Today the Republican Party kicks off its presidential nominating convention. The GOP is expected to nominate reality TV star Donald Trump for president and Indiana Governor Mike Pence for vice president. We’ve expressed concern in the past about Trump and his support for working families and their retirement. As CEO of Trump Enterprises, he offered the stingiest 401(k) allowed by law and made no contributions to his employees’ 401(k)s for three years. He has also waffled on whether he supports raising the retirement age for Social Security.
While Trump has said little directly about public pensions, his running mate’s record on pensions is not good. Indiana’s public pensions have faced continuous attacks for several years now and Mike Pence has supported those attacks. As with other Republican governors like Chris Christie, Sam Brownback, and Bobby Jindal, Pence has supported attempts to weaken retirement security for working families. These include attempts by the Republican majorities in the state legislature to privatize public pensions. Fortunately, working people in Indiana have stood together and defeated these attempts in the past couple of years, but you can be sure a Vice President Pence would bring his anti-working families record with him to Washington.
Also worth noting is the prominent place of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at the convention. Since abandoning his own failed presidential bid, Christie has become Donald Trump’s right-hand man, serving as a senior advisor to his campaign and being a finalist for Trump’s vice presidential pick. Christie- the most anti-public pension governor in America- will have a prominent speaking role at the convention. If Donald Trump is taking his advice about public pensions from Chris Christie, then working families are right to be concerned about their retirement security.
Donald Trump’s campaign for president has been full of uncertainty and contradictory statements so far. It’s unclear if he has ever given a serious thought to public pensions, but what we know of him and those closest to him gives cause for concern. Working families are right to be wary of a possible Trump presidency and what it could mean for their retirement security.