Sunday, January 29, 2023

What Has Trump Done For The Middle Class

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President Trump: Failing The Middle Class Making America Less Secure

How Trumps economic policies have helped the middle class

THE ECONOMY, JOBS, & WAGESRaising Taxes on Millions of Middle Class Householdssigned a partisan GOP tax scamrecent surveyreportreportrather than investing and creating jobsCosting the U.S. Economy BillionsDue to the Trump-McConnell ShutdownCongressional Budget OfficeAmericans across all 50 states and U.S. territories were negatively affected$4,000 raisestagnant wage growthslowest wage gainsNo Jobs Legislationpanned as unseriousRecord Deficits$1.9 trillionrepeated promisesExpanding the Trade Deficit increased under the last two years of President Trumps scattershot trade policieshighest annual goods trade deficithurting food producers and consumersMaking It More Difficult for Americans to Pay off Student Debthas made it more difficult for students to pay back student loansUndermining Workers Rightsnumber of critical worker protectionsINFRASTRUCTUREReleased a Partisan, Unserious Infrastructure Proposaldismissed out-of-hand as unrealistic and unseriousHEALTH CARE Sabotaging the Affordable Care Actincreased for the first time since 2014Attacking Womens Health Carerules intended to restrict access to contraceptionrestrictions to family planning servicesIMMIGRATIONMisleading the Public on the Challenges at the Southern BorderDrug Enforcement AdministrationThen-Secretary of Homeland Security John KellyActing Chief of Staff Mick MulvaneySenator John Cornyn Senator Lindsey Graham Ending DACA800,000 DREAMerspredictedEnding TPSillegal

The American Middle Class Is In Trouble

Chris Buskirk is editor and publisher of American Greatness.

One thing has become very clear to me in the past four years: With stagnant wages real, the American middle class is in trouble, it has been for a long time and its getting worse. That is causing social and political turmoil that no one of either party who holds power is equipped to address. Rising wealth inequalityfirst slow and lately fastas a result of stagnating real economic growth beginning around 1970 and other structural demographic forces, is producing a situation that is unsustainable.

If this situation persists, we will experience more government patrimonialism accompanied by increasing factional conflict. This is not, strictly speaking, an ideological issue along a traditional right-left political spectrum. It has been partially described by some as a class conflict , as a racial conflict, as an education gap, as a spiritual deficit, and so forth. There are elements of all of these things, but many of these conflicts are initiated or at least intensified by a lack of long-term economic growth. The frustration and broken dreams that occur when children cant do as well as their parents are at odds with the expectations weve been promised and with our understanding of what America is and should be. This produces persistent social and political conflict that undermines American solidarity.

Perceptions Of The Parties

Judgments about Romney and Obama mirror the views of middle-class Americans toward the Republican and Democratic parties.

According to the survey, only about a quarter to a third of the middle class says that the Republicans or Democrats primarily favor middle-class interests over those of the rich or poor. Republicans are perceived as the party of the rich, while the middle class is divided over whether the Democratic Party is more concerned about their needs or those of the poor.

To examine the intersection of social class and politics, the Pew Research survey asked respondents if each of the two major political parties favors the rich, favors the middle class or favors the poor.

Overall, the middle class was somewhat more likely to say that the Democratic Party rather than the GOP favored its interests . 13 But about as many say the Democrats favor the poor , and 16% believe the party favors the rich.

At the same time about six-in-ten middle-class adults say the GOP favors the rich

roughly double the 26% who say the Republican Party primarily favors middle-class Americans.

The survey also found that the middle class is politically diverse: Roughly equal shares of middle-class adults identify with the Democratic Party or say they are independents , while somewhat fewer align with the Republican Party . As a group, middle-class adults are more likely to identify themselves as political conservatives than liberals . About a third say they are moderates.

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State And Local Tax Deduction

The new law caps the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000 through 2025. A number of Republican members of Congress representing high-tax states opposed attempts to eliminate the deduction, as the Senate bill would have done.

The Senate bill was amended on Dec. 1, 2017, apparently to win Susan Collins support:

The Senate tax bill will include my SALT amendment to allow taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 for state and local property taxes. Sen. Susan Collins Dec. 1, 2017

The Cultural Elite Are Inexcusably Unaware Of The Challenges And Perspectives Of Many Others In This Country

Trumps Rumored Tax Cuts 2.0 Proposals Arent Focused on the Middle ...

Katherine J. Cramer is professor of political science and chair of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is author of The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.

The past few years have taught me just how removed the cultural elite in the United States is from many of the other people in this nation. By cultural elite, I mean those of us who create the knowledge and the media content people consume, as well those of us in positions of political and other decision-making power. There is a deep well of people in this country who are sure the system is not working for them, and we seem to be only coming around to recognizing how deep it goes.

Four years ago, I published a book about the feelings of resentment many rural people in Wisconsin felt toward the urban elite. When Donald Trump won in 2016, partly by tapping into this resentment, people turned to me for answers. I became aware just how surprised many in the cultural elite were about the challenges facing rural communities and the fact that many people living in these places feel they are not getting their fair share of attention, resources or respect. The shock at the closeness of the 2020 race suggests we are still unaware of the depth of this resentment.

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Internalized Constitutional Norms Matter More Than Any External Checks

Tim Wu is a law professor at Columbia University and the author, recently, of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.

Weve learned something important about Americas resistance to an authoritarian takeover. Most republics, even the best of them, have struggled when confronted with a nationalist leader who shows up in bad economic times, blames everything on immigrants and foreigners, and promises to restore greatness. Thats the fate that befell, among others, the Roman, Spanish, German and Russian republics. Before Trump, it was widely thought that the written Constitution and its fabled separation of powers had spared the United States from a similar fate.

But over the past four years, weve watched constitutional checks repeatedly fail to control the president, trumped by party loyalty. Congress and the judiciary asserted limited control at best even impeachment turned out to be just another party-line vote. What really mattered, in the end, was a different set of checks, upheld not by a document but by people: namely, the independence of federal prosecutors, the neutrality of the armed forces and the independence of the electoral system. He tried hard, but Trump ultimately couldnt find a prosecutor to indict Joe Biden and his family. The armed forces declined to embrace Trumps proposed occupation of liberal cities over the summer. And, finally, when it mattered, election officials, at a distance from the White House, conducted a fair vote.

Trump Administration Fiscal Policies Redistribute Wealth To Those At The Top While Threatening Working Families

The administrations fiscal policies are designed to rig the economy for the wealthy while leaving middle-class and working families behind. President Trumps most significant legislative enactment in his first year is a massive tax overhaul that provides enormous tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals. These tax cuts are paid for through higher deficits reductions in health care coverage and over the long run, by permanent tax increases on most households.

Trump claimed that wealthy Americans will not be gaining at all under his tax plan. However, millionaires will receive an average tax cut of nearly $70,000 this yearmore than 100 times the size of the average tax cut for families in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution. Wealthy Americans also benefit from a host of new tax cuts, including a large cut in the corporate tax rate a special new loophole for passthrough businesses that benefits wealthy investors, such as Trump himself a reduction in the top ordinary income tax rate and a further reduction in the estate tax.

Yet while Trump and other wealthy Americans enjoy these new tax breaks, many working- and middle-class families will lose out. In 2018, 7.8 million families making less than $200,000 per year will see tax increases. That number increases over time, and in 2027, after the bills temporary tax cuts expire, nearly 92 million families making less than $200,000 will see tax increases.

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Reason #: Hes Not Afraid To Go Too Far

Finally, and in some ways most importantly, he says the things they all think but are no longer permitted to say. When he accused Fox News anchorwoman Megyn Kelly, implicitly, of being offensive because she was having her period, observers thought the world would end. For the white lower-middle class, this was a common assertion.

He is perceived as a tough guy who is willing to lie, insult, or threaten to get his way. From the lower-middle class point of view, nothing else will get them the solutions they need.

Reasons Trump Is Winning The Hearts Of The White Lower

The GOP tax bill explained

Donald Trump appears likely to be the Republican candidate for president. This does not mean that he will become president, but it does mean that he mig

Many criticize that his supporters tend to be less educated, less well-off, and white. This has become a central, disaffected class in the United States, and while focus has been on other groupsTrump has spoken to this one.

This is the underlying reason why Trump has been leading polls.

What exactly makes Trump so popular among poorer, less educated white voters? Here are 7 reasons this demographic has flocked to him

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Combatting The Opioid Crisis

Brought unprecedented attention and support to combat the opioid crisis.

Took action to seize illegal drugs and punish those preying on innocent Americans.

  • In FY 2019, ICE HSI seized 12,466 pounds of opioids including 3,688 pounds of fentanyl, an increase of 35 percent from FY 2018.
  • Seized tens of thousands of kilograms of heroin and thousands of kilograms of fentanyl since 2017.
  • The Department of Justice prosecuted more fentanyl traffickers than ever before, dismantled 3,000 drug trafficking organizations, and seized enough fentanyl to kill 105,000 Americans.
  • DOJ charged more than 65 defendants collectively responsible for distributing over 45 million opioid pills.
  • Brought kingpin designations against traffickers operating in China, India, Mexico, and more who have played a role in the epidemic in America.
  • Indicted major Chinese drug traffickers for distributing fentanyl in the U.S for the first time ever, and convinced China to enact strict regulations to control the production and sale of fentanyl.

We Still Havent Dealt With Racism

Lilliana Mason is associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.

This nation has never fully dealt with our legacy of racial violence and oppression, and a large portion of the electorate has no interest in doing so. The deepest divide between Democrats and Republicans today is over whether systemic racism and sexism exist. As Democrats increasingly lean into the need to address racial and gender-based inequality, Republicans deny that it needs to be addressed, and some violently oppose any efforts to promote equality. We are in a fight over the persistence of the traditional social hierarchy, and whether we can or should become a truly egalitarian democracy that represents all Americans equally.

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Blocking Trans Troops From The Military

With a trio of tweets in 2017, Trump declared he was rolling back an Obama-era policy that permitted transgender Americans to openly serve in the military. The Armed Forces cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption, Trump wrote.

But implementing the new policy turned out to be more complicated than posting it on social media. What ensued was a series of court orders that barred the change. The Administration pushed forward anyway and was granted approval from the Supreme Court to proceed on an interim basis. Now anyone who has medically transitioned or is currently transitioning is disqualified from enlisting. Individuals who are currently serving in the military but were diagnosed with gender dysphoria after April 2019 must serve in the sex they were assigned at birth, seek out a series of complex waivers or leave.

House Democrats have challenged the ruleas has public opinion: 71% of adults now support the right of openly transgender people to serve, according to Gallup.

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Actions To Hinder Implementation Of Aca

Trump &  GOP Want #SocialSecurity &  #Medicare Cut

President Trump continued Republican attacks on the ACA while in office, according to the New York Times, including steps such as:

  • Weakening the individual mandate through his first executive order, which resulted in limiting enforcement of mandate penalties by the IRS. For example, tax returns without indications of health insurance will still be processed, overriding instructions from the Obama administration to the IRS to reject them.
  • Reducing funding for advertising for the 2017 and 2018 exchange enrollment periods by up to 90%, with other reductions to support resources used to answer questions and help people sign-up for coverage. This action could reduce ACA enrollment.
  • Cutting the enrollment period for 2018 by half, to 45 days. The NYT editorial board referred to this as part of a concerted “sabotage” effort.
  • Issuing public statements that the exchanges are unstable or in a death spiral. CBO reported in May 2017 that the exchanges would remain stable under current law , but would be less stable if the AHCA were passed.

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Redirecting Middle East Diplomacy

Donald Trump was far less interested in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a struggle that has outlasted every postwar president and far more in a 22-state outcome, normalizing Israels relations with the Arab world, especially Persian Gulf countries. Building on ties between Israel and key gulf states that had been developing for two decades, and propelled by a common interest in restraining Irans regional ambitions, the Trump administration invested heavily in cultivating close personal relationships with leaders of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It approved weapons sales to those nations, exerted maximum pressure on Tehran and served as a facilitator between gulf Arab nations and Israel.

The costs of such an approach were clear. The Israeli-Palestinian issue wasnt so much ignored as it was undermined by a Trump peace plan comically biased in favor of Israel, leaving it dead on arrival. Meanwhile, Trumps catering to Saudi Arabia allowed its reckless and ruthless crown prince to pursue a disastrous war in Yemen and repression at home with tacit American support. Washington also recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region in a questionable quid pro quo that helped spur Morocco to begin establishing diplomatic ties with Israel.

Unfortunately Lies Can Trump Truth

Nicholas Carr is a writer covering technology, economics and culture. His book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Truth Trumps Lies. That motto, needling yet reassuring, has been a popular hashtag ever since Donald Trumps election in 2016. But the last four years have revealed its hollowness. In the digital marketplace of ideas, where most of us now get our news, falsehoods go viral while facts go begging. An extensive MIT study of Twitter posts, published in Science in 2018, found that fake or otherwise misleading news stories are 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than truthful ones. The audience for misinformation is routinely an order of magnitude larger than the audience for accurate reports. False news spreads farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth, the researchers concluded.

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Trump Inherited A Years

Many of the economic trends that President Trump likes to claim as personal accomplishments are simply continuations of trends that began as the economy recovered from the Great Recession and finally gained steam in recent years. Job growth has been strong for several years running, and the unemployment rate has continued to decline steadily. Although the economic expansion continued during Trumps first year, the results were underwhelming. The economy produced fewer new jobs in 2017 than in any year since 2010.

The growth in real wages for workers in 2017 was even more disappointing. Despite low unemployment, real average hourly earnings grew by only 0.4 percent in 2017a step backward from increases of 1.8 percent in 2015 and 0.8 percent in 2016.

Wage growth was even more modest for rank-and-file workers. In December 2017, the average hourly wage of production and nonsupervisory workers was $22.30, growing just 4 cents, or 0.17 percent, from the inflation-adjusted December 2016 level. This was the slowest wage growth for these workers in the past four years. Meanwhile, minimum wage workers continued to see their earnings decline in real terms, as President Trump and his colleagues in Congress refuse to raise the paltry federal minimum wage, which has remained stuck at $7.25 per hour since 2009.

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