Sunday, April 03, 2016

Trump's First 100 Days As President

Trump’s First 100 Days As President

by Stephen Lendman

Should a billionaire be entrusted to lead the country? Perhaps his only redeeming quality is he’d likely not start WW III.

Interviewed on April 2, he said he’d govern like he campaigns if elected president, a nontraditional Trumpian approach, he explained.

During the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt’s first 100 days were historic, a unique post-electoral period. More on it below.

Trump barely touched on his first 100 days if elected president. Whoever succeeds Obama enters office during America’s second Great Depression, a Main Street one, affecting tens of millions of unemployed, underemployed struggling people in a nation systematically being thirdworldized.

Half the population is impoverished or bordering it. Most households need two or more jobs to survive. 

Most good ones were offshored to low wage countries. Most remaining are rotten low-pay, poor or no benefit, temp or part-time ones.

Nearly a fourth of working age Americans can’t find work. Monthly Labor Department employment reports turn reality on its head. Most so-called “new jobs” don’t exist. Willful misinformation claims otherwise.

Obama was more jobs destroyer than creator. Trump said nothing about addressing America’s most pressing economic and social issue.

Instead he claimed in his first 100 days he’d cut taxes (favoring business and high-income households), “renegotiate trade deals and…military deals.”

He’d change America’s role in NATO, maybe alter the Alliance’s mission. Longer-term he pledged the impossible - eliminating the national debt (now at over $19.2 trillion) “over a period of eight years” if reelected for a second term.

Trump is no FDR. Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t end the Great Depression but gave people most in need hope.

Landmark laws were enacted, including the Bank Act of 1933 - Glass-Steagall, insuring deposits up to $5,000 and separating commercial from investment banks and insurance companies, among other provisions to curb speculation.

The Homeowners Refinancing Act stopped most foreclosures, preventing the loss of over a million homes.

The Emergency Conservation Work Act put unemployed people to work building roads, bridges, dams, state parks and various other projects. It was Roosevelt’s favorite initiative, unaddressed today at a time of rampant unemployment, suppressed by phony government reports.

The Civil Works Administration, Works Progress Administration and Public Works Administration created millions of full and part-time jobs.

Roosevelt called the National Recovery Administration “the most important and far-reaching (measure) ever” established in America - an initiative to revive economic growth, encourage collective bargaining, set maximum work hours, minimum wages, at times prices, and forbid child labor in industry.

The Tennessee Valley Authority provided navigation, flood control, electricity generation, economic development, and promoted agriculture in the depression-impacted Tennessee Valley area, covering most of Tennessee as well as parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

The Agricultural Adjustment Act restricted production by paying farmers to reduce or destroy crops and livestock - a plan to raise prices at the worst time, when people were impoverished and hungry.

The Farm Credit Act let farmers refinance mortgages over an extended period at below-market rates. The Emergency Farm Mortgage Act provided refinancing for farmers facing foreclosure.

Despite its flaws and failures, New Deal measures helped millions of desperate Americans in need. Post-100 days included the Wagner Act letting labor bargain collectively on equal terms with management for the first time.

The Social Security Act to this day remains the most important federal program helping retirees and other eligible recipients financially. 

Other social legislation throughout the decade helped millions of Americans in need - polar opposite bipartisan anti-populist policies today.

Militarism, corporate favoritism and the greatest ever wealth transfer from most people to its privileged few reflects how America is run today.

A Trump administration will continue dirty business as usual. So will Hillary Clinton if she succeeds Obama, neither aspirant addressing vital needs of ordinary people.

Americans are ill-served. Duopoly governance betrays them. Their needs and welfare don’t matter.

Differences between New Deal and current practices are stark during the two gravest economic periods in US history - one acknowledged, the other left unaddressed.

Roosevelt promised change and delivered. Wall Street, war profiteers and other corporate favorites alone today are served - ordinary Americans increasingly on their own out of luck.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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