Saturday, April 29, 2017
By Ann McFeatters
Tribune News Service
So what all has he done for us? Let’s count the ways.
If you have been a huge fan of building a big, beautiful wall on our southern border, you are disappointed. There may be a virtual one, more border agents and tons of drones. But there won’t be a physical wall. It is too costly, too difficult, too impractical and too immoral. Even the pope says so. If President Donald Trump read, he would know that the Berlin Wall symbolized, for more than a generation, man’s inhumanity to man.
If you are a fan of capital punishment, you’re happy. Trump’s push for the ascension of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court smoothed the way for death row inmates to drop like flies in Arkansas.
If you’re a woman who depends on Planned Parenthood for Pap smears, mammograms or birth control, you are a nervous wreck. Trump has drastically cut funds for women’s health and decimated family planning services in much of the developing world. But he still loves the women.
If you’re in business, you’re on pins and needles. Your corporation’s been promised a humongous tax cut from 35 percent to 15 percent and all kinds of delicious tax reforms so you can grow your wealth and corner the Chinese market. Bad news. Members of Congress are musing they can’t do that without seeing Trump’s tax returns. How would he would benefit from the changes he wants?
But, Big Businessperson, you have to be happy nothing will be done to close all those loopholes that so advantage you. And your stock is soaring.
If you cheered Trump’s drain-the-swamp mantra, you have to be the teeniest bit upset. What with foreign potentates enriching the president’s coffers every time they visit his posh D.C. hotel (for which he has an illegal government lease). And his daughter Ivanka getting three lucrative business deals with the Chinese government for her clothing, shoes and jewelry lines right after she sat next to the Chinese prime minister at dinner at Mar-a-Lago. And Wall Street moguls now running the very regulatory agencies they railed against for the last eight years. And the right to mingle with the president if you pay $200,000 or $300,000 for membership in one of his golf clubs.
Targeting the EPA
If you are a tree hugger or just someone who relishes drinking clean water and breathing clean air, you are distraught. The president knows nothing about science. Climate change? A hoax. The Environmental Protection Agency? Time to scuttle it. The Interior Department? What’s up with national monuments anyway? Who needs them?
You work for a fast food chain. You support two children. You have to get food stamps to make ends meet. You live in terror of a car breakdown or a health emergency. You were desperately hoping for a rise in the national minimum wage. Trump opposes that. Won’t happen on his watch.
If you work for Carrier in Indiana, perhaps your job is one of 800 saved for a while longer because Trump and his vice president, a former Indiana governor, pushed the state to subsidize it. But perhaps not. Carrier’s parent, United Technologies, next year is moving production of components for furnaces from Huntington, Ind., to Mexico, Trump or no Trump.
Miners in Appalachia were promised the return of King Coal. It’s looking bleak. There are only 77,000 coal jobs left, down from well over 800,000 in the 1920s. Trump’s repudiation of a federal rule designed to protect groundwater, streams and wildlife in coal country will not add more coal jobs.
If you hate Obamacare, you are gloomy. It’s still there, and Day One, when it was supposed to be repealed and replaced, was a hundred days ago. If only it weren’t so darned complicated.
If you think the world’s richest superpower should have safe roads, deepwater ports, functioning electric grids, non-brittle rail lines running into New York City and non-cracking dams, you are probably wondering what is happening with Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Everyone is.
And if you are one of the 4 out of 10 Americans who think Trump is doing a bang-up job destroying the system, you’d vote for him again today. He is what he is. Ain’t nothing the rest of us can do about it but pick up the pieces when he’s gone.
Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.