Republicans Want to Stop Talking about White Supremacists So They Can Cut Taxes for Rich People

Addy Baird

Addy Baird Reporter, ThinkProgress

The White House has had a tumultuous few weeks.

As CNN noted on Friday, in the last four weeks alone, President Trump has fired chief strategist Steve Bannon, fired Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, hired and fired communications director Anthony Scaramucci, publicly shamed his own attorney general and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, banned transgender troops via twitter, made up two phone calls, thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling American diplomats from the country, threatened nuclear war with North Korea, and defended attendees of a white supremacy rally.

And that’s not even half of it.

 But Steve Cortes, a member of Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council, said on Fox News Sunday morning that if Republicans just cut taxes, all of that will be background noise.

“Clearly, he had a tough week. There’s no way around that,” Cortes said.

Although Cortes didn’t explicitly mention Charlottesville, it was clear that Trump’s defense of white supremacists, KKK members, and neo-Nazis who attended a rally in Charlottesville last weekend was what made last week “a tough week.”

Trump’s defense of those who attended the United the Right rally defined what was purportedly a week dedicated to infrastructure.

It took Trump until Monday, two days after a woman was killed by a man who drove a car into peaceful counter-protesters, to even mention white supremacists, Klansmen, and neo-Nazis. He buoyed the movement Tuesday when he defended attendees of the Unite the Right rally, saying there were “very fine people” on all sides.

“All presidents have tough weeks,” Cortes said Sunday. “I believe that will become background noise once we get taxes done, and once this economy starts growing the way it’s capable of.”

Cortes was asked about a new poll showing Trump’s job approval numbers have dropped to 34 percent, and although Cortes said he doesn’t buy the poll numbers, he’s sure they will rebound.

“The economy’s already accelerating. There’s a lot of optimism out there in the country,” Cortes said. “If we can throw tax cuts into the mix, I think this economy can absolutely take off, and then I think we’d see those poll numbers rebound very, very quickly for the president.”

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) made similar comments last week, telling Bloomberg that Trump’s comments about white supremacists were “frustrating” because he wanted to start focusing on tax reform.

“[It’s] very frustrating for those of us who want to start focusing on the issues ahead—tax reform, infrastructure, the debt ceiling,” Ross said. “I wished we would start focusing on those issues, and we need to start healing and bringing people together—instead of peeling back the scabs.”

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Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work