Donald Trump fashions himself a populist, but his economic plan just recycles the failed policies of deregulation and massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations. If such policies were effective, we would remember George W. Bush’s presidency as one of great prosperity, instead of a period of stagnant wages for blue- and white-collar workers. We’ve lowered taxes and curtailed regulations for years and there’s no evidence that growth has improved as a result.
There was nothing in Trump’s policy agenda that would ensure that wage growth will be generated by economic growth: there were no policies offered on minimum wage, overtime protections, wage theft, employee misclassification, rebuilding our infrastructure, restoring collective bargaining, or curtailing the growth of the top 1 percent. Vague calls for tax simplification are impossible to judge without details, but we know that these policies will not generate growth and will certainly not create higher wages for middle-wage workers. Even his child care tax deduction is not really about the middle class, as it won’t help the bottom 44 percent of families that pay no income taxes. Instead, it will be worth more to those who pay more taxes, as tax deduction always are.
Trump’s economic policies will be welcomed by corporations and the wealthy GOP donors he’s now courting, and the businessmen on his so-called economic policy team. Perhaps these policies will finally earn Trump the love of the GOP establishment. But he remains a dangerous candidate who does not have the interest of workers in mind.