Here’s a Scorecard for the White Working Class to Judge Trump’s Presidency


We are told that Donald Trump owes his victory to rural, blue-collar whites, especially those living in the upper Midwest. Trump’s appeal to this demographic was based partly on racial fears and partly on economic loss. With that in mind, these folks deserve a few metrics to tell them if Trump is making good on his promise to make their lives better. Here’s my top ten list of things to watch:

  1. Miles of wall built on the southern border. (Current number: 0)
  2. Number of manufacturing jobs. (Current number: about 12 million)
  3. Population of illegal immigrants in the United States. (Current number: about 11 million in 2014)
  4. Total federal spending on infrastructure (First term of Obama administration: about $400 billion)
  5. Trade deficit. (Current number: $500 billion in 2015)
  6. U6 unemployment rate. (Current number: 9.7 percent)
  7. Change in net imports from Mexico due to renegotiating NAFTA. (Current number: $60 billion in 2015)
  8. Change in net imports from China due to punitive tariffs etc. (Current number: $367 billion in 2015)
  9. Tax reductions for working class. (Baseline: 7.9 percent of income for all federal taxes for the second income quintile)
  10. Tax reductions for the wealthy. (Baseline: 25.8 percent of income for all federal taxes for the top quintile)

Some of these will need to be updated to 2016 numbers when they’re available, but this gives you a rough idea of where Trump is starting from.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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