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AFSCME: Working People Not Buying Trump’s Speech

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In response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, AFSCME President Lee Saunders said working families don’t buy the president’s assessment of their country, are unhappy with his track record and don’t believe his lofty promises of what’s ahead.

“If you’re among the wealthy and powerful corporate class, President Trump’s speech probably sounded pretty good,” Saunders said in a statement. “But for millions of working families, nothing that was said tonight – and nothing that’s happened over the first year of this administration – provided much reassurance or relief.”

Trump called his first year in office “an extraordinary success” and made pleas for unity among Democrats and Republicans. He even went so far as to say that we are in a “new American moment,” and that there has “never been a better time to start living the American dream.”

But to many working families, his words were empty of meaning.

As Saunders put it, Trump “continues to pursue an agenda that rigs the economy even more in favor of millionaires and billionaires.”

“The Trump priorities are clear: lavish tax breaks on CEOs; outsource jobs while starving public services; take health care away from millions; cut education, Medicare and Medicaid; pass a so-called infrastructure plan that does more to enrich hedge fund managers than invest in communities, with working people paying the bill in the form of higher taxes and tolls; gut regulations in order to prioritize corporate profits over workers’ rights; and drive a cruel immigration policy that breaks up families and affronts human dignity,” he said.

On the day he assumed office, Trump promised to stand up for “the forgotten man and woman” in America. And there was never any ambiguity about whom he meant – working people who are being left behind by an economy rigged against them, an economy that only works for the rich and powerful.

But during a year in which he had the chance to prove the sincerity of his campaign promises, Trump failed to deliver.

AFSCME Member Responds

A working mother and AFSCME member had a chance to make this clear to him following his speech. Virginia State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, a member of AFSCME Local 3001, gave the Democratic Party’s Spanish-language response to the State of the Union address.

“He has demeaned communities of color – launching a mass deportation agenda, and insulting the heritage of anyone who doesn’t look like him,” Guzman said of Trump. “He has imposed a hateful, immoral ban against our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

She added: “We should not accept or normalize the insulting and atrocious way this president represents our communities. … Together we can rebuild a nation for everyone that we can be proud of.”