Mar 10, 2017
More jobs, better pay, less crime, rebuilding cities, rebuilding infrastructure, better schools, better health care, less terrorism, more peace and more prosperity – those were only some of the promises that President Trump made in his speech to a joint session of Congress on February 28.
His plans for spending money tell another story!
First, Trump says he wants “the largest increase in national defense spending in American history.” That spells more wars and terrorism. But it also means much greater profit for the big U.S. banks, oil companies and manufacturers. A bigger, more powerful U.S. military imposes the U.S. capitalist class’s rule over working people and the poor all over the world, while U.S. companies steal valuable resources. More military spending also brings richer and fatter government contracts for countless U.S. companies.
Second, Trump says he wants to cut taxes for American companies. “It will be a big, big cut,” boasted Trump. He wants a big cut in the corporate tax rate. There will also be a massive tax cut on the two trillion dollars in U.S. corporate profits stashed abroad when those companies bring that money back to the U.S.
U.S. companies always complain about high taxes. But, in reality, their share of the federal tax burden has been slashed by more than two-thirds since the 1950s. Many big companies, like GM, GE and Boeing, regularly don’t pay any federal taxes – and even get tax rebates. Tax time is when the U.S. government pays them! Of course, the capitalist class is never satisfied. It always wants more. And Trump wants to give them more.
Finally, throughout Trump’s speech were slightly disguised government giveaways to various other corporate sectors. Trump’s brand of education reform, what he calls school choice, means tens of billions in taxpayer dollars for private, for-profit schools, testing companies and suppliers. The fact that Trump had a meeting with the heads of the big health insurance companies a day before his speech signals that no matter what health care legislation passes, their profits will be protected.
Trump talked a lot about infrastructure spending – it doesn’t mean there will be more new school buildings, nor better water systems, nor decent roadways and bridges. It simply means more fat government contracts to U.S. engineering and construction companies, and more giveaways of government-owned infrastructure to private companies for their profit.
Trump “forgot” to mention that the entire cost of all these giveaways will fall on the working class. Trump expects workers to sacrifice with our lives and tax money for his wars and military build-ups. He expects workers to pay for all those corporate tax cuts and government giveaways through ever more cuts in vital government services like education, public health and protection of the environment. They will be paid for by cuts to programs for working people, including more cuts to so-called entitlements, that is, Social Security pensions, as well as government-provided health care through Medicare for the elderly, and Medicaid for the working poor.
Trump’s big slogan “America First” is nothing more than another scam – what it really means is the wealthy classes first, and a worsening standard of living for everyone else.
Going back three, or even four decades, the standard of living of the working class has been on a steady decline – no matter which party was in office. Every president left office, having presided over one more round of attacks. Every new president came in with promises of a better life – promises quickly deceived.
If Trump’s attacks seem worse – and they are – it’s because they come on top of decades of attacks already carried out.
This is all we can expect – until working people move onto the political scene, imposing our needs and answers. However difficult that may seem, it is the only way that all of us will be able to move forward.