U.N. Expert: Trump Has Moved U.S. 'Full Steam Ahead' Toward More Economic Inequality

A human rights expert blasted President Donald Trump and the United States’ growing economic inequality in a United Nations-supported report Friday.

“Particularly in a rich country like the United States, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power,” Philip Alston wrote. “With political will, it could readily be eliminated.”

The report was a culmination of Alston’s time spent studying poverty over a two-month period, with visits to Alabama, California, Georgia, Puerto Rico, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. In the report, he criticized Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts as a move that both “benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality.” He added the U.S. had moved “full steam ahead to make itself more unequal.”

Alston expanded on his criticism of the Trump administration’s policies in an interview with The Guardian Friday where he stated that “the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest.”

He added that Trump’s policies should be viewed as “an across the board attack on those who are living on the poverty line or below it.”

An official at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva told The Associated Press that, while they had not reviewed Alston’s report, “the Trump Administration has made it a priority to create economic opportunities for all Americans.”

Through his first 500 days in office, Trump consistently touted the success of his administration’s economic approach through Twitter. On Monday, he wrote, “In many ways this is the greatest economy in the HISTORY of America and the best time EVER to look for a job!”

While Alston’s report centered around defining ways in which the United States is becoming more economically unequal, he offered a brief section of recommendations that included “recognizing a right to health care” and “get real about taxes.” In the section on the latter, he wrote: “There is a real need for the realization to sink in among the majority of the American population that taxes are not only in their interest, but also perfectly reconcilable with a growth agenda.”

He added: “The politically powerful rich get to pay low taxes, while the politically marginalized poor bear the burden but can do nothing about it.”

851652416 A United Nations flag is pictured at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22, 2017, during the 72nd Session of the UN General assembly. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images