GM Just Laid Off 15,000 Workers Less Than One Year After Trump Promised Tax Cuts Would Save US Jobs [Opinion]

President Donald Trump waves to cameras while on the White House grounds at night.
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Less than one year after Trump’s historic tax cuts — some aimed toward corporations, and made with promises of job security for Americans across the country — General Motors announced on Monday that it would be laying off 14,700 of its workers in the United States.

According to a Twitter message from the Washington Post, the motor company is set to fire 15 percent of its salaried workers, as well as to end production at five plants in the U.S. and in Canada.

One of the plants that is closing, per reporting from the Chicago Tribune, is a production facility just outside of Youngtown, Ohio. Just this past summer, President Donald Trump said that jobs were coming back to the area as a result of his policies and laws passed. Trump told workers in that community not to sell their homes because jobs were “coming back.”

Not surprisingly, Trump’s rhetoric didn’t match the reality of the situation. In fact, just the opposite is happening: rather than jobs coming back, opportunities for workers are leaving — and workers who were once employed will soon need to find new jobs following these closures.

Less than one year ago, Trump promised that his tax cuts — which largely benefited corporations and wealthy Americans — would spur jobs growth across the nation.

“I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs,” Trump said in a signing statement promoting the tax cuts in December of last year, per WhiteHouse.gov. “And jobs are produced through companies and corporations, and you see that happening.”

This is not a phenomenon that is unique to GM, which benefited greatly from the Trump tax cuts over the past year. Pfizer, AT&T, and Kimberly-Clark also laid off large portions of their workforce following the passage of the tax package, according to reporting from CheatSheet.

The promises that these tax cuts would spur job growth — as well as job retention — were largely misplaced when Trump and others promoted the bill last year.

We knew this before the bill was even signed into law. A survey of 42 economists last year found that only one of them thought that the new law would spur economic growth, and other surveys found that corporations across the country didn’t believe that the tax cuts would inspire them to hire more workers, per reporting from the American Prospect. The new law also did not place any incentives on companies to keep jobs in America — rather, it strengthened the economic motivations to move jobs offshore.

The problematic reasons for GM laying off thousands of workers may not have been avoidable. But the tax cuts that were passed last year were sold on the premise of retaining jobs in the United States — and creating more of them as well. Trump made a promise to these communities, specifically, that their jobs would be secure because of his tax cuts. In the end, that was a promise broken — and one that these workers shouldn’t forget any time soon.