Bait and switch betrayal
July 11, 2017
"I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid." Donald Trump, May 7, 2015
"This has really brought the Republican Party together." President Donald Trump, May 4, 2017, during the Rose Garden celebration of the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House health care bill.
The above quotes illustrate how President Donald Trump has broken promises he made without even seeming to understand what he has done. The AHCA, passed by the House of Representatives, cuts billions out of Medicaid in two ways: it cuts reimbursement rates to Medicaid expansion states, including Nevada, and it imposes caps on health care spending for eligible patients.
The AHCA also depletes Medicare earlier than projected, cutting benefits for seniors and the disabled. Trump's own budget cuts billions from the Social Security disability program, hurting recipients and ultimately retirees. So much for Trump's promises to protect these programs.
Besides promising to make these programs stronger, Trump promised great health insurance for everyone. "'We're going to have insurance for everybody." People covered under the law "can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better."'
He promised lower premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, and said the repeal and replace would be simultaneous. He also said his plan was "very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven't put it in quite yet but we're going to be doing it soon." (Washington Post, 1/15/2017).
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What does Trump say now, when it's clear he had no plan and the Republican plans are so flawed? On June 29, Trump tweeted, "If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date."
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that 32 million people who currently have and want health insurance will lose their insurance if Obamacare is repealed with no replacement. That will cause unimaginable suffering for millions of Americans, but apparently that's okay with Trump. He doesn't care.
Another promise Trump made over and over was that he would not allow American jobs to be sent to other countries, and he would bring jobs back to America.
"Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences… It's not going to happen, I'll tell you right now." President-elect Donald Trump, Indianapolis Carrier plant, Dec. 1, 2016
Not surprisingly, this promise has also been broken. Three different companies, including Carrier, are either sending jobs to other countries or laying off workers. Carrier is sending 600 jobs to Mexico, with 290 of those jobs to end three days before Christmas. Not exactly the "great Christmas" Trump promised.
Ford had planned to move car production to Mexico, but decided instead to move production of the Ford Focus to China, in 2019. After the cars are manufactured in China, they will be exported back to the U.S. Where exactly are the consequences?
In South Carolina, Trump boasted at the Boeing plant about saving jobs. Now the company will be laying off hundreds of workers. Boeing is also cutting 1800 jobs at its Seattle factory. These jobs aren't moving, just disappearing. In February, Trump told Boeing workers "jobs is one of the primary reasons I'm standing here today as your President, and I will never, ever disappoint you." Another promise broken.
Trump also promised to "Drain the Swamp." In reality, he has signed more ethics waivers in four months for lobbyists turned government staffers than Obama did in eight years, including 17 waivers for White House staff alone. These waivers are creating ethical conflicts of interest, but that just fits with Trump's own behavior regarding his business interests. (Vox, 7/1/17) What's OK for the president is fine for his staff, no matter how it harms the country.
These promises were the reason many people voted for Trump. I have never understood why so many people wanted to follow a proven liar and conman. His $25 million dollar settlement with the students he cheated and defrauded through Trump University should have been a clear signal of how crooked Trump is. He offered these students the world and then betrayed them.
That's called "Bait and Switch," and it's what he's done to his voters. That's what he's doing to America, enriching himself from our pockets. When he's got what he wants, he'll walk away, leaving the ruins and shambles behind, smiling all the way.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.