Republicans Attack Their Own Voters
Donald Trump is falling into the Scott Walker trap, and his desperate, low-income, small-town, white supporters are once again going to suffer the consequences.
In November, residents of dying small towns and rural communities across Wisconsin and the nation were so enraged, feeling government was ignoring their problems, they voted for an obnoxious, bombastic blowhard who promised to burn down the whole joint.
Now that their amateur president has produced a budget to begin the mass destruction of government services, it’s not going to create any employment in their towns or reopen their boarded-up storefronts.
Wisconsin has been here before. Just like Trump, Republican Scott Walker ran for governor in 2010 promising tax cuts for everybody while guaranteeing a whopping 250,000 jobs within four years. That was nearly seven years ago, and we don’t have them yet.
Through the end of 2016, Wisconsin, under Walker, created 185,208 jobs. In fact, 2016 was Walker’s worst year for job creation, adding only 17,200. At the current rate, Walker won’t accomplish in two terms what he promised in one. The reason Walker failed so miserably is the same reason Trump will.
Creating jobs and improving wages for working Americans are in direct conflict with the Republican Party’s highest priority—slashing the cost of government to give massive tax cuts to the wealthy. They toss a little loose change to the middle class, but the primary goal has always been enormous, satisfying tax cuts of six or eight figures for the wealthy.
When Walker closed a $3 billion state budget gap by destroying union rights and taking it out of the wages of public employees, he crippled his own job creation. He wreaked more havoc by undermining all unions with a wage-lowering right-to-work law. The real job creators in every state are their working men and women. The more money ordinary working people have to spend on goods and services, the more people are hired to produce goods and deliver services. Consumer spending is the driving force for 70% of economic growth.
Republicans bragging about slashing government spending never mention that it’s another way to say they’re eliminating jobs and cutting wages for working people. That’s why Trump’s massive proposed federal budget cuts are a major attack on U.S. employment.
Cruel Cuts for Trump Voters
Trump cruelly aimed his most vicious budget cuts directly at programs of the Departments of Labor and Agriculture—whacking 21%—that aid in development and job retraining for older Americans in small towns and rural areas where the desperately under-employed voted for Trump. In the nation’s poorest counties in Appalachia, the lower Mississippi delta and New England near the Canadian border, three federal rural development commissions help build roads, sewers and health clinics and provide education and job training.
Correction: They used to.
Trump’s budget eliminates all three commissions. That would demolish assistance for 37 million people in 698 counties where the poverty rate is 33% higher than the national average. In November, those impoverished counties voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton by 26 percentage points.
Only the Environmental Protection Agency (cut 31%) and State Department (cut 29%) took bigger hits than Labor and Agriculture. If the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay or other bodies of water, where Trump is eliminating pollution cleanup, become cesspools, people can escape by going off to war against North Korea, Syria, China, Britain or wherever.
Oh, yeah, remember Trump’s promise of a trillion-dollar spending program to rebuild America’s infrastructure: roads, bridges, airports and lots of other shiny new stuff? It would put millions of Americans to work, and even Democrats thought it was a good idea.
That’s not in Trump’s budget and, just in case Americans haven’t figured out they can’t believe anything Trump says, he also eliminates $500 million in the Transportation Department for road building.
The only infrastructure Trump cares about is his dumb Mexican wall. Trump voters are shocked Mexico refuses to pay for it even though Trump said they would. Trump includes $1.5 billion in his budget to start that baby, which could cost tens of billions of dollars and have absolutely no economic benefit, but it’s an important symbol of racism for Trump. Trump believes he doesn’t really have to produce any jobs in those sad, little towns where his angry, jobless white voters live as long as he fuels their rage against brown-skinned immigrants and other minorities who actually face even more obstacles to employment than many poor whites do. Let them eat hate.
The media try to avoid being elitist by not describing Trump’s supporters as ignorant for voting for a totally self-centered billionaire whose cruel budget and massive increases in the cost of health care for older Americans will only make their lives worse. But it’s Trump, the master of sweeping racial stereotypes, who thinks his white, working class voters are too stupid to notice he keeps kicking them in the teeth.