From Words to Actions

Opinion
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Hilbert Morales

EL OBSERVADOR

“For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost… Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed… And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes – starting right here, and right now.” These words were spoken by President Donald J. Trump during his inaugural address.

Trump was elected because he promised jobs to the unemployed of the American rustbelt (steelworkers), to coal miners and to agricultural workers. Let’s see if Trump will focus upon ‘job creation’ or will ‘alternative facts’ be the reward working class folks receive?

Tuesday, Governor Brown gave the shortest ‘California State of the State’ speech ever. There is no feedback at this juncture which the CA Governor or its State Assembly could use to establish its annual program budgets. One in eight Americans lives in CA which is the 6th largest economy in this world. Despite the fact that CA contributes $86 billion to the U.S.Treasury, at present the federal funding levels for healthcare, education, transportation, etc.have not been communicated. We, who live in California, may end up having to stand up and push back on the public policy changes which Trump Administration will propose.

Trump began signing Executive Orders.One executive order permits construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline which crossed Native American ‘sacred lands’. These pipelines may commit America to use fossil fuels at a time when sustainable alternative energy sources need to be used more extensively. These decisions reflect his rejection of Global Warming (Climate Change). Recall that Trump called ‘Global Climate change ‘a hoax’ several times. Recent data from EPA establishes that for the past 650,000 years, 2016 had the highest global temperature. The mission of Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human life by protecting the environment. A gag order has been applied which prohibits federal career scientists from releasing any climate change information to the public (who pays for that research).

Another order withdraws America from the Trans Pacific Treaty (TPT) negotiations which will greatly impact international commerce conducted by CA firms, especially high tech and agribusiness. TTP established a 12 nation trade agreement with lower import/export tariffs.Chile is already being courted by China. When campaigning, Trump targeted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between America, Canada, and Mexico as requiring renegotiation. NAFTA is responsible for many small Mexican farmers from being unable to make a living when American agribusiness began shipping cheaper corn, wheat, and pork to Mexico. The ‘little guy’ had no protection nor consideration in the original NAFTA deal. Could Trump do better?

These Executive Orders are projected to eliminate three of four existing worker protective regulations. This may cause increased health and safety issues as well as economic harm to America’s working class.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”) is best improved by retaining its best features and crafting improvements thereto. The Republican Party, with its own internal divisive groups (e.g. The Tea Party ultra-right faction) simply has no plan of its own which will serve the health care insurance coverages needed by ordinary working class citizens. Why not uncouple coverage from employment status? Obama Care, despite its flaws, provided health care insurance coverage for an additional 20 million workers. And for the first time, its application slowed down rising costs of health care.

Trump is very committed to rebuilding America’s military, deporting undocumented residents, and to building that WALL along the Mexican-American border. And let’s not forget the privatization of health care, education, and national parks.

If Trump really wants to do things for the working class, he may want to consider setting up mortgage contracts which give the home-owner certain rights and options. Currently, home-purchaser’s only obligation is to pay the monthly mortgage without fail. Home-owners could, and do, lose their home equity; no bank executive has been punished for improper foreclosures, etc. A national housing policy which is standard throughout this nation would be welcomed, especially if the home-owner had options such as payment of interest only when transitioning jobs, unemployed and very ill; plus not having any equity losses during foreclosures. 

If Trump is such an excellent ‘deal-making’ negotiator, let his administration get better credit card interest rates; establish low interest student loans which are forgiven when that student as a professional serves an underserved area; establish a comprehensive tax reform plan that equals what is currently provided to the ultra-wealthy; establish excellent Consumer Protection Services, etc. Let Trump turn his words into action, actions which satisfy the many promises made during the past campaign rallies. 

With respect to that WALL, it would be good to forget it. It would be better to fund the Immigration & Naturalization programs at levels which would eliminate all waiting periods. Since Mexico has provided skilled labor for many jobs which our labor force now is reluctant to do, develop a porous border which permits laborers to come and go whenever without fear; but which detects and interdicts those criminals which both nations want to imprison. Finally, Trump would do this nation a great service if Federal laws on drugs, especially marijuana, were in harmony with current state laws for both medicinal and recreational marijuana usage. 

President Trump…I hope you did not do a ‘bait and switch sales job’ on all those workers who voted for you, because the establishments in both Democratic and Republican Parties took us for granted and you did not. You have an obligation to turn your words into action. You must perform just as you expect your employees to….or else…in four years (maybe sooner via impeachment proceedings) you will be fired.

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