Editorial

EDITORIAL: Massive GM Layoffs Thwart Trump’s Promise, Maybe His Future

During his highly unorthodox, albeit successful bid for the White House, then-candidate Donald Trump made a lot of promises — one of which claimed that he would single-handedly lead a glorious resurgence within industrial America — part of his oft-critiqued mantra, “Make America Great Again!”

And as many citizens believed his promises, they gave him their support and their vote, helping Trump solidify his base in the Midwest and eventually upset Hillary Clinton.

But, as is often the case in politics, making promises is much easier than bringing them to fruition. Trump has learned this lesson, once again, the hard way.

On Monday, General Motors, the beneficiary of a massive tax cut that benefited the country’s upper echelon of citizens and businesses, announced plans to lay off 15,000 workers, closing five plants in the U.S. and Canada in efforts to save an estimated $6 billion annually by decreasing its ranks of salaried management.

Ironically, the move comes with the U.S. in the throes of an unprecedented economic upswing — enjoying its best back-to-back quarters in the last four years and an unemployment rate just a few percentage points away from the country’s lowest in 25 years. However, despite such numbers, rankings and a robust economy — all of which Trump has repeatedly taken full credit (is this what he calls “fake news?”), GM says it has no other choice as it eliminates sedans from its product line in lieu of more profitable, larger sport-utility vehicles.

How has our president responded? By issuing yet another promise — one which he cannot keep — that is, if you still believe in the U.S. Constitution. The president cannot withhold millions in tax subsidies from the behemoth automobile company as a threat in order to “persuade” them to abandon their massive layoff plans. That power rests solely with Congress and it’s a farfetched notion to think Congress would target only of the country’s leading carmakers, allowing all others to continue along untouched in order to appease the president.

America simply does not work that way — at least not yet. Further, the GOP, already reeling from the Democrats’ success during the midterm elections that allowed them to regain control of the House, may see even greater erosion of power as four states that Trump won, and all connected to the auto industry — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and who gave him close to 25 percent of the 270 electoral votes he needed to win — will be significantly impacted by the cuts. Christmas won’t be merry for many.

But what about his promises? Guess you can’t believe anyone these days.

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