The theme that unites all of Trump’s initiatives so far is their unnecessary cruelty.
1. His new budget comes down especially hard on the poor—imposing unprecedented cuts in low-income housing, job training, food assistance, legal services, help to distressed rural communities, nutrition for new mothers and their infants, funds to keep poor families warm, even “Meals on Wheels.”
These cuts come at a time when more American families are in poverty than ever before, including 1 in 5 children.
Why is Trump doing this? To pay for the biggest hike in military spending since the 1980s. Yet the U.S. already spends more on its military than the next 7 biggest military budgets put together.
2. Trump and his enablers in the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and replace it in a way that will cause 14 million Americans to lose their health insurance next year, and 24 million by 2026.
Why is Trump doing this? To bestow $600 billion in tax cuts over the decade to wealthy Americans. This comes at a time in our nation’s history when the rich have accumulated more wealth than at any time in the nation’s history.
The plan reduces the federal budget deficit by only $337 billion over the next ten years—a small fraction of the national debt, in exchange for an enormous amount of human hardship.
3. Trump is now banning Syrian refugees and reducing the total number of refugees this year by more than half.
The closing of America comes just when the world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Why is Trump doing this? You have higher odds of being struck by lightning than dying in an immigrant terrorist attack.
4. Trump is rounding up undocumented immigrants helter-skelter—including people who have been productive members of our society for decades, and young people who have been here since they were toddlers.
Why is Trump doing this? This cruel initiative come when unemployment is down, crime is down, and we have fewer undocumented workers in the U.S. today than we did five years ago.
Trump is embarking on an orgy of cruelty for absolutely no reason. This is profoundly immoral. It is morally incumbent on all of us to stop it.
This post originally appeared at RobertReich.org.
Robert B. Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and former secretary of labor under the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His film, Inequality for All, was released in 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @RBReich.