Socialist Worker

Donald Trump’s corona crisis measures are handout for the rich

Trillions of dollars for a coronavirus aid package in the United States is mainly about protecting profits, writes Gabby Thorpe

Issue No. 2697

Trump is using the crisis to push through policies and grab more power

Trump is using the crisis to push through policies and grab more power (Pic: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)


Donald Trump’s government is attempting to push through a trillion dollar “stimulus ­package” to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

But it faced some ­resistance from the Democrat-controlled senate which blocked progress early this week.

However, both Republicans and Democrats agree that big business needs a handout in order to keep the system afloat—and it needs to be bigger than the bailout that ­followed the 2008 financial crash.

The proposed package came as US cases of Covid-19 passed 40,000.

Trump’s proposals include “direct payments” to those below a certain income level, amounting to £2,500 for a family of four.

The payments would be made on 6 April, meaning desperate people who have lost their jobs will be waiting for two weeks for help.

Meanwhile, Trump has been able to use the crisis to try and push through policies that he had ­previously been forced to put on the backburner.

Advancing

The New York Times reported that the White House is “quietly advancing policies that president Trump has long advocated, from tougher border controls to an assault on organised labour.

“Administration officials insist that such policies are necessary to stem the outbreak. ­But ­opportunism is clearly in play.”

The president of the American Federation of Government Employees said new rules about union membership will make it “harder for rank and file ­employees to speak up.”

But workers’ resistance is growing.

Wildcat strikes by ­autoworkers have successfully closed all ­factories owned by General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The wave of action began on the night shift at the Fiat-Chrysler Sterling Heights assembly plant in Michigan last week. Workers downed tools and were sent home by management.

The morning shift followed suit, sitting down and allowing products to roll past on the assembly line without touching them.

Within hours, production at ­Jefferson assembly, Toledo assembly and the Dundee engine plant were paralysed ­by wildcat walkouts.

Auto bosses took few steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Official advice was displayed, but notices telling workers to stay home if they were sick were redacted.

The factories will remain closed until “at least” 30 March. They should remain closed until the crisis is over. 

The hope is that US workers continue to fight for their rights. Government bills that aim to bail out bosses and attack workers and migrants should be resisted.


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