Nov. 1, 2018 – Trump voters: Two years in, here’s an updated list of Trump’s 30 biggest broken promises.
1. He told you he’d cut your taxes, and that the super-rich like him would pay more. You bought it. But his 2017 tax law has done the opposite. By 2027, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the richest 1 percent will have received 83 percent of the tax cut and the richest 0.1 percent, 60 percent of it. But more than half of all Americans — 53 percent — will pay more in taxes. As Trump told his wealthy friends at Mar-a-Lago just days after the tax bill became law, “You all just got a lot richer.”
2. He promised that the average family would see a $4,000 pay raise because of the tax law. You bought it. But real wages for most Americans are lower today than they were before the tax law went into effect.
3. He promised to close special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors but unfair to American workers, especially the notorious “carried interest” loophole for private-equity, hedge fund, and real estate partners. You bought it. But the new tax law kept the “carried interest” loophole.
4. He promised to bring an end to Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear program. You bought it. Kim Jong-Un hasn’t denuclearized.
5. He told you he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “beautiful,” including “insurance for everybody.” You bought it. But he didn’t repeal and he didn’t replace. (Just as well: His plan would have knocked at least 24 million Americans off health insurance, including many of you.) Instead, he’s doing what he can to cut it back and replace it with nothing. According to the Commonwealth Fund, about 4 million Americans have lost health insurance in the last two years.
6. He told you he wouldn’t “cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” You bought it. But now he’s planning such cuts in order to deal with the ballooning deficit created, in part, by the new tax law for corporations and the rich.
7. He promised to protect anyone with pre-existing conditions. You bought it. But in June, his Justice Department told a federal court it would no longer defend provisions of Obamacare that protect patients with pre-existing conditions. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the decision was made with Trump’s approval.
8. He said he’d build a “wall” across the southern border.You believed him. But there’s no wall.
9. He told you he’d invest $1 trillion in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. You bought it. But after his giant tax cut for corporations and millionaires, there’s no money left for infrastructure.
10. He said he’d drain the Washington swamp. You bought it. But he’s brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses, and he’s filled departments and agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who are crafting new policies for the same industries they recently worked for.
11. He promised to re-institute a five-year ban on all executive branch officials lobbying the government for five years after they leave government.” You bought it. But the five-year ban he signed applies only to lobbying one’s former agency, not the government as a whole, and it doesn’t stop former officials from becoming lobbyists.
12. He said he’d use his business experience to whip the White House into shape. You bought it. But he has created the most dysfunctional, back-stabbing White House in modern history, and has already fired and replaced so many assistants that people there barely know who’s in charge of what.
13. He told you he’d “bring down drug prices” by negotiating “like crazy” with drug companies. You bought it. But he hasn’t.
14. He told you he’d “stop foreign lobbyists from raising money for American elections.” You bought it. But foreign lobbyists are still raising money for American elections.
15. He promised “six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit.” You bought it. But the giant tax cut for corporations and the rich doesn’t leave any money for this.
16. He said he’d create tax-free dependent care savings accounts for younger and elderly dependents, and have the government match contributions low-income families put into their savings accounts. You bought it. He’s done neither.
17. He said that on Day One he’d label China a “currency manipulator.” You bought it. But then he declared China is not a currency manipulator.
18. He said he “won’t bomb Syria.” You bought it. Then he bombed Syria.
19. After pulling out of the Paris accord, he said he’d negotiate a better deal on the environment. You bought it. There have been no negotiations.
20. He promised that the many women who accused him of sexual misconduct “will be sued after the election is over.” You bought it. He hasn’t sued them, presumably because he doesn’t want the truth to come out.
21. He said he would not be a president who took vacations, and criticized Barack Obama for taking too many vacations. You bought it. But since becoming President, he has spent a quarter of his days at one of his golf properties.
22. He vowed to “push colleges to cut the skyrocketing cost of tuition.” You believed him. But he hasn’t. Instead, he’s made it easier for for-profit college to defraud students.
23. He said he’d force companies to keep jobs in America, and that there would be consequences for companies that shipped jobs abroad, especially government contractors. You believed him. Never before in U.S. history have federal contractors sent so many jobs overseas. There have been no consequences.
24. He promised to end DACA. Then in January 2018 promised that “DACA recipients should not to be concerned… We’re going to solve the problem,” then he reversed himself again and vowed to end the program by March, 2018. Currently, the federal courts have stayed any action on it.
25. He promised to revive the struggling coal industry and bring back lost coal mining jobs. You bought it. But coal is still losing customers as utilities turn to natural gas and renewable power.
26. He promised to protect American steel jobs. You bought it. His tariffs on steel have protected some steel jobs. But industries that use steel – like automakers and construction – now have to pay more for the steel they use, with the result that their jobs are threatened. The Trade Partnership projects that 400,000 jobs will be lost among steel and aluminum users.
27. He said he’d make America safer. You believed him. But mass shootings keep rising, and Trump has failed to pass effective gun control legislation. After 17 died in Parkland, Florida, Trump promised “immediate action” on gun safety in schools, but has done nothing.
28. He promised to make two- and four-year colleges more affordable. You bought it. But Trump’s most recent budget contains deep cuts in aid for low-income and first-generation college students, reduces Federal Work Study, and eliminates the 50-year-old Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which goes to more than a million poor college kids each year.
29. He promised to eliminate the federal deficit and bring down the debt. You bought it. Yet due to his massive tax cut mostly for corporations and the rich, and his military spending, the deficit is set to rise to $1 trillion, and the debt has ballooned to more than $21 trillion.
30. He said he’d release his taxes. “I’m under a routine audit and it’ll be released, and as soon as the audit is finished it will be released,” he promised during the campaign. You bought it. He still hasn’t released his taxes.
Robert B. Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock”, “The Work of Nations,” and”Beyond Outrage,” and, his most recent, “The Common Good,” which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, “Inequality For All.” He’s co-creator of the Netflix original documentary “Saving Capitalism,” which is streaming now.