The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Trump’s Budget—Money Talks

Mar 6, 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 first speech to a joint session of Congress on February 28.

But look at what he wants to spend money on!

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 profits 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. In fact, there are many different tax cuts on their way. Certainly, there will be 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. One company, Apple, has 250 billion dollars in cash sitting abroad, which is more than the entire economy of small countries like New Zealand, Viet Nam or Ecuador.

U.S. companies always complain about high taxes, which Trump echoes. 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, consistently 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–which Trump’s “big, big tax cut” will deliver.

Finally, throughout Trump’s speech were slightly disguised government giveaways to various other corporate sectors. Trump’s big crackdown on immigrant workers means big profits for private prison companies and their suppliers. 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. (See the article in this issue on “school choice” in Michigan, which serves as a model for the entire country.) 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. And finally, all his talk about infrastructure spending really amounts to not just more fat government contracts to U.S. engineering and construction companies, but more giveaways of government-owned infrastructure to private companies for their profit.

No wonder the U.S. stock market leapt by more than 300 points the day after Trump’s speech! No wonder the U.S. stock market is higher than ever!

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 and 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, a way of dividing working people against each other. Our enemies are not working people in other countries. Nor are they immigrants coming to this county in order to escape U.S. wars or economic hardship. No, we all face the same capitalists.