WASHINGTON, D.C. – The April jobs report is every bit the nightmare economists predicted, with 20.5 million falling out of the workforce and the unemployment rate more than tripling to 14.7 percent in just four weeks. It is also an indictment of how poorly the Trump administration has managed the economic repercussions of refusing to take coronavirus seriously in the critical early days. The White House response has been consistently misguided: taking care of wealthy, well-connected business interests before ensuring help gets to those who need it most, including millions of workers and thousands of small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy.
“Rather than taking decisive action to help workers, the Trump administration continues dithering as yet another month brings horrific jobs numbers with millions more Americans unemployed,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “From the earliest days of this public health crisis, the administration bungled the response. Helping publicly traded companies pay the bills rather than assisting mom and pop small businesses meet payroll. Enriching Trump’s political benefactors rather than helping workers make ends meet. These jobs reports are quickly becoming a monthly reminder to the American people of the President’s incompetence and mismanagement.”
Leaving Small Businesses Behind: The Trump SBA Paycheck Protection Program has been bungled since day one, putting legitimate small business owners through a bureaucratic maze while fast-tracking aid to publicly-traded companies that have access to resources average shops do not. Despite the administration’s claims these issues of access have been fixed, this week it was reported that “Thousands of small-business owners who believed they were approved for emergency government-backed loans nearly three weeks ago have been left hanging.” A recent survey of small businesses — which create half the nation’s jobs — found only 13% of the 45% who applied for a Trump SBA PPP loan were granted one. Meanwhile, over 300 publicly traded companies, some worth more than $100 million, have received over a billion dollars in taxpayer money.”
More Tax Cuts for the Rich, a Cold Shoulder for Hurting States: President Trump has repeatedly voiced strong opposition to federal aid for stretched-thin states that may soon have no choice but to start laying off workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis like cops and firefighters. Trump’s top ally in the Senate similarly decided to “push the pause button” on urgently needed aid, opting instead to focus on ramming through an extreme right-wing judge and giving corporations ‘blanket immunity’ against worker COVID-19-related lawsuits. Meanwhile, the President is considering a big new round of tax cuts, which includes a ‘total elimination’ of the capital gains tax that would overwhelmingly benefit the super rich, and cut to payroll taxes that would provide no relief to the millions of newly out-of-work Americans. This would come after Trump’s allies in Congress already slipped in over $135 billion worth of tax cuts for millionaires and corporations in the first CARES Act, including for hedge fund managers and owners of real estate firms, which the Trump Organization could conveniently benefit from.