Every day is Backward Day in the Trump Administration

!yaD drawkcaB yppaH

 

Today is National Backward Day.  It honors everything backward.  That means this is a great day to honor the Trump Administration.

Why do I say this?  Because the policies of the Trump Administration move our country into the past. For example, Mr. Trump promised in his campaign to “bring back jobs in manufacturing after decades of decline.”[1]  But “[t]o those who see the future of the American economy in services, these promises seemed backward.”[2]

President Trump also wants to build a wall across our Southern border.  Texas State Representative Will Hurd (R.) rightfully called it “a third-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”[3]

And President Trump promised to put coal miners back to work mining “the dirtiest of fossil fuels”[4] by loosening pollution regulations on coal-fired power plants.[5]  But coal is no longer cost-competitive with cheaper natural gas and the declining costs of cleaner, renewable energy.[6]   In short, coal’s time is over.

Those that President Trump has appointed to head federal agencies have worked against the goals of those agencies:

  • Scott Wheeler at the Environmental Protection Agency: The mission of the E.P.A. “is to protect human health and the environment.”[7] The person in charge of this mission is a former coal lobbyist.  And he has acted in accordance with his former occupation, proposing changes to the way the government evaluates the costs and benefits of air pollution generally and the regulation of mercury emissions specifically.[8]  This change invites the very industry that causes mercury emissions — the coal industry — to challenge their regulation in court.[9]  And Wheeler is involved in other rollbacks of E.P.A. regulations that threaten the health of this country and climate change.[10]

 

  • Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior: Among other tasks, the Interior Department “conserves and manages the Nation’s natural resources.”[11] Instead, Zink promoted opening the East Coast to offshore drilling, weakened the Endangered Species Act, and slashed the size of two national monuments, “constituting the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history.”[12]  His resignation is unlikely to stop the abuse of this country’s natural resources with his likely replacement to be David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist.[13]

 

  • Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development:  With no experience in housing or urban development, Nancy Pelosi called him a “disturbingly unqualified choice.”[14]  But more disturbing is his view on fair housing policy, which he called “social engineering.”[15] Under Carson, more federally subsidized housing is failing inspections, unfit for human habitation, and is not being remediated.[16]  But with subsidies tied to housing, tenants cannot leave.[17]  Carson has also proposed raising poor families’ rents.[18]  In other words, he heads up a housing agency that is not interested in housing anyone.

 

  • Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy: The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy “is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”[19]  Once vowing to shut down the Department of Energy, Perry is now in charge of it.[20]  In the battle between economic growth and protecting the environment, Perry has chosen to boost the economy by supporting fossil fuels.[21]

 

  • Betsy Devos, Secretary of Education. The Department of Education’s mission “is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”[22]  An advocate of school choice, Devos has sought to permit children to abandon public schools by giving tax money to private schools that they attend.[23]  And she has worked to protect for-profit colleges who failed to provide legitimate degrees by eliminating loan forgiveness to their students.[24]  To oversee fraud investigations at the Department of Education, she appointed the former dean of Devry University, who paid $100 million to settle a lawsuit against Devry for misleading marketing tactics.[25]  In short, Devos is an Education Secretary who has worked to harm students and public schools and is not interested in ferreting out fraud in education.

 

So, if President Trump honors Backward Day, he’ll reverse his backward direction and move this country forward.  That will be a day to celebrate!

 

[1] The Economist, Manufacturing jobs are defying expectations, October 18, 2018.

[2] Id.

[3] William Cummings, Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd calls Trump border crisis “a myth,” USA Today, January 20, 2019.

[4] Nicole Goodkind, Trump Says He ‘Saved Coal,’ but Miner Deaths Nearly Doubled in His First Year, Newsweek, January 27, 2018.

[5] Brad Plumer, Trump’s New Pollution Rules Still Won’t Save the Coal Industry, The New York Times, August 22, 2018.

[6] Nicole Goodkind, Trump Says He ‘Saved Coal,’ but Miner Deaths Nearly Doubled in His First Year, Newsweek, January 27, 2018.

[7] United States Environmental Protection Agency.

[8] Dominique Browning, This Coal Lobbyist Should Not Run the E.P.A., The New York Times, January 14, 2019.

[9] Id.

[10] Id.

[11] U.S. Department of the Interior.

[12] Julie Turkewitz and Coral Davenport, Ryan Zinke, Face of Environmental Rollbacks, is Leaving Interior Department, The New York Times, December 15, 2018.

[13] Id.

[14] Rebecca Harrington and Skye Gould, Meet the Cabinet:  Here are the 24 people Trump has appointed to the top leadership positions, Business Insider, March 13, 2018.

[15] Id.

[16] Suzy Khimm, Laura Strickler, Hannah Rappleye and Stephanie Gosk, Under Ben Carson, more families live in HUD housing that fails health and safety inspections, NBC News, November 14, 2018.

[17] Id.

[18] Id.

[19] U.S. Department of Energy.

[20] Rebecca Harrington and Skye Gould, Meet the Cabinet:  Here are the 24 people Trump has appointed to the top leadership positions, Business Insider, March 13, 2018.

[21] James Osborne, Energy Secretary Rick Perry calls shift away from fossil fuels ‘immoral,’ Houston Chronicle, March 7, 2018.

[22] U.S. Department of Education.

[23] Laura Meckler, The education of Betsy Devos:  Why her school choice agenda has not advanced, The Washington Post, September 4, 2018.

[24] Gail Collins, The Bane That is Betsy Devos, The New York Times, August 17, 2018.

[25] Id.

 

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