Make America First Again

The RNC marches along, with GOP plans to create opportunity and prosperity.

The RNC Marches Along, With GOP Plans To Create Opportunity And Prosperity

After spending yesterday’s “Make America Work Again” night talking about Benghazi (again) instead of jobs and the economy, the Republican National Convention continues today with plans to “Make America First Again.” Now formally the Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump and his supporters plan to talk about how they will “lift people out of poverty by creating the conditions for opportunity and prosperity.” But Benghazi will probably fit into this theme too.

The reality is, Donald Trump has no substantive plans to help create conditions for opportunity and prosperity. Instead, he has said people are in poverty because they are “sitting there doing nothing.” From his calls to abolish the Department of Education to his claim that wages are “too high,” Trump has proven only to be concerned with protecting the opportunity and prosperity of a select few. Here are just a few ways Trump and the GOP would put opportunity and prosperity further out of reach for working families:

  • Trump vowed to abolish the Department of Education. If Trump followed through on his promise to “get rid” of the U.S. Department of Education, $68 billion would no longer be targeted to the most disadvantaged students—including those with disabilities, English Language Learners, from low-income families and students of color. This would mean 8 million college students would lose their Pell Grants, 23.9 million students from low-income settings would lose their Title I funding, schools would lose funding to help ensure a quality education for 6.7 million students with disabilities, the fate of $1.2 trillion in student loans would be uncertain, and there would be no federal civil rights enforcement, including enforcement of Title IX.
  • Trump University scammed thousands, faces numerous lawsuits. You probably won’t hear much mention of Trump’s earlier promise to bring opportunity and prosperity to Americans—the unaccredited Trump University courses that cost up to $35,000 and tricked students into paying for courses that that failed to provide promised instruction on real-estate business techniques. Newly released documents from an ongoing lawsuit outlined a number of questionable business tactics and gave voters a glimpse of Trump’s potential approach to higher education.
  • Trump’s tax plan is a reckless and costly giveaway to the wealthiest few at the expense of everyone else. His tax plan would give the top 1 percent an average tax cut of over $275,000, while costing $9.5 trillion over the next decade. And it could increase the national debt by nearly 80 percent of gross domestic product by 2036.
  • Trump has yet to support raising the minimum wage. In fact he’s done quite the opposite: he’s claimed “wages are too high.” If Trump were president for 8 years and didn’t raise the federal minimum wage, it would be at its lowest level in 70 years—making it even harder for working families to get by, much less get ahead.

Trump’s Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence will also take the stage tonight to make the case that the two of them can, in fact, make America first. But Pence’s record makes it pretty clear that he is only interested in protecting opportunity for a select few. He was the first governor to sign a Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, or RFRA law, which allowed individuals and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. And his education record is troubling too: wealthiest schools thrive under his new state budget while poor ones mostly get less and Pence has overseen an incredibly costly school voucher program that cost $135 million and reported a loss of $40 million.

BOTTOM LINE: Tonight, the Republican Party will try to make the case that “Under a Trump administration, America will once again be a beacon of progress and opportunity,” but the reality is that Trump is only concerned with creating opportunity and prosperity for a select few.

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