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A Year Under Trump: Victories and Losses

written in collaboration by Andrew Johnson and John Ford

It has been one year since Trump’s inauguration, and Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) has flourished beautifully among the left — in an era where the percentage of negative media coverage for the President wavers around 90%, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find any coherent pieces not dripping with “progressive” dreck or unhinged hatred. While the mainstream media is busy retracting fake news stories, and the liberals are busy calling for impeachment or impersonating terrorists, President Trump has been following through on campaign promises.  

Victories:

1. The Wall

One of Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to build a wall that protects our southern border with Mexico. So far, eight prototypes have been built and are undergoing testing near San Diego, CA. As far as funding is concerned, Trump has asked for $18 billion over the next 10 years for border security, a portion of which would cover the wall. It is also estimated that between 21,200 and 25,600 jobs would be created in order to build the wall. Trump is willing to negotiate with Democrats for this spending package — on January 10, he said he would give amnesty to some of the 800,000 arrivals under DACA, in exchange for the spending package. This deal failed, however. Trump has also recently reaffirmed his passion for the construction of the wall after contradictory statements from Chief of Staff John Kelly were made.

 

2. Tax Cuts

Former President Obama’s legacy may have been Obamacare (after 8 years), but President Trump’s legacy (after 1 year) begins with tax reform. President Trump successfully united Congress (the Republicans at least) and pushed them to pass a tax bill before the next year, which they delivered. Formally titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it drastically reduces several taxes and contains other provisions as well:

•  Reduces corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%

•  Restoration of tax breaks for student loans

•  Doubles child tax credits ($1000 to $2000)

•  Gives taxpayers the ability to deduct up to $10,000 of state and local property taxes

•  Repeals individual mandate

•  Removal of estate (death) tax

According to the Tax Foundation, it is estimated that over the next decade, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will increase GDP by 0.29% per year, as well as create 339,000 full-time jobs. After the tax bill was passed, over 100 companies began announcing that they would give their employees bonuses or even wage increases; several examples include Boeing, Aflac, American Bank, and Apple.

 

3. Illegal Immigration

It should come as no surprise that Trump’s staunch rhetoric on illegal immigration scared those very same people who come across the border illegally. Tom Homan, the acting director of ICE, recently stated that illegal border crossings dropped to the lowest number in 45 years. In a report released by the US Customs and Borders Protection, apprehensions of illegal aliens went from 408,870 to 303,916 in 2017, which is the lowest number since 1972, according to Homan. Additionally, Trump’s White House has repeatedly torpedoed efforts from political opponents to push for increased protections for all classes of foreigners entering the country, and has taken a tough stance against chain migration, visa lotteries, and other nonsensical immigration provisions.

 

4. ISIS

When Trump was inaugurated in January, the Islamic State controlled 23,000 square miles of land. Now, they hold less than 9,300 square miles, and have lost their main strategic territories. With the help of an organized and effective coalition force led by the US, ISIS has suffered major defeats in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria, these two cities constituting their major logistic and population centers. While they may not be fully destroyed, it is important to note that analysts have determined ISIS has lost so much land in these defeats, that they are no longer considered a viable state actor, but are now classified as a terrorist organization like al-Qaeda or Hezbollah, losing their tenuous claim to a “caliphate”. How did Trump outshine Obama to accomplish this? He relaxed the rules of engagement and gave American commanders in the Middle East more power to make day-to-day decisions in the field. Under Obama, the war against ISIS was micromanaged by the White House and the commanders were not allowed the authority they now have under Trump, while supplies given to “moderate” opponents of the regime more often than not found their way into the possession of Islamist insurgents.

 

5. Economy

Who knew that a self-made billionaire could jump-start a stagnant economy?  In January, the Dow was near 19,800.  Now, the Dow has reached 26,000.  During Trump’s first year, the Dow has risen 30% and continues to set record after record.  However, the Dow is just the beginning of a revolutionized economy under President Trump:

•  Black unemployment is down to 6.8%, the lowest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started calculating it in 1972 (under Obama it was as high as 16.5%)

•  Number of people receiving food stamps was reduced by 2 million under Trump

•  Total unemployment rate wavered around 4.1% in December (the lowest since 2000)

•  Since February of 2017, 1.84 million jobs have been added under Trump

•  Eliminated or delayed (placed under review) 1500 regulations, resulting in $570 million of savings

 

Losses:

1. Marijuana

On the campaign trail, Trump mentioned that he thought medical marijuana should be legalized nationwide, and the decision on recreational marijuana should be left to the states, not the federal government. President Trump has failed to accomplish this, however, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision to enforce federal law in regards to marijuana has only exacerbated the situation. Trump owes America this campaign promise, and should work with Congress to come to a bipartisan deal. If Congress and the President could work together to pass a tax bill as quickly as they did, surely they could work together to pass a bill that removes marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 narcotic and give states the ability to decide whether or not to legalize.

 

2. Healthcare

The United States has a massive problem with healthcare. The combination of over-regulated markets and perverse incentives created by government programs has lead to a massively unwieldy and unsatisfactory industry for both healthcare providers and consumers. The ACA (Obamacare) did nothing to improve these circumstances. Trump promised “Repeal and Replace” and predictably that’s not really what we got. There are too many interests with too much stake in keeping healthcare and health insurance expensive and inefficient for Trump to do anything, even if he had a willing legislature. While it’s not really his fault, healthcare was a major campaign promise that was poorly executed at best.

 

It is evident that President Trump has kept many of his promises, despite a relentless crusade spearheaded by the mainstream media to delegitimize his presidency through any means necessary.  Despite what CNN or Cryin’ Chuck Schumer say, President Trump has done great things for Americans — and if he continues following through with campaign promises, the American people will vote him in for a well-earned 2nd term. 

 



Andrew Johnson

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