CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Continued Chaotic Pandemic Response and Harmful Policies put Minnesota Health, Jobs, and Wages at Risk
Minnesota unemployment when Trump took office: 3.8 percent
Minnesota unemployment now: 7.4 percent
Washington, D.C. — Tomorrow, President Donald Trump will arrive in Duluth, Minnesota, to hold a rally in an airplane hanger at Duluth International Airport. The event will be his 15th non-socially distanced rally this month, putting Americans at risk despite having known the dangers of COVID-19 since February. Last week, as the United States passed the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths from COVID-19—more than twice the entire population of Duluth—Trump continued to downplay the threat of the virus by falsely claiming that it “affects virtually nobody.” Two weeks ago, he recklessly disregarded his own administration’s coronavirus safety guidelines to hold a rally of more than 2,000 people in Bemidji, Minnesota, exceeding the 250-person limit. Now, Trump returns to Minnesota after a record number of new cases this past weekend and more than 2,000 total deaths in the state.
161,000 fewer Minnesotans are employed now than when President Trump first took office in 2017, a 5.5 percent percent decline. Following his refusal to properly address the COVID-19 crisis, Minnesota’s unemployment rate in August sat at 7.4 percent. Additionally, President Trump’s executive action on unemployment insurance, which had caused chaos in states across the country, came to an end in Minnesota last week with funding exhausted. For perspective, even with the $300 benefits—which were already reduced from $600—a Center for American Progress analysis finds that the president’s action leaves a typical one-parent, one-child family in Minnesota $1,551 short of making ends meet. As of September 24, more than 207,645 Minnesota residents are still receiving some type of unemployment benefits. In total, more than 211,800 fewer Minnesotans were employed in August compared with February—a 7.1 percent decline.
Instead of leading the country out of the pandemic, Trump has continued his long-time assault on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). After revealing an executive order on health care that does nothing to protect preexisting conditions, Trump maintained his commitment to striking down the ACA in court. Reports show that if the Trump-backed lawsuit to repeal the ACA succeeds, 337,000 state residents could lose health coverage and 2.3 million Minnesotans with preexisting conditions could face higher premiums or be barred from coverage during the pandemic. Now, he seeks to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, who has not only written in opposition to decisions the court has made to uphold the ACA, but also signed on to a letter calling one of them “unacceptable.”
Learn more about how the Trump administration’s policies have hurt and put Minnesota families at risk below.
Promise: “I would let people that are making hundreds of millions of dollars a year pay some tax, because right now they’re paying very little tax, and I think it’s outrageous. I want to lower taxes for the middle class.” – Donald Trump, August 25, 2015
Reality: President Trump promised voters that he would prioritize the interests of the middle class. Instead, he has prioritized the wealthiest Americans and corporations, starting with himself. Trump only paid $750 dollars in income taxes in the years 2016 and 2017, and paid nothing at all for 10 of the 15 years prior to that. Most of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion tax cut goes to corporations and the rich. Many Minnesota families are getting stuck with the bill.
- 178,330 Minnesota families paid more in taxes in the first year after the Trump administration’s tax cuts.
- For the 2019 tax year, the average tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent of Minnesotans was $36,150. The average tax cut for the middle 20 percent of Minnesotans was $870.
Profits over wages
Promise: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. … [O]ur poorer citizens will get new jobs and higher pay and new hope for their life.” – Donald Trump, October 5, 2016
Reality: President Trump has the worst jobs record in history and is the only president to have lost net jobs on his watch.
- The Trump administration blocked a federal minimum wage increase for Minnesota workers, which has cost working families. 430,000 Minnesota workers were denied a pay increase, and Minnesota workers lost $734 million in wages.
Promise: “Those with preexisting conditions will always get the quality coverage they need.” – Donald Trump, September 24, 2016
Reality: The Trump administration is trying to repeal the ACA through the courts with no replacement. If successful, the Trump administration will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, and end protections for people with preexisting conditions.
- 265,000 state residents could lose health coverage.
- 2.3 million people in Minnesota with preexisting conditions could face higher premiums, face benefit exclusions, or be denied coverage altogether—a discriminatory practice outlawed by the ACA—if they ever needed to turn to the individual market for coverage.
Promise: “I will protect your Social Security without cuts.” – Donald Trump, August 28, 2015
Reality: Trump has continued his long-time assault on Social Security by calling for the termination of a large portion of its dedicated funding source: payroll taxes. Trump’s proposal, according to the Chief Social Security Actuary Stephen Goss, would wipe out the Social Security Trust Fund by 2023.
- More than 1,053,166 Minnesota residents are Social Security beneficiaries, or roughly 19 percent of the total population.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Zahir Rasheed at email@example.com.