Trump and his enablers must be stopped
I’m convinced a reckoning is coming for President Donald Trump. It may come through the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. It may come from revelations about Trump’s shady dealings with mobsters and international oligarchs. Or it may come from him going stark raving mad at one of his hate-filled rallies.
Equally contemptible and in need of dispatch is the gang of thieves gleefully carrying out his policies. Remember how Bill Clinton and Al Gore promised to “build a bridge to the 21st century”? Well Trump’s hirelings are building a bridge back to the 19th century to the era of robber barons.
Given that the wealthy just benefitted from Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, what possible rationale is there for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to bypass Congress and hand over another $100 billion to rich people?
Mnuchin wants to do this through a regulatory change that will allow for the consideration of an asset’s inflation in the calculation of capital gains liabilities. The biggest beneficiaries will be those who have plenty of money.
All evidence indicates that wages for working people in this country have been stagnant for 40 years. The middle class is shrinking and wealth inequality is growing. Where are any practical solutions for helping the majority of hard working Americans? Why is the Trump government only focused on reductions in food aid and housing assistance?
In the face of an affordable housing crisis not seen since the end of World War II, why is the Trump administration cutting housing subsidies for low-income people while reducing incentives for builders to invest in affordable housing? Such regressive policies will only worsen homelessness and sow social disorder. It makes no sense.
Everyone knows that college students in the United States are burdened by unprecedented levels of educational debt. Many graduates remain dependent on their parents and struggle to gain economic traction in their new careers. They cannot afford their own homes and delay starting their own families. This student debt burden has negative ramifications for our entire economic and social structure.
How is the Trump administration addressing this crisis? Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans to eliminate Obama-era requirements that for-profit colleges prove they have provided gainful employment for graduates. The standards were put in place due to the corruption of fly-by-night colleges whose abysmal programming and job placement rates drew thousands of public complaints and lawsuits.
But DeVos is also making it harder for students defrauded by such colleges to obtain loan forgiveness. Each student must now prove that they were willfully deceived by their college before seeking debt relief, a legal challenge that few people can meet.
The most devastating retrenchment is in the area of environmental policy. The Trump administration is putting a halt to more stringent fuel emission standards, ridding federal agencies of their scientific and climate oversight missions, withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord and opening ever more public lands to the extractive mining industries.
To actively take this course while witnessing record heat waves, ocean warming, hurricanes, floods, species die-offs and Arctic melting is the definition of madness.
Trump and his enablers must be stopped. Make sure you vote Aug. 14 and in the November general election. Follow activist groups online and resist in every way you can.
Jamakaya is an award-winning writer and historian based in Milwaukee.