President-elect Donald Trump is driving a hard bargain for the foreign workers who will staff The Mar-a-Lago Club this winter. He's paying some of them less than they made this past year, and most get just a 1 percent raise.As the presidential campaign heated up, Trump won approval to hire 64 foreign workers through the federal government's H-2B visa program, according to newly released data from the U.S. Labor Department. This past year, Trump was allowed to hire 69 foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago.
On Friday night, after wrapping up one of nine self-indulgent post-campaign campaign rallies, Donald Trump declared via Twitter, "My administration will follow two very simple rules: buy American and hire American." A day later, during another self-congratulatory event, the president-elect repeated the identical phrase to an Alabama audience.Perhaps Trump assumes we all have very short memories -- and no one noticed this Palm Beach Post report published just last week.
Asked during the GOP primaries why he hires so many foreign workers, Trump said, "It's very, very hard to get people."Hmm. So Trump's "very simple" principle apparently comes with some fine print: "Hire American, unless it's difficult, in which case, don't worry about it."Indeed, what's especially striking about Trump pushing a principle that he routinely ignores is that the president-elect is making things easy for his critics. Over the weekend, after Trump eagerly touted his "Buy American, Hire American" motto, the DNC was equally eager to refer reporters to a series of related stories:* "Trump's decade-long record of hiring foreign guest workers"* "Donald Trump's companies tried to import at least 1,100 foreign workers"* "Donald Trump Decries Outsourcing but Much of Family Brand Is Manufactured Abroad"There were other, related pieces; this is just a sampling. The same DNC message came with a list of Trump products that are made overseas.Maybe the president-elect assumes voters won't notice the contradiction; maybe he assumes voters who do notice won't care. Either way, the gap between Trump's principles and Trump's actions is getting worse.