President Donald Trump continues to flounder his way through his time in office, and throughout that tenure, he’s relied heavily on executive orders. Most recently, he signed a series of executive orders as an apparent cop-out for Republicans amidst ongoing negotiations over a new Coronavirus relief package; one of the orders outlined a plan for a $400-a-week add-on to unemployment benefits — which states have to cover 25 percent of — and another enacted a payroll tax suspension that starts next month and goes through the end of the year. The Lincoln Project pointed out this Monday that Trump’s executive order reliance constitutes brazen hypocrisy — he repeatedly criticized Barack Obama for using executive orders.
Check out the video, which is a repost of a montage that NBC News producer Bradd Jaffy seems to have made, below:
— The Lincoln Project 🏴☠️ (@ProjectLincoln) August 10, 2020
As for Trump’s latest executive orders, some observers have raised concerns about their legality. After all, controlling the disbursement of government funds is a responsibility that is ordinarily left to Congress, not the president — although the Trump team has tried to take over the process before, in contexts like their attempts to build a southern border wall. There’s another issue, too — payroll taxes fund important programs like Social Security, and if Trump suspends those taxes (a step that wouldn’t even help the millions of jobless Americans), then those programs could be on the rocks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that there would be transfers from the “general fund” to cover lost tax revenue, but how well the Trump administration actually follows through on that promise remains to be seen.
For now, Americans are continuing to struggle. Since the early days of the pandemic in March, there have been over 1 million new unemployment filings each and every single week so far. In July, the official nationwide unemployment rate was 10.2 percent — or just about one out of every ten members of the workforce.
Check out Twitter’s response to The Lincoln Project below: