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Inconvenient truth about Trump's promises

The election of Donald Trump is turning out to be the most sensational scam in U.S. political history. But the victims are not the people who voted against Trump; it is those who voted for him.

There is a reason that the stock market has risen to record levels since the election: a Trump presidency bodes well for the drivers of the market. Tax cuts for the wealthy, lower corporate tax rates, and more deregulation of banks, energy companies, and other big business are a boon to the stock market and those who invest in it. Even Trump's much ballyhooed childcare tax credit will provide a disproportionate benefit to affluent families.

The elites who voted against Trump did so because of his racist statements, sexism, nationalistic nativism, and his temperament. This same group would benefit no matter who was elected (with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders) and certainly had nothing to fear from Hillary Clinton.

The people who will suffer — or at least not share in the benefits — from the Trump victory are those that gave him the victory: the white working class. It is this group that is relying on Trump to keep his promises to bring back manufacturing jobs, get tough on foreign competitors, and massive deportation of undocumented immigrants. However, these are promises that Trump almost certainly will be unable to keep.

The inconvenient truth is that no practical policy can meaningfully reverse the long-term decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. This reduction in jobs has been the result of globalization and automation, neither of which is going to go away. While Trump almost never mentions improving wages and working conditions for those in the service industry, these are actually strategies that would have a chance of success. Trump's promise to bring back jobs to the coal industry is perhaps his most egregious lie. His promise of less regulation for the coal industry will do nothing to change the low natural-gas prices that are the chief threat to coal. In fact, his pledge to ease regulation on fracking will boost oil and gas production and keep coal prices low.

Even the Trump plans with some promise, such as infrastructure spending and cutting taxes, are only good for the short term. Trump has proposed nothing that will assist low-income citizens in the long run.

A. J. Johnson

Williamsburg

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