From swiping overtime pay from 8 million to hiring foreign workers over Americans, Trump has always fought for your right to earn less.
June 16, 2019 marks one of the darkest days for workers since the New Deal. We are now living in the longest period without a minimum wage increase in the history of the minimum wage.
“This sad record can be fully laid at the door of the Republican Party,” Helaine Olen notes.
Republicans’ opposition to growing minimum wage continues to metastasize. In 2018, for instance, Michigan Republicans gutted a minimum wage increase that was heading to the ballot, where it would have easily passed, starving workers of millions, if not billions, in raises. Meanwhile, blues states keep raising wages and their residents enjoy the economic benefits.
When it comes to not paying workers what they deserve, the GOP’s worst instincts are personified by Donald Trump.
Trump’s record of hiring undocumented and guest workers to avoid paying Americans competitive wages has continued long into his presidency. And on the campaign trail he repeatedly told workers the “wages are too high.”
In 2015, he even revealed that the core of his trade policies is the belief that the wages of skilled workers in the U.S. need to go down:
He said U.S. automakers could shift production away from Michigan to communities where autoworkers would make less. “You can go to different parts of the United States and then ultimately you’d do full-circle — you’ll come back to Michigan because those guys are going to want their jobs back even if it is less,” Trump said. “We can do the rotation in the United States — it doesn’t have to be in Mexico.”
He said that after Michigan “loses a couple of plants — all of sudden you’ll make good deals in your own area.”
When Republicans in the 2016 GOP accused Trump of not being a true conservative because he didn’t couch his racism, xenophobia and contempt for workers in highfalutin talk of liberty, they were actually betraying the dirty truth of America’s conservative movement — it exists to make guys like Donald Trump richer.
Failing to raise the minimum wage is the most obvious manifestation of this belief but a more telling example is the Trump administration’s attack on overtime pay. More than eight million workers who were due for raises based on a rule written during the Obama administration will get nothing under a proposal from the Trump Administration.
These 8.2 million workers who would be left behind by the Trump proposal include 4.2 million women, 3.0 million people of color, 4.7 million workers without a college degree, and 2.7 million parents of children under the age of 18. Further, due to the fact that the Trump proposal does not automatically index the threshold going forward, the number of workers left behind grows from 8.2 million in 2020 to an estimated 11.5 million over the first 10 years of implementation.
Meanwhile corporations and the rich who are sucking in the vast majority of the $1.5 trillion Trump tax cuts are sending the benefits to themselves and pretty much only themselves.
Trump eventually had to deny that he believes wages are too high, the way he denies everything. But his policies and his history tell the truth — he thinks you earn too much.
[Image by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum – Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Public Domain, Link]