The First 100 Days: The ‘Trump Report Card’
By Ty J. Young Editorial
The term “The First 100 Days” was first coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a national radio address. Ironically, he was referring to the 100-day record of the Congress in 1933. Since that time, the reference has been used to measure the success of a first term presidential administration during its first 100 days in office.
While the media and the Democratic Party have been nothing short of hostile, an objective review of the beginnings of the current administration would not be shed in a negative light.
Let’s Take a Look at the Trump Record for the “First 100 Days”:
1. Foreign Policy. It is hard to understate the 180 degree turn in foreign affairs that has occurred under President Trump. Seal Team attacks on ISIS insurgents… Assad uses chemical weapons? Fifty-nine tomahawks hit an airbase… North Korea firing missiles? Send a carrier group and at least one nuclear powered submarine into the area… Russia remains belligerent? Call them out on live TV with their foreign minister sitting next to us… America is not looking to fight yet another war, but instead of helping our enemies and attacking our friends, as was the case the last 8 years, we are now reaffirming our position in the world. The Iran deal remains in place, but Iran’s threat to our interests is probably next up on the Trump “Make America Safe Again” target list. We are finally operating, after 8 long years, from a position of strength and of moral clarity. So far so good! GRADE: A++++
2. Supreme Court nomination. A home run! Neil Gorsuch was every true conservative’s choice for the vacancy on the high court, and his case law history suggests a return to the primacy of the Constitution. The rule of law, free markets, and personal liberty will be the priority once again on a center-right court. Republican Presidents have had some Supreme Court picks go south on their conservatism: Reagan’s pick of Anthony Kennedy and Bush 41’s pick of David Souter, at the time, were seen as staunch conservatives and excellent choices for a Republican President. Both, however, rendered opinions since their appointment that were moderate to liberal over the course of time. Bush 43’s pick of Chief Justice John Roberts has proven to be a conservative one, but not on the most animating principal of the conservative movement – Obamacare – when Roberts sided with the Obama Administration. The most glaring example was Nixon’s choice of Harry Blackmun, who became one of the most liberal justice’s ever! But sitting here today, based on the evidence, President Trump’s selection of Gorsuch was a Grand Slam! GRADE: A+++
3. Rolling back the Regulatory State. To say that government invaded our lives like never before under the Obama Administration would be the understatement of the century. The use of executive orders, the EPA’s rule-making process, Dodd-Frank, and much more were a drag on the economy and employment growth, and a dangerous infringement on our privacy and our way of life. During the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, the roll-back of government regulations has been a top priority. From federal intrusion into local schools, to mining and land use restrictions, hundreds of Obama-era regulations which stifled all aspects of American life have been removed, with more to come. GRADE: A+
4. Taxes: A big commitment during the campaign was to pass major tax reform legislation. This would include massive tax reductions and flatter rates. Most importantly, business tax reductions are coming as well. Reducing the tax burden on business will help reduce the cost to the consumer, as the costs are always passed on to the end user. Trump released his tax reform proposal on Wednesday, April 26th, and it had significant tax rate reductions for individuals; an elimination of many deductions; and, an end to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Although we believe major tax reform is coming down the pike, when it comes remains subject to Congressional action – which means “who knows if, and when, we will get it.” GRADE: “I” for Incomplete
5. Obamacare Repeal: No way to put lipstick on this pig. The first attempt at “repealing and replacing” Obamacare was a dud and an embarrassment. Now, there seems to be some movement on Capitol Hill to compromise among warring Republican factions. But make no mistake: the law remains intact while each day brings a new failure, cost or calamity that it creates. People are receiving less care, worse care, and at greater cost than ever before. And when did “replacing” the bill become a priority? Republicans rode to office in 2010 and 2014 promising to REPEAL Obamacare. It wasn’t until just recently that we heard of the need to replace it. Why? The free market only stopped working during the Obama era, it can be put back to work if we would just get government out of the way! President Trump’s verbal commitment to repeal (and replace) remains the only thing that keeps this grade from being the lowest score possible. It would be a “D” but the “replace” strategy lowers the grade for misdirection. GRADE: D-
6. The Wall: The principal promise of the Trump campaign will not be built in a day, but has already succumbed to Democratic threats of a government shutdown. The inability to push forward on wall construction when you have the 2006 statute still on the books that authorized 700 miles of wall to be built, and you have control of both houses of Congress, has many conservatives very nervous. While the Democrats and establishment Republicans are not in favor of a wall, Trump’s voters are. Existing laws on the books, executive order, existing funding through Homeland Security or defense department budgets… it does not seem that the promise to build a wall – the primary campaign promise of the 2016 election – is a high enough priority. Again, not the lowest score, since the promise has not been abandoned, but an unimpressive start to this high priority project. GRADE: C-
OVERALL GRADE: B+ with an incomplete.
When you factor in the unprecedented, unprovoked, and unreasonable resistance the Trump Administration has endured from the media and the Democrats, this is easily an “A” on the fake news/media bias curve.
Presidential politics affects your savings. Whether it is potential trade conflicts, actual shooting conflicts, or just unwinding the morass of from the Obama era, his actions will move markets. It is important to keep the gains you have had from the inflated market by taking those gains off the table and find a protected principal solution.
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