The Obama Era of massive government regulation and high taxes was supposed to be reversed with the election of Donald Trump. While President Trump has changed many of the business-stifling policies from the previous Administration, there still remains much to be done.
Many of the Trump campaign promises remain unfulfilled, but they were going to require Congressional action anyways. The most prominent of these was Obamacare, which Congress failed to repeal after 7 years of promises (since the election of 2010). But there are several campaign promises coming true, such as the cancellation of the US participation in the Paris Climate Accord.
Let’s take a look at the major policies from the previous Administration that have been undone, as well as those that remain in place:
I. Obama-era policies that have been reversed by the Trump Administration:
- Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord. While climate change alarmists screamed to the high-heavens, Trump’s withdrawal from this global accord was the correct move on many fronts: (A) it required the US taxpayer to transfer billions to third world countries to help with climate mitigation; (B) it exempted China – the world’s worst carbon emitter – for decades; and, (C) it was in form and content a “treaty,” which requires the Senate to advise and consent to the treaty … which Obama did not do. So, for every legal and practical reason possible, withdrawal was the only legal and moral decision to make.
- Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Keeping his promises to workers throughout the rust belt, who rightly feel that the establishment sold out their jobs and their futures to foreign trade deals, Trump issued an Executive Order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TIPP) negotiations. This was not as controversial as the Climate Accord since many Democrats opposed TIPP as well. Conservative foreign policy hawks were and are concerned that we are not thinking about the broader global competition with China, and the need to counter economic alliances the Chinese are forming throughout the globe. But for Trump, this was a non-starter: we hold all the cards, so let’s deal from a position of strength.
- Net Neutrality reversed. Nice, fair sounding name, which confused much of the public. However, “Net Neutrality” was an Obama policy to police the internet using 19th and early 20th century utility laws. The internet, which had functioned without government interference since its launch in the early ‘90’s, was suddenly under the command of the US government using laws that were drafted to manage the railroads. Obviously, the Trump appointment to the Federal Communications Commission cast the deciding vote to reverse this woeful decision to regulate what did not need regulating.
There have been many other reversals which have lessened the load on the taxpayer and removed the intrusive government intervention into the lives of small business owners, the tax payer, and the marketplace.
There also remains several important policy areas where the public is, and was, expecting action:
II. Obama-era policies that remain intact and that have yet to be reversed by the Trump Administration:
- Obamacare. The largest singular undertaking to socialize the US healthcare industry … and to do so in the worst way – high taxes, zero choices, mandated participation … remains intact. Republicans had promised since 2010 that given the opportunity they would repeal Obamacare. Trump agreed, and remains waiting for a bill to sign. But once given both the House and the Senate, combined with Trump in the White House, a few Republicans in name only (RINO’s) in the Senate changed their mind, and did not vote for repeal. Still, Trump has been successful at chipping away at the law – the individual mandate, the contraceptive mandate, and the court-ruled illegal payments to insurance companies have all been eliminated.
- DACA and Sanctuary-Fugitive Cities. Much has been made of Trump’s deportation efforts through ICE raids throughout the country. Despite the uptick in deportations, and a limited decline in illegals attempting to cross the border, the southern border remains porous and illegals remain domiciled at unheard of numbers here in the US. DACA was rescinded by executive order, but so far, Trump has not begun a deportation process for the so-called dreamers. The lawlessness of sanctuary cities remain – threatening the safety and security of all Americans, and the secessionist acts of the loony-leftists in California is a daily headline. A great deal more would need to be done to even put a dent in our “open borders” policies from the Obama era.
- Iran deal remains intact, for now. Trump decertified the Iran Nuclear deal in October of 2017, but we still remain a signatory and have not moved to withdraw from it….at least not yet. In January the Administration announced new sanctions on several Iranian entities and of all the Obama-era policies not yet reversed, this seems to be the most likely to be done so sooner rather than later. Whether one agrees with Trump or not, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been a disaster for America. Another Obama era “agreement” not submitted to the Senate for ratification, much of the turmoil in the Middle East was directly related to Obama’s negotiation of this agreement…..the chaos in Syria, the return and empowerment of Russia, Iranian military supplies easily transported to Hezbollah to threaten Israel, the loss of Iraq completely to Iran, $1.5 billion of frozen Iranian assets here in the US that was sent back to Iran … you could not have made this up in a movie and anyone believed you. Having said that, Trump’s rhetoric suggests that despite not having been reversed yet, it is only a matter of time before it will be.
There is much that remains to be done of the Trump agenda, and it will be heavy-lifting given the president’s level of distraction. But he is off to a good start, and the country needs him to succeed.