Bucking tradition, Donald Trump issued no statement honoring workers for Labor Day. Instead, he released an op-ed calling for corporate tax cuts.
Issuing a proclamation in observance of a national holiday is a standard practice for most American presidents.
During his brief time in office, however, Donald Trump has made it clear he cares nothing about typical presidential behavior.
In September 2016, his last Labor Day in office, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation remarking on the history of Labor Day and concluding with a clear call to continue fighting for equal rights for all workers.
“Though there is much more to do until all our men and women have the rights and respect they need to thrive in their workplaces,” Obama wrote, “on this occasion, let us recommit to standing together and resolving to create change.”
For his first Labor Day as president, Trump offered no such similar message. In fact, last week it was announced that his White House, led by his daughter Ivanka, who claims to support working women, would eliminate a rule put in place by Obama to reduce the pay gap between men and women.
Trump also published an op-ed in the Journal Sentinel to promote the aggressive tax reform he and congressional Republicans are seeking. While details of the plan are not yet known, the GOP agenda has focused on cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans by gutting critical programs, like Social Security and Medicaid, to pay for those tax cuts.
Despite Trump’s vague platitudes about “workers,” the object of his tax reform plan is clear.
“It will put money back into the pockets of the people who earned it,” Trump writes, an obvious wink and nod to the nation’s top earners that they are the ones who can expect more money in their pockets.
Trump’s entire op-ed is focused on businesses and how to relieve their corporate tax burden, with little mention or concern for the workers who can barely make ends meet working for those profitable businesses.
Trump even cynically claims his tax reform will represent “the American model.”
“Under this system,” he writes, “we will encourage companies to hire and grow in America, to raise wages for American workers and to help rebuild our American cities and communities.”
That’s a rich claim coming from a man whose businesses manufacture products overseas and routinely hire foreign labor to work at his U.S. properties.
“Instead of exporting our jobs, we will export our goods, and lift millions of struggling citizens from welfare to work,” Trump adds even though his own businesses do the opposite.
Meanwhile, Trump’s daughter, the self-described champion of workers, also had no message to American workers for Labor Day.
Ivanka spent her morning liking fan page photos of herself on Instagram pic.twitter.com/JUK7Co31rS
— Madeline Conway (@MadelineRConway) September 4, 2017
On a day that is intended to honor and celebrate American laborers — not the corporate millionaires and billionaires they work for — Trump’s op-ed, and the tax reform he and Congress are pursuing, is a slap in the face to workers. But it’s par for the course for Trump.