Bernie Sanders: Big Business 'Took Trump Hostage and Won'
'In essence, United Technologies took Trump hostage and won. And that should send a shock wave of fear through all workers across the country.'
President-elect Donald Trump has bowed to corporate power and walked back his own campaign promises mere weeks after being elected, says Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday.
Trump betrayed workers with a massive hand-out—reportedly a large promised tax cut and "regulatory favors"—to United Technologies, the owner of Carrier, in exchange for the company keeping a portion of its Indiana factory jobs in the U.S., Sanders argues.
Sanders excoriates the real estate mogul's decision:
President-elect Donald Trump will reportedly announce a deal with United Technologies, the corporation that owns Carrier, that keeps less than 1,000 of the 2,100 jobs in America that were previously scheduled to be transferred to Mexico. Let's be clear: It is not good enough to save some of these jobs. Trump made a promise that he would save all of these jobs, and we cannot rest until an ironclad contract is signed to ensure that all of these workers are able to continue working in Indiana without having their pay or benefits slashed.
In exchange for allowing United Technologies to continue to offshore more than 1,000 jobs, Trump will reportedly give the company tax and regulatory favors that the corporation has sought. Just a short few months ago, Trump was pledging to force United Technologies to "pay a damn tax." He was insisting on very steep tariffs for companies like Carrier that left the United States and wanted to sell their foreign-made products back in the United States. Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut. Wow! How's that for standing up to corporate greed? How's that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad?
Trump's decision, the Vermont senator argues, greatly endangers American jobs. It sends a signal to "every corporation in America" that executives can threaten to move jobs overseas "in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives."
"If Donald Trump won't stand up for America's working class, we must."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)"And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America," Sanders notes.
The working class is subsidizing an already absurdly wealthy billionaire corporate class, argues the democratic socialist, and Trump's move will make that trend worse.
"Last year, [United Technologies] made a profit of $7.6 billion and received more than $6 billion in defense contracts," observes Sanders. "It has also received more than $50 million from the Export-Import Bank and very generous tax breaks. In 2014, United Technologies gave its former chief executive Louis Chenevert a golden parachute worth more than $172 million. Last year, the company's five highest-paid executives made more than $50 million. The firm also spent $12 billion to inflate its stock price instead of using that money to invest in new plants and workers."
"Does that sound like a company that deserves more corporate welfare from our government?" Sanders wonders.
Sanders plans to introduce an anti-outsourcing bill when Congress reconvenes in January, which would levy a tax against corporations for outsourcing American jobs. The move could highlight the hypocrisy of Trump's pro-worker campaign rhetoric and his pro-corporate actions.
"If Donald Trump won't stand up for America's working class," writes Sanders, "we must."