Significant media attention has been devoted to the failure of President Donald Trump’s health care proposal, which would take coverage away from 24 million people in order to provide billions in tax breaks to the rich. Far less attention, however, has been paid to the actual legislative accomplishments of Trump’s first 100 days in office — and the hard numbers behind them.
While Trump campaigned on a pledge of making the GOP the “party of the American worker,” in reality he has repeatedly passed bills that put the interests of Big Business ahead of hardworking families. More than Trump’s words, looking to his legislative actions can tell us about his real priorities and those of congressional Republicans.
In Trump’s first 100 days, he and Congress have quietly passed 13 bills repealing protections that covered everything from worker safety to internet privacy. But the effects of these bills — the entirety of Trump’s legislative accomplishments to date — cannot be hidden.
When agencies put protections into place, they have to explain to the public why the rules are necessary and support their conclusions with hard data. The resulting data, analyzed by the Center for American Progress, has painted a stark picture of Trump’s priorities: $7 billion in giveaways for major corporations over the next decade, but a net loss of jobs, millions of dollars less for workers due to reduced wages, and the elimination of important consumer protections for everyone.
Oil, gas and mining companies will be major beneficiaries of Trump’s legislation, reaping billions of dollars from the repeal of key protections preventing toxic pollution in our streams and limiting foreign corruption. Another major beneficiary will be law-breaking federal contractors, who will not have to let the government know about their violations of labor law before winning federal contracts worth hundreds of billions of dollars in total.
Far from creating jobs and boosting wages, these changes will, on an annual basis, lead to job loss, reduce worker pay by $3 million, and cause $57 million in increased costs as a result of higher carbon-dioxide emissions. One of the few consumer benefits from repealing these protections? Electricity prices could be reduced by less than one-tenth of 1 percent. All told, hardly a good deal for American workers.
Further, it’s impossible to capture — in numerical terms — the full effect of Trump’s actions over the first 100 days on Americans, even though the loss of these protections will affect people in every corner of the country, every day.
For example, Trump and Congress have passed a bill allowing internet service providers to sell your browser history to third parties without your consent. They also eliminated a rule that would protect access to family planning services, meaning more unintended pregnancies and worse health outcomes for those seeking care. And by getting rid of another rule that protected streams from mountaintop mining, they increased the risk of toxic pollutants in drinking water.
Trump’s disregard for the interests of everyday Americans is even clearer when compared to President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. Obama put hardworking families at the center of his 100-day agenda. One of his first acts as president was to restore protections against pay discrimination. He also passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which increased employment by almost 2.5 million people at its peak, provided more than $180 billion in tax cuts for middle- and working-class families, and included $300 billion in public investments. And he signed legislation that helped more than a million low-income children receive health coverage, providing parents greater peace of mind knowing they could pay their children’s health bills.
You can learn a lot about a president’s priorities over the first 100 days of his or her administration, the things a president takes action on and the things a president sets aside. And for Trump, the numbers don’t lie: time and time again, he has signed legislation that helps Big Business and special interests, while hurting everyone else.