‘Enemy of the People’

  1. Feeling so defeated by this malignant cancer that is infecting our nation. Your articles bring me somewhat back to sanity. November is getting closer, to bring some relief to this nightmare

    Liked by 1 person

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