Opinion

A Critique on Trump, the So-Called ‘Common Man’

Shealah Craighead | Official White House PhotoPresident Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump descend plush, red stairs upon arrival in Saudi Arabia May 2017.

Since the beginning of President Donald Trump’s campaign, he has claimed to be an avid supporter of the middle class, saying, “[the working class] are the forgotten men and women of our country,” and his term would voice the concerns of the so-called forgotten. However, Trump’s “common man” mask has slipped off many times since, making it overwhelmingly evident that Americans shouldn’t have trusted a man with a net worth of more than $3 billion dollars to represent the average American.

Trump’s economic plan doesn’t benefit middle-class America, but instead eases pressure on his pals earning half a million dollars or more annually. His promises for an “after-tax income for all” plan, though appealing, will ultimately benefit the top 10 percent most. The Tax Policy Center reported the middle class would receive a 1.2 percent increase in after-tax income. While this seems like a middle-class victory, the cut is minimal compared to the 8.5 percent increase the top 10 percent receives.

His plans to redirect and cut funding on certain programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, will also harm working-class Americans.

SNAP previously provided electronic cards to purchase food and living necessities at more than 260,000 stores nationwide with thousands across the Chicagoland area, according to the SNAP Retailers Database. This allows those who benefit from the program to shop for themselves with their preferences and dietary needs in mind. Under Trump’s rendition of SNAP, the electronic card system would be replaced with boxed goods, containing items such as cereal, canned goods and additional non-perishable foods. This completely omits fresh fruits and vegetables from the diets of those who qualify for SNAP. Considering all people have dietary restrictions and needs, lack of fresh produce can be extremely harmful to overall health and well-being.

According to his proposed changes, SNAP would also be covered by state instead of federal government, and it’s predicted the state will further cut SNAP’s budget due to lack of funds, possibly causing low-income families, disabled Americans and the elderly to forfeit their rights to a healthy diet.

Some parts of the tax plan are conveyed simply as inconveniences, such as cuts on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when, in reality, they’re detrimental to the American economy more than one would think.

Under Trump’s administration, the EPA budget would be reduced by a quarter. While this may seem like it doesn’t have an impact, it heavily impacts the middle and lower class. While the upper class may have the means to recover after natural disasters strike, not being able to afford a new home or having limited access to clean water in the aftermath would hit lower- and middle-class America like a storm — literally.

When observing Trump’s budget and tax plans, calling him the voice of the common man is almost laughable. Regardless of his claims to benefit the working class, he continues to provide for the rich while causing complications for everyone else.

And so, we continue our search for an honest politician that truly campaigns for the well-being, security and mental and physical health of the “common man.”

 

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