MEMO: Trump At One Year: President For The 1 Percent


TO: Interested Parties

FROM: DNC Chair Tom Perez

DATE: January 16, 2018

RE: Trump At One Year: President For The 1 Percent

This is the first in a series by the DNC that will explore the defining themes of Trump’s first year in office over the next several days.

A year ago, President Trump launched his presidency by committing to the principle that a “nation exists to serve its people” and promising America that the “forgotten men and women will be forgotten no longer.”  Twelve months later, it’s clearer than ever that those words represent a central lie of the Trump presidency.

Amid all the bluster and high drama, the defining theme of Trump’s first year in office has been his insatiable desire to enrich the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of working Americans.  At every turn, Trump and Pence have consistently sided with the powerful interests they promised to fight against, all while throwing working Americans – including their own voters – under the bus.

Trump and his party spent the better part of the year trying to take away health care from tens of millions of Americans to pay for a tax cut for the rich, and when that failed, they passed a tax bill that gave 80% of its benefits to the top 1%. These are more than just broken promises – they are outright betrayals.

At the same time, Trump, Pence and their cabinet waged war against working families through quieter efforts like proposing massive cuts to job training programs, gutting protections for student borrowers and consumers, and making it harder for Americans to save for their retirement – just to name a few.  These are more than just broken promises – they are outright betrayals.

Time and again, Trump and his Republican enablers have lied to the American people to cover up the gulf between his rhetoric and his policies. When Trump was confronted with questions about the undeniable fact that his tax plan would save him hundreds of millions, he said it wouldn’t. When Republicans didn’t want to admit that their health care plan cut hundreds of millions from Medicaid, they said it didn’t.

These lies are the real “fake news” of the Trump presidency – but the impact on America is very real.  Just ask employees of the Carrier plant in Indianapolis.  A year ago, Trump and Pence promised to save their jobs and announced a deal to much fanfare. Yet hundreds of job layoffs later, we now know these were empty promises.  The company is getting millions in tax incentives while those workers are still getting pink slips. This is the story of Trump’s first year in office.  

The threat Trump poses to our prosperity as a nation also extends beyond these economic policies and to the reckless behavior and hateful, divisive rhetoric that has defined his politics for years.  The president who launched his campaign with a racially charged attack on Mexican immigrants closed out his first year in office broadening that assault and denigrating numerous countries.  Democrats know America’s diversity is not just part of the heart and soul of our nation, but is also a competitive advantage. We are a place where ideas, innovation, and dreams flourish and together we all rise.  Instead of recognizing this as a strength, Trump has attacked it relentlessly.  

While Trump and the GOP continue their campaign to reward the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, Democrats will keep fighting to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, to create more jobs with higher wages, and to ensure every American has the opportunity get ahead and stay ahead.

Trump Hasn’t Delivered On His Economic Promises:

On the campaign trail Trump made big promises to grow the economy, bring back jobs, raise wages and protect American workers, all of which have gone unfulfilled.

In Trump’s first year as president:

Trump frequently tweets about gains in the stock market. But:

  • The stock market grew at a slower rate than it did during this same period of Obama’s presidency.
  • Gains in the stock market primarily benefit the richest Americans.  The top 1% of Americans own more than 40% of our country’s stock, while less than 14% of households hold direct stock in any company and fewer than half own any stock at all.

Trump Is Not For American Workers:

Trump’s betrayal of Carrier workers sums up his first year in office:

  • A year ago Pence and Trump promised to save the jobs of Carrier workers, but since then more than 550 workers have lost their jobs, while the company has received millions in tax incentives Trump and Pence have remained silent.

Trump’s policies don’t raise wages and don’t create jobs:

  • The Trump tax may actually encourage companies to move jobs overseas.
  • Companies that Trump touted for giving bonuses to employees have been simultaneously laying off their workers.
  • Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest corporations will not go to workers – companies are already revealing they will use tax cuts from the Trump Tax to benefit their wealthy investors. (Meanwhile, Democratic-led efforts increased wages for 4.5 million workers in 18 states in 2018.)

Trump repeatedly sided with the wealthiest corporations over workers:

  • Trump proposed cutting job training programs by 40%.
  • Trump overturned a rule that would have made it easier for workers to collectively bargain with big corporations.
  • Trump reversed a rule that would have helped millions get paid for overtime. 
  • Trump made it harder for Americans to save for retirement.
  • Trump proposed scrapping a requirement that companies disclose the pay ratio between chief executives and employees.
  • Trump rescinded a rule meant to protect workers from being cheated out of their wages, and one that prevented employers from stealing workers' tips.
  • Trump rolled back worker safety regulations aimed at reducing the number of workplace injuries and deaths.
  • Trump proposed eliminating funding for training grants for workers in dangerous jobs.

Trump Is Not For Middle-Class Families:

Trump’s only legislative achievement of 2017, the Trump Tax, will do damage to the middle class:

  • It gave a permanent tax cut to corporations while increasing taxes on the middle class.
  • The top 1% will get 83% of its benefits, while middle class taxes increase.
  • By 2027, taxes will rise for everyone earning under $75,000.  That’s about half of all U.S. tax filers.

Trump sabotaged health insurance markets and tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, hurting millions of families across the country:

  • 13 million will lose their insurance and premiums will increase by double digits, all because of Trump’s repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate.
  • Trump’s decision to stop paying cost-sharing reduction payments will lead to new premium increases for Americans.
  • Trump cut the 2018 open enrollment period in half.
  • Trump slashed millions of dollars from outreach programs and advertising aimed at enrolling people in Obamacare plans.
  • Trump limited and even abandoned state and community partnerships that have played a key role in enrolling harder-to-reach demographics.
  • Trump spent taxpayer resources to produce anti-ACA videos and scrubbed its website of useful consumer guidance on the ACA.

Trump has done virtually nothing to combat the opioid epidemic that impacts the lives of families across the country:

  • Despite declaring the opioid epidemic a national emergency, Trump has not proposed any new resources or spending.
  • Trump’s health care repeal would make the opioid epidemic even worse.
  • Trump has supported hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicaid, despite his repeated promises not to cut the program.
  • Trump ended an important tool to help the public get substance abuse treatment.

Trump and his administration have repeatedly sided against students and their families, making it more difficult for them to find careers and pay down their debt:

  • Trump dismantled policies that protected students from the predatory for-profit education industry.
  • Trump withdrew guidance intended to protect student loan borrowers.
  • Trump weakened the gainful employment rule, making it easier for career training programs to cheat students.
  • Trump eliminated a federal task force that cracked down on abuse at for-profit schools.

Trump Is Not For Women:

Trump, who admitted on tape to sexually assaulting women, has unsurprisingly continued to hurt women through the first year of his presidency:

  • Trump’s efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA disproportionally hurts women.
  •  Trump made it harder access to birth control.
  • Trump signed legislation to block Planned Parenthood funding.
  • Trump cancelled workplace protections for women concerning sexual harassment and paycheck fairness.
  • Trump reversed on-campus sexual assault guidelines.
  • Trump made it harder to close the gender pay gap.

Trump’s Priority is Enriching His Business and Himself:

Though the majority of Americans were left worse off, Trump managed to look out for his own bottom line:

  • Trump and his family will save hundreds of millions because of the Trump Tax. The real estate industry also won big, receiving special tax breaks.
  • Trump reversed a rule that gave federal protection to rivers, streams and wetlands, a big win for golf course owners like himself.
  • Trump continues to profit off the presidency.
  • Trump and his family continued to hire foreign workers at his properties and outsource the manufacturing of their products.
  • Trump spent nearly one-third of his presidency at a Trump-branded property.
  • Trump wasted at least $30 million of taxpayers dollars on vacations to his Mar-a-Lago club.