Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Trump’s Labor Nominee Gets Rich on Taxpayer’s Dime

Andy Puzder oversees a fast-food empire that’s fueled by low-wage labor—but the public subsidizes that low pay in a big way. 

(Photo: AP/Christian Gooden) Fast-food workers protest outside the Hardee's headquarters in downtown Saint Louis on January 12. B urger baron Andy Puzder opposes substantial increases to the minimum wage, objects to paying his managers overtime, and thinks welfare programs prevent his employees from working toward promotions. He really doesn’t think much of his workers— as CNN reported , in a 2011 speech Puzder lamented that his company hires the “best of the worst.” When he took over the CKE Restaurants group, he insisted that there be “no more people behind the counter unless they have all their teeth.” Trump’s nominee for labor secretary is a leading figure in the parasite economy , one of those employers who get rich by paying their workers a pittance and counting on taxpayers to foot the bill for the necessities those workers can’t afford. And by not paying his workers a living wage or providing affordable health care, Puzder is costing taxpayers about $247 million a year in...

Q&A: Top Obama Labor Economist Now Aims to Hold Trump Accountable to Workers

The Obama Labor Department’s chief economist discusses her boss’s legacy and the myriad concerns about the Trump administration’s approach to protecting workers. 

(AP/Michale Nigro) Hundreds of union construction workers and laborers took the streets of lower Manhattan, on January 18, 2017 to protest unsafe working conditions. I n 2014, Heidi Shierholz left the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, for an appointment as the United States Department of Labor’s chief economist. Obama’s second-term Labor Department, helmed by Tom Perez, was leading the way on the president’s economic agenda. It pushed through some of the strongest rules and regulations for workers in many decades, including the new rule expanding eligibility for overtime, the fiduciary conflict-of-interest rule, and executive orders boosting minimum pay and requiring paid sick leave policies for federal contract workers. A Clinton presidency would have ensured further advancement of progressive policy through the Labor Department. With the unexpected election of Donald Trump, however, labor advocates have spent the past couple months rushing to come to terms with the...

Trump Just Became President, and There’s Already a Plan to Impeach Him

It didn’t take long for critics, citing his ethical quagmires, to call for a congressional investigation. 

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky President Donald Trump hugs his family after taking the oath of office during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, January 20, 2017. A s of 12:01 p.m. today, Donald J. Trump is officially the 45th president of the United States—and a campaign to impeach him is already underway. In the wake of ethical concerns about his failure to divest from his business operations, experts say that Trump is now in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause—which prohibits government officials from receiving personal payment from foreign governments—and could be violating other laws as well. Today, a concerted lobbying effort is starting up, aiming to convince a majority of members of the House of Representatives to vote for a resolution that would order the House Judiciary Committee to launch an investigation into whether there are grounds—based on those ethical concerns—for the impeachment of President Trump. The democracy advocacy...

Mnuchin’s Promise to Not Cut Taxes for the Rich Is a Giant Farce

Democrats should grill the treasury secretary-designate about the Republicans’ planned windfall of tax cuts for the wealthy. 

(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster) Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin in Trump Tower in November. A s the confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin gets started, there will be ample scrutiny—and rightfully so—of OneWest, the neighborhood-eviscerating foreclosure machine that he headed. But as the person on the verge of setting the new administration’s tax policy, Mnuchin should also be questioned about his pledge that “there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” which he made on CNBC back in November. “ Any reductions we have in upper-income taxes will be offset by less deductions, so there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” he said. “There will be a big tax cut for the middle class, but any tax cuts we have for the upper class will be offset by less deductions that pay for it.” With this statement, he created a clear standard—the “Mnuchin test”—by which to hold the Trump administration: Any tax reform that comes to Trump’s desk...

Obamacare Repealers: Trickle Downer of the Week

Let’s be clear: Repealing the Affordable Care Act would be a tax giveaway to the wealthiest few, at the expense of everyone else. 

(Photo: AP/Tom Williams) Vice President-elect Mike Pence, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise laughing after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in September. L ast week, the Republican-controlled Senate and House began the first steps in repealing President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act, with no semblance of a real replacement plan in sight. Health-care coverage for the roughly 20 million Americans who gained access under Obamacare is now in serious jeopardy—a life-threatening prospect for many. Beyond that, the cost of repeal (without a replacement) is astronomical. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office, which scored the costs of the Republicans’ 2015 repeal, found that 18 million people would lose their insurance within the first year, and premiums for all would climb by as much 25 percent. After the elimination of Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies, the number of uninsured would increase...

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