National Vice President’s Report, Fall 2016

Donald Trump, 45th President of The United States

John Duffy, UWUA National Vice President
John Duffy
UWUA National Vice President

Throughout this election year, we were listening to many messages from many different candidates from several different political parties. Through all of those messages, Donald Trump emerged as the victor, in what could be called the most contentious election in our lifetime. With all of the accusations (some true, some false) that were traded back and forth between all the candidates, it is the statements/accusations of the victor, in this case Donald Trump, that will continue to receive scrutiny. That’s the norm with the newly elected leader of the free world.

Worthy of scrutiny

Trump, more than any other candidate, should expect to be scrutinized. After all, Donald Trump wasted no time in challenging the legitimacy of our current president, Barack Obama, by falsely accusing our president of not being a natural-born citizen. Never apologizing for his leading role in birtherism, Trump went on to insult the grieving Muslim-American parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country; refer to Mexicans as rapists; and accuse a federal judge of being incapable of ruling fairly in the “Trump University” fraud case simply because his parents were born in Mexico. To date, there has been no apology for any of this.

Trump’s economic message was a strong one, and resonated with many voters. But there are some things, if followed through on, would be a big setback to working people. President-elect Trump has pledged to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. That law was enacted to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis that began in 2008. Wall Street has been pushing for its repeal from the day it was enacted into law, claiming the financial sector has suffered as a result of it. The fact is, Wall Street has been doing just fine under Dodd-Frank. But, rip-offs in the financial sector would have continued unchecked if not for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Trump’s goal to bring back jobs to America, or preventing corporations from shipping jobs out of the country, is certainly one all Americans are in favor of. Trump has already taken credit for saving jobs in two instances.

In the first instance, Trump claimed to have prevented the shutdown of a Ford plant in Kentucky that was to be moved to Mexico. The problem with that claim was, it was false. That plant was never slated to close. That plant builds both the Ford Escape and the Lincoln MKC. Ford’s plan was to move production of the MKC to Mexico in order to build more Escapes. That plan, according to Forbes, was scrapped when auto sales began to go soft eliminating the need to build more Escapes. Credibility is important, especially for the next leader of the free world.

Deserves a chance to succeed

uwuamag-fall2016-johnduffy-quoteIn the second instance, Trump did play a role in saving some 800 jobs that were slated to be shipped to Mexico at the Carrier Plant in Indiana. He should be applauded for his efforts in saving those jobs. However, when campaigning for president, Trump railed against politicians that bribe corporations to keep jobs in the US by showering them with huge tax incentives. But, that’s exactly what Trump did (with the help of VP-elect Mike Pence who is still the governor of Indiana) with $7 million in tax breaks from state coffers. Trump campaigned instead, that the days of throwing money at companies to save jobs were over. And, under his presidency, companies would face stiff penalties as a deterrent to shipping jobs outside the country. While those 800 jobs that were saved is certainly good news, unfortunately, more than 1,000 Carrier jobs will still be going to Mexico.

Trump has vowed to bring the country together as one. Apologizing to those he offended would be a good start. President Obama put it well by wishing him success and stating that his success will be our success. Certainly, that should be the position of all Americans. Senator Elizabeth Warren also put it well by stating that on the issues that are good for the working class, like a major investment in infrastructure, we will stand side by side with our new president. But, if there are any surprises that would be of detriment to the workers of this country, we will fight him tooth and nail. As with all politicians, he deserves our scrutiny. But being newly elected, he also deserves a chance to succeed.