President-elect Donald Trump may be touting his deal with Carrier as a triumph for working-class Americans, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is hearing none of it.
"Today, about 1,000 Carrier workers and their families should be rejoicing," Sanders wrote in a Thursday op-ed for The Washington Post. "But the rest of our nation’s workers should be very nervous."
Sanders proceeded to point out what Salon's Gary Legum had noticed earlier on Thursday — namely, that Trump's deal saved fewer than half the manufacturing jobs that Carrier was planning to ship to the Mexican city of Monterrey and did so only by having Gov. Mike Pence (in his final weeks as Indiana leader) offer Carrier tax breaks that will cost Indiana $700,000 annually for an indefinite period.
Trump also seemed to promise that his planned tax and regulatory reforms will amount to more savings for Carrier.
Yet even after all of this, Carrier is keeping just 850 manufacturing jobs in Indiana. Roughly 1,300 others are still heading to Mexico.
After reviewing these facts, Sanders arrived at a sobering conclusion.
"Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States," Sanders wrote. "Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives. Even corporations that weren’t thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be re-evaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America."
Sanders once said he was willing to work with Donald Trump on infrastructure projects. But withTrump's Carrier proposal and his Treasury pick, Steve Mnuchin, the progressive leader has indicated he is ready to do battle if necessary.
"I said I would work with Trump if he was serious about the promises he made to members of the working class," Sanders wrote. "But after running a campaign pledging to be tough on corporate America, Trump has hypocritically decided to do the exact opposite. He wants to treat corporate irresponsibility with kid gloves. The problem with our rigged economy is not that our policies have been too tough on corporations; it’s that we haven’t been tough enough."
Sanders closed with some strong fighting words:
"If Donald Trump won’t stand up for America’s working class, we must."