Did you think Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would go quietly into that good night after losing his presidential primary to Hillary Clinton? If you did, you were wrong.
Sen. Sanders is instead proving to be quite the thorn in Donald Trump’s side. While the president-elect is patting himself on the back for his great victory by keeping jobs with Carrier in the U.S. instead of Mexico, Sanders is dominating the headlines for his scathing analysis of the deal. The Vermont Senator is calling Trump out for being a hypocrite and that Trump accomplished very little and just made everything worse.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Sanders says:
Today, about 1,000 Carrier workers and their families should be rejoicing. But the rest of our nation’s workers should be very nervous.
Sanders says after reviewing the facts of the deal, Trump did very little to keep all of the jobs Carrier had originally planned on shipping to Mexico:
President-elect Donald Trump will reportedly announce a deal with United Technologies, the corporation that owns Carrier, that keeps less than 1,000 of the 2100 jobs in America that were previously scheduled to be transferred to Mexico. Let’s be clear: It is not good enough to save some of these jobs. Trump made a promise that he would save all of these jobs, and we cannot rest until an ironclad contract is signed to ensure that all of these workers are able to continue working in Indiana without having their pay or benefits slashed.
In exchange for keeping only half the jobs with the company in the US, Sanders noted that the Vice President-elect Mike Pence had offered Carrier tax breaks that will cost Indiana $700,000 per year for an indefinite number of years. At the federal level, Trump promised Carrier his tax plans and regulatory reforms would save the company more than the $65 million the company would have saved had their labor exportation plan gone through.
This just set a dangerous precedent.
Sanders offers this sobering analysis on Trump’s “victory through bribing” deal:
Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States.
“Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives. Even corporations that weren’t thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be re-evaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America.
Essentially, Trump has signaled to corporations they can kick and scream and he will give them whatever they want, at whatever cost to taxpayers. Who knows where the limit will be.
Sanders says the company that owns Carrier, United Technologies, “took Trump hostage and won,” and that the deal is only “a Band-Aid solution.”
The Vermont Senator noted that Carrier and its mother company are not anywhere near going broke, as they made $7.6 billion in profits last year, nor are they in need of welfare because their top paid executives rein in over $50 million per year. And instead of improving plants or keeping jobs, the company spent $12 billion to inflate their stock prices last year.
Sanders points out that during the election Trump promised to impose a stiff tariff against companies like Carrier if they off-shored American jobs. Trump also said companies like Carrier should just pay a “damn tax,” yet with his superior negotiation skills, he has managed to give the company a tax break and the company didn’t have to keep all 2,100 jobs in America. Take a f*cking bow, Trump!
Sanders adds that he was initially willing to help Trump take on corporations and Wall Street, since this was an issue on which both men agreed:
But after running a campaign pledging to be tough on corporate America, Trump has hypocritically decided to do the exact opposite. He wants to treat corporate irresponsibility with kid gloves. The problem with our rigged economy is not that our policies have been too tough on corporations; it’s that we haven’t been tough enough.
Sanders says he will soon be introducing legislation to the Senate called the Outsourcing Prevention Act that demands corporations who offshore jobs must pay a tax equal to the amount of money they are saving on cheaper labor. This legislation would provide zero incentive to companies to send jobs out of the country and wouldn’t be a burden on taxpayers.
Trump just showed the American people his true colors over the weeks since the election. One, he has the negotiating skills of a three-year-old trying to get out of bedtime, who actually negotiates themselves into an earlier bedtime and gets nothing in return. Two, that he plans on saving jobs by bribing companies into staying in deals that widen wealth inequality, put more workers in unnecessary danger, and make average Americans foot the bill via taxes. And three, his promises to his supporters were empty because he has stacked his cabinet full of dangerous political players who are cozy with Wall Street, corporations and special interests who will do nothing to ease the suffering of American blue-collar workers.
Trump supporters have been duped, and the president-elect hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.
Many Democrats wished Bernie Sanders would have shut up during the primary election because they thought he was damaging Hillary Clinton, but now we’re going to be glad the Senator doesn’t possess the ability.