“Actions speak louder than words.”
It’s an overplayed adage, but one that is more relevant than ever. As we watch Donald Trump move swiftly into the driver’s seat of this country, we need to be concentrating on what he does, not what he says.
Trump’s 100-day plan will prove that the campaign “rhetoric” so lambasted over the last year of limited consequence.
In his 100-day plan, Trump has promised to undermine NAFTA and label China a currency manipulator, move forward with the Keystone pipeline and lift restrictions on the production of 50 trillion-dollars worth of fossil fuel energy, remove millions of child immigrants from the country, cancel funding for Sanctuary Cities and, yes, build a wall.
That’s a lot of damage. Let’s break down why this series of actions will be catastrophic.
NAFTA is a multination trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada – which makes it easier for manufacturers and farmers to do business. Because NAFTA is an existing treaty signed by Congress, it will be hard to change. But, Trump can strangle it.
What could happen if NAFTA is suffocated?
Businesses with well-established supply chains and distribution systems based on simple trade will struggle to adapt. Trump thinks NAFTA moves manufacturing jobs to Mexico. So he will likely impose tariffs and aggressively use enforcement mechanisms to hassle companies to keep or move those systems to the U.S.
If Trump moves forward, there’s no doubt prices on relatively cheap goods will go up and businesses will be hung out to dry.
Mexico is not the only nation Trump will alienate with aggressive trade negotiation. Labelling China a currency manipulator, according to experts at the Wall Street Journal, could cause a trade war.
Though the distinction of currency manipulator has little actual effect, there is no doubt the action will strain an already contentious relationship with China. Trump will likely impose new U.S. tariffs on China and spark legal problems with U.S. importers.
One foreign entity may be pleased with Trump’s 100-day plan. TransCanada – an oil company owning over 40,000 miles of pipeline in North America – is eager for a green-light to continue building the Keystone XL pipeline.
The pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of oil from the Canadian tar-sands to the United States – per day.
The Keystone XL pipeline is only one of the many projects that a Trump administration would likely permit and encourage to create temporary jobs in the face of their devastating effects.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking item on his agenda is to begin the mass deportation of immigrants, including children, and systematically disenfranchise Sanctuary Cities across the country.
Trump promises to end DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which allows children brought into the country to receive protection from deportation – and make around 1.3 million immigrant children eligible for deportation.
It’s hard to put into words how heartbreaking that initiative would be.
Trump promises to fund the construction of a wall on our southern border, even though Mexico will not pay for it, establish a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions.
These actions are costly, in human and and in economic terms. We cannot afford to keep thousands of immigrants in our already overcrowded prisons and build a multi-trillion dollar wall across our border with Mexico. If such an initiative is even started, the federal deficit will skyrocket.
This is only the beginning of the 100-day plan.
Trump wants to funnel money into the Justice Department to “reduce crime.”
Trump plans to overhaul the tax bracket – cutting income tax rates, capping deductions for the wealthy, reducing business tax rate to 15 percent and eliminating the estate tax (otherwise known as the inheritance tax).
And the biggest “winners” of this plan are the wealthy. Estimates from the Tax Policy Center say that the top one-percent of households would see their after-tax incomes rise by double digits, while households in the 40th and 60th percentile would only see an increase in after-tax income of about one-percent: an example of trickle-down economics at it’s most evident.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Trump follows through with these promises in their entirety. We’ve already watched Trump walk back part of his promise to completely repeal and replace Obamacare.
But it’s important to note that this 100-day plan is his proposed actions. We aren’t dealing with Trump rhetoric anymore. We are dealing with a plan on the table; a series of catastrophic actions that would lead to the alienation of foreign nations, the continued destruction of our planet and the disintegration of millions of hardworking immigrant families.
The ball is in our court. Do we sit on the sidelines and discuss how disgusting the pre-game trash-talk was? Or get back in the game and do everything we can to block his next shot?