President Trump has eluded predictions since he began his quest for the White House, most not imagining he would ever govern. Now it is possible to see where all of this is going, but, before that, we must assess how he got there.
Trump promised the working class that he would provide them with the living wage factory jobs which have, since Bill Clinton unleashed them (NAFTA, GATT), chased after slave labor, prison labor and child labor abroad by the millions.
Many unemployed and underemployed voters saw hope in Trump’s promise, after seeing their wages drop to a fraction of what their parents were paid. Wages have continued to drop in the laissez-faire capitalist USA since 1973, allowing for inflation. Millions of workers make the minimum wage or less, with a record number of college graduates being paid a minimum wage which has lost about a third of its value since it peaked in 1968 (again, allowing for inflation).
Trump also suggested that he would rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, now requiring trillions of dollars that Congress will not approve. This might have added millions of jobs but The Donald pushed through what follows to end any meaningful chance for infrastructure rebuilding.
In one of the most unnecessary giveaways to the wealthy, Trump slashed the tax rates of the super rich and their corporations, suggesting that there would be “trickle down,” an economic concept which has crashed and burned several times in the past. Part of the tax plan is to deprive the middle class of its few tax write-offs, while leaving alone the many more lucrative tax write-offs of the super rich and their transnational corporations.
It is clear that when money is given to the super rich, they put it in factories abroad (through their corporate investments) that employ low wage workers, if not into foreign banks where the wealth may be hidden from the Internal Revenue Service. This hurts the American economy for the vast majority of citizens.
When working poor Americans get money, they immediately spend it. A child needs shoes, another has had a toothache for months and needs to see the dentist. This spending causes the economy to boom, so every socialist economist has long supported plans to get wealth to the poor, which, unlike giving money to the rich, actually works to spur the economy.
When President Reagan tried “trickle down,” he found that giving large tax breaks to the rich slowed inflow to the treasury, creating massive deficits. Corporate media “journalists” praise Reagan because their company owners, board members and advertisers are investors that did well under Reagan, so such praise is good for job security, but he was an enemy of fairness.
Trump has increased spending on the military, claiming he is making us stronger. In fact, this is revenue flushed down the toilet. Much of the money is intended for “defense” contractors who steal as much as they can, waste vast sums, and finally deliver weapons that, after the massive sums of tax dollars spent on them, should be wonderful.
But we still use the B52 bomber of the 1950s to do our bombing, since the more modern bombers don’t work as well. When both the B1 and B2 bombers were delivered, massive flaws were immediately recognized, despite their being the most expensive bombers ever built. “Defense” contractors have no intention of making products that actually work, because flawed ones keep producing profits, as the B1 and B2 were milked again and again for fixes costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
President Eisenhower warned us that the military-industrial complex was out of control, but nothing was done about it. The Pentagon routinely loses billions of dollars, over and over again, and can seldom explain what happened to the money. Congress, on the take for campaign funding from the “defense” contractors, never requires the Pentagon to account for where the money went, decade after decade.
Trump continues the imperialist wars on Muslim peoples in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Africa and elsewhere. He continues to operate the massive numbers of military bases abroad for the most expensive empire in the history of the world, as the deficits skyrocket.
A mother our wars kill will be avenged by her son, and a child will be avenged by its father. This insane “strategy” ensures perpetual war, with immense wealth to those invested in war.
So the massive “defense” spending by Trump will simply run the deficit up to higher numbers, as his tax cuts for the wealthy run the deficits higher still. In summary, Trump’s plans will not create enough jobs to make a significant difference to the working class voters who will be essential to his being reelected.
All of this is supported by Republicans who pretend to be fiscal conservatives. Their plan is to cut Social Security and Medicare to make up some of the difference–in other words–make the working class pay for their wild spending on the wealthy and corporations. Congress will wait until after the November elections to make the cuts, because they know the American people are against it.
So much for democracy, we haven’t a shred of it. If we had an iota of democracy the 99% would own more than the 1%.
By 2020 the deficits will be unbelievably huge, and the Democrats will run a moderate candidate sworn to bring down the deficits, just as Clinton and Obama did after Republican predecessors ran up massive deficits. This is now the pattern. Republicans of my youth, in the 1950s and ’60s, were far to the left of these modern Democrats.
A true leftist candidate would not care about deficits. After all, the capitalist government makes money from the deficit, converting it all into treasury bills. But a true leftist feeds the poor first, and worries about how to pay for it after, so deficits don’t matter anyhow.
The kind of leftist I want for a president would end the wars. Just order the troops (who work for the commander in chief, not the Congress or Supreme Court, so no need for permission) to come home. The overseas bases, all thousand of them or so (counting the smaller temporary ones) would be closed. There is no need for a peace-loving nation to have overseas bases.
The kind of leftist I want for a president would request single payer medicine for all from the Congress and not cooperate at all with them until it is passed. The American people would get behind it if we had a president that would lead.
The kind of leftist I want for a president would require that anybody asking for a job be provided one, guaranteed by the government, at living wages.
The American people say in polls they want the things I want, and would elect such a candidate. I would suggest the Greens and all the leftist parties unite and get behind a candidate early, no later than next year. We have to start early because we haven’t got the mass media to compete, nor the billions of dollars going to the two corporate parties from the ruling oligarchs and plutocrats.
Corporate media’s job is to move the American people as far to the right as they can. They lie that the American people want a conservative, and if a leftist runs, they put all their energy into attacking that person.
Trump will be very unpopular if he tries to run in 2020, and the system will oppose him with a conservative Democrat who will screw the working class very much as Clinton and Obama did with NAFTA and corporate health insurance they can’t afford to use. The Trump legacy ensures this will happen.
A united left can stop it all, a guy named Karl once said we’ve nothing to lose but our chains.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.