Robert Reich: Trump Has Betrayed His Voters

This article first appeared on RobertReich.org.

Dear Trump voter,

If you voted for Donald Trump, I get it. Maybe you feel you’ve been so badly shafted by the system that you didn’t want to go back to politics as usual, and Trump seemed like he’d topple that corrupt system.

You voted to change our country’s power base – to get rid of crony capitalism and give our government back to the people who are working, paying taxes, and spending more just to survive. Lots of Americans agree with you.

But now, the president is turning his back on that idea and the many changes he promised.

He did not drain the swamp. After telling voters how he would take control away from special interests, he has surrounded himself with the very Wall Street players he decried. Now, those who gamed politicians for tax loopholes and laws that reward the rich don’t even have to sneak around with backroom deals.

Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell and others from Wall Street, as well as corporate lobbyists by the dozens, are now inside the Trump administration rigging the system for the extremely wealthy from the inside.

They want to make it easier for banks to once again gamble with your money and repeat our financial crisis. They want to cut health care for millions of you. They want to lower taxes on corporations and the rich. They want to get rid of rules that stop corporations from harming your health or safety.

That’s not the change you were promised.

Make America Great Again? The Trump administration wants to expand on policies that have kept American wages stagnant for almost four decades. Huge corporations and billionaires get the breaks, and hard working Americans once again get left waiting for the crumbs. That’s not the change you were promised.

Bringing back fiscal responsibility? The Secret Service budget is skyrocketing to protect his family on international business trips, ski vacations, and separate New York City living quarters.

At the same time, the president still refuses to untangle himself from his businesses and prove he’s not leveraging our government for his financial gain. You’re paying for his lifestyle while he’s doing nothing to help yours.

That’s not the change you were promised.

GettyImages-837578928 Supporters cheer as Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 22, 2017. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty

Robert Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, and Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written 14 books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations and Beyond Outrage and, most recently, Saving Capitalism. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-creator of the award-winning documentary Inequality for All.