Center for American Progress

Trump’s Betrayal: One Broken Promise After Another
President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House  toward Marine One, October 2017. (AP/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House toward Marine One, October 2017. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

As a candidate, President Donald Trump made grandiose promises to the people he referred to as the “forgotten men and women of our country.” He said that he would bring back jobs, improve health care, and protect their retirement. Yet one year after being elected president, it is clear that Trump’s policies and plans are a betrayal of the American people—including some of his strongest supporters.

Trump said, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” but in reality:

  • Job growth is slower than it was during the previous six years. Under President Trump, the economy has generated a little more than 164,000 jobs a month, compared with 187,000 jobs a month in 2016 and 226,000 jobs a month in 2015. In fact, in 2017, average job growth has been lower than it was in any of the previous six years.
  • At least 66,000 American jobs have been moved offshore. Since President Trump has taken office, more than 66,000 workers have successfully petitioned for Trade Adjustment Assistance, a government program available to workers who have lost their jobs or are in the process of losing their jobs due to trade. This number likely underestimates the total job loss that is a result of outsourcing. Even Trump’s guarantee to save jobs at an Indiana Carrier plant has proven short-lived, as more than 600 of its workers will see their jobs shipped to Mexico in 2017.
  • Trump’s Labor Department is threatening to take away overtime protections, costing workers $12 billion in overtime pay over the next 10 years. The department is seeking to eliminate Obama-era overtime protections that would benefit employees who make less than $47,000 a year. An estimated 5 million workers benefit from the overtime rule. Stripping those protections would cost them a projected $12 billion in overtime pay over the next decade.
  • Trump wants to give corporations and the wealthiest Americans massive tax cuts, leaving middle-class and working families with the bill. Trump’s tax plan would give away corporate tax cuts that would cost $2 trillion over a decade. The overwhelming majority of these cuts would go to the richest 1 percent of Americans.
  • The Trump administration is raising mortgage costs for 1 million new homebuyers by about $500 a year. Just hours after Trump was sworn in as president, his administration halted a plan that would have given homebuyers lower mortgage rates.

Trump said, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” but in reality:

  • Trump supported a health care repeal bill that would have resulted in 32 million fewer Americans with coverage. The latest repeal bill championed by President Trump would have resulted in 32 million fewer people with coverage; weakened or eliminated protections for people with pre-existing conditions; and made huge cuts to Medicaid, which provides coverage for children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
  • His sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to large premium increases. Trump has continually sought to undermine the ACA. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that one of his latest acts of sabotage—the cancelation of cost-sharing reduction payments—will increase premiums by 20 percent next year.
  • Since Trump took office, fewer Americans have health care. On September 30, there were 5 million fewer Americans with health care than there were at the end of 2016. This is a reversal of the trend of increasing insurance coverage since the ACA took full effect.
  • Trump and congressional Republicans allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire. This year, Congress and the Trump administration failed to reauthorize funding for CHIP—a bipartisan health program on which nearly 9 million uninsured children depend. If Congress does not act quickly, states will be unable to provide care to their most vulnerable children. In addition, Trump’s budget would cut funding for CHIP by 20 percent.
  • Trump has abandoned communities hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Despite promises to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, for months Trump has failed to do so. Only recently has he declared it a public health emergency, which is not as significant as declaring it a national emergency, and he has still not requested any additional funding to combat it. To make matters worse, his nomination for drug czar, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), had to withdraw from consideration when it came to light that, as a congressman, he had worked to pass a bill that undermined federal agents’ ability to stop the spread of opioids. Furthermore, Trump has sought devastating cuts to Medicaid, a program that is critical to addressing the opioid crisis.

Trump said: “So to every parent who dreams for their child … I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you,” but in reality:

  • Trump’s budget would undermine the quality of public schools by promoting vouchers that divert public money to private schools. Trump’s budget would cut federal education funding by 6 percent—or $9.2 billion—which would gut after-school and summer learning programs.
  • The proposed budget would hurt working families trying to afford child care. Trump’s budget would further cut child care assistance, which currently reaches just 1 in 6 eligible children.
  • Trump’s budget would make it harder to pay for college. Trump’s budget cuts $143 billion from federal student loans over 10 years, affecting at least 6 million student loan borrowers.
  • The Trump administration is trying to let predatory for-profit colleges cheat students and increase their debt. President Trump’s administration is taking steps to make it harder for defrauded student borrowers to receive loan forgiveness. Right now, 87,000 students have pending claims for debt relief. In addition, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants to let schools off the hook for offering programs that load up students with too much debt relative to their incomes.

Trump said, “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican,” but in reality:

  • Trump is trying to let financial advisers rip off clients, which will cost people $17 billion a year in retirement savings. Trump’s Department of Labor has already proposed delaying a rule that protects investors so that self-interested investment advisers can continue to accept kickbacks for putting Americans in high-fee investments. The delay alone would cost retirement savers $10.9 billion over the next 30 years, and a full repeal would cost $17 billion a year.
  • Trump is proposing to cut $70 billion from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI helps an estimated 9 million American workers—and an additional 2 million of their dependents—to maintain basic living standards in case of injury or disability. Yet Trump’s budget would cut $70 billion from SSDI over the next 10 years.
  • The Trump administration has taken away a program that helped people save for retirement when their companies wouldn’t offer a plan. Trump’s Treasury Department canceled an Obama-era program that had already helped 30,000 people who did not previously have access to a workplace retirement plan save for their retirement.

Trump said, “My plan will begin with safety at home—which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism,” but in reality:

  • Trump is risking a catastrophic and unnecessary war with North Korea. Trump is raising tensions with his bombastic rhetoric, including by claiming that North Korea’s actions will be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” A war with North Korea would endanger the approximately 230,000 American citizens who currently live in South Korea and the 28,500 American troops stationed there.
  • Trump hasn’t responded forcefully to a foreign adversary’s attacks on our democracy. Despite clear evidence that the Russian government interfered in the United States’ 2016 elections, with the intention to elect Donald Trump and undermine our democracy, the Trump administration has repeatedly sought to impede the investigation into Russian interference in the election. Recent revelations have revealed further efforts by the Trump campaign to collude with Russia to interfere with the election.
  • Trump is quietly escalating American military involvement in conflicts around the world. After repeatedly calling for a “speedy withdrawal” from Afghanistan over the years, President Trump announced plans to deploy an additional 4,000 troops to the country. Under Trump, the United States has also ramped up its military involvement in Yemen and Somalia.
  • Trump’s attempt to unilaterally renegotiate the Iran deal could lead to a nuclear Iran. Trump has decertified the Iran nuclear deal, which ensures that the country cannot make nuclear weapons. If Congress does not act in 60 days, President Trump has threatened to withdraw from the agreement. By failing to stick to the deal—which is working as intended to rein in Iran’s nuclear program—Trump risks creating a second, self-inflicted nuclear crisis in a region already beset by civil war and terrorism.

Trump said, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me,” but in reality:

  • Trump has failed to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis. In Trump’s official—and conspicuously slow—response to white supremacist marches in Charlottesville, rather than call out hate groups directly, he condemned “violence on many sides.”
  • Trump is taking protections away from Dreamers. On September 5, the Trump administration effectively ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, throwing into limbo the lives of nearly 800,000 people and potentially separating immigrant parents from their children. If Congress were to pass the Dream Act and put Dreamers—a group of immigrants who came to the United States at an early age—on a pathway to citizenship, it would add at least $281 billion, and as much as $1 trillion, to U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade.
  • The Trump administration is providing federal employees, contractors, and grantees with a license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, women, and others. Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued sweeping guidance allowing taxpayer-funded federal agencies as well as government employees, contractors, and grantees to discriminate against LGBTQ people, women, and others, as long as they cite a religious belief.

When he was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump said, “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.” Sadly, a year after his election, it is clear that these are just more in a long series of broken promises to the American people.

This article was written with the support of many teams at the Center for American Progress, with special thanks to Lea Hunter, special assistant for Progress 2050 and the Criminal Justice and Executive teams; Sarah Shapiro, special assistant to the executive vice president for Policy; Sam Berger, senior policy adviser; and Ben Olinsky, senior vice president for Policy and Strategy.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.