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Trump Repealing the New Deal

A list of things over the last year to Make America Poor Again

Brian Young's picture
Apr 05, 2018

On Monday the Supreme Court released a 5-4 decision that expanded who is not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) rule on Overtime. While the case is important, it was a fairly obscure case that did not get as much attention as the other big labor case this year, Janus v. AFSCME. Buried in the minority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said that by stretching the overtime exemption, the majority is stripping away protections for vulnerable workers. The FLSA was one of the most important parts of the New Deal. Some have taken this as a warning from Ginsberg that the conservatives on the court are trying to undue the remaining pieces of this important legislation. While it might seem like hyperbole, recent evidence shows that the Roberts’ Court, Trump and conservative leaders like the Koch Brothers are dead set on destroying the New Deal protections that are offered for working people and the poor.

The New Deal has been under attack for decades by those on the right. Ronald Reagan began reducing important regulations, slashing taxes and defunding social programs. In the 90’s important regulations like Glass Stegall were repealed. These cuts directly helped cause at least two economic downturns in the late 80’s and the Great Recession in 2008. Even in the face of evidence that these important programs work, Trump and his friends are continuing to attack the New Deal. Here are the parts that have been attacked since Trump took office:

Janus v. AFSCME: The Janus case is a great example of their fight to weaken the National Labor Relations Act. This act gave workers the right to collectively bargain, but the case seeks to weaken public employees’ ability to fairly negotiate their contracts.

The repeal of the Tip Pooling Rule: The FLSA established a minimum wage for tipped employees and outlined who could and couldn’t receive tips when they are pooled together. This was in an effort to prevent employers from stealing workers tips. The Obama administration worked to further strengthen the law, but since Trump has come in, his administration has repealed the law, even covering up an internal report that showed that the change would result in millions of dollars going from employees to management.

The Republican Tax Plan: In the tax plan, Republicans cut taxes for the wealthy and reduced regulations with the idea that if businesses have more money they will help workers. This goes back to the failed economic policies of the 1920’s that led to the New Deal. The cuts also created a $1.4 Trillion hole for important Great Society (the 1960’s additions to the New Deal) programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

Overtime Rule: The FLSA created the notion of the 40-hour work week and granted Overtime protections to many workers. While there were people who were exempt, the intention of the law was to keep these exemptions pretty narrow. The Obama administration used this basis to further clarify who qualifies for overtime, giving a raise to millions. Now Trump wants to repeal the Overtime rule and revert it back to say that anyone making over $23,660 would not qualify.

Many people today don’t even realize the benefits of the New Deal. Things like the minimum wage, child labor laws, Social Security and unemployment benefits were all created under this program. The simple idea that someone shouldn’t die just because they were poor came from this program. Out of this idea spawned Medicare, Medicaid, Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act. With control over all branches of government, conservatives are doing everything in their power to deal the final death blow to the New Deal, and it will be the average joe and jill suffers.

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