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One year of Donald Trump as President – Pros & Cons

January 22, 2018

22 January 2018

Despite all the insane warnings of an economic meltdown, more wars and terrorism, mass deportations, women losing all rights, global warming running riot, and general worldwide catastrophe, the world and the USA survived Donald Trump’s first year as president. Yes, all those predictions were serious too, and to think it’s Donald Trump the one critcised for hyperbolic and grandiose statements. The hysteria and derangement was never justified, as anyone with even half an active brain cell would know, the US president has very little real power. The greatest democracy in the world simply has too many checks, balances, rules and downright Washington obstinance, that even with someone as bellicose as Trump, or before him someone with the charisma of Barack Obama with his first year goals of immigration reform and closing Guantanamo Bay, they face extreme difficulty to progress their agenda.

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USA President Donald Trump. Image: gop.com

The most stark example of Trump’s frustrations is the travel ban against several despotic and mostly muslim countries. It was constantly challenged in lower courts, and while one was eventually implemented, Trump remained frustrated by the courts on other issues. Then there was Obamacare, the “repeal and replace” Republican dogma for nearly 8 years, even with a Republican house and senate, it couldn’t be done. That’s because members of congress are not rigid to their parties. The loyalty is more often to their district or states. It’s a stark contrast to the likes of Australia where a member of parliament will vote like a zombie as dictated by party policy. That’s even despite a direct mandate from their district to do otherwise, as was seen with the recent gay marraige plebiscite.

On the positive side, Trump can celebrate three key achievements: the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court, the tax reform law, and the demolition of ISIS. Undoubtedly that Trump named several potential judges during the presidential campaign helped him grab the evangelical christian vote, and that he followed through with that, including many appointments for lower courts, has held the support of this key voting constituency. Tax reform, along with the many cuts in regulations, will be judged on its economic effect. With big cuts to the corporate rate to make the USA more internationally competitive, obviously the Democrats hate it. For citizens, the fact is nearly all Americans will get a tax cut, with those potentially a bit worse off being those in high taxing states where the state tax rebate was eliminated. Rightly so! Why should the federal government be subsidising tax rates of individual states? They should reduce their rates to allow people to keep more of their hard earned money. States like California and New York are two of the highest taxing states, while several states have no tax rate. Low-income taxpayers are served well with their standard deduction doubled and child tax credit increased. The blazing stock market means a bonanza for retirement schemes for everyday Americans, while unemployment is at records lows, even for blacks and hispanics. Finally, ISIS is almost done. Trump’s “bomb the shit out of them” has worked.

A fourth achievement might be the withdrawal of the Paris Climate Change Accord. This is more symbolic than anything, that the USA wants no part of a ridiculous agreement more about global socialism than a binding, worldwide agreement to cut emissions. It was never a repudiation of the USA’s role in emissions reductions as climate loons claimed, as the USA is way ahead of its targets thanks to gas exploration. Trump’s “America First” mantra continued with trade agreements cut or reworked, and sticking it to the United Nations by reducing their funding. Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and finally moving the American embassy there as all recent presidents had promised, was also a masterstroke.

Trump even made a dent into Obamacare by removing the individual mandate (a fine for not buying health insurance) as part of the tax reform bill. That will accelerate the death of Obamacare. It’s already in a so-called “death spiral” as high premiums force people out, which raises premiums more, which forces more people out. Note, Obamacare (primarily a bloated bill designed to subsidise insurance companies, even to maintain their profits) has been designed to fail from the start. The hiccup was the Democrats losing elections, so now it’s up to Republicans to deal with it. Most likely a government funded scheme for catastrophic injury or illness will arrive, with private insurance to deal with the rest. Essentially we have that in Australia. There’s no such thing as universal health insurance, only a universal safety net.

The most fascinating part of the Trump presidency is him dealing with illegal immigrants, and notably on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the so-called “Dreamers”, most of whom are all adults now. Essentially it defers deporting illegal immigrants that were brought in as children, and it was expanded and extended by Obama by executive order. So it’s not amnesty at all, only an order not to execute a federal law for certain people and only for a certain period of time. Then a new DACA deadline must be set. That was directly opposite to Obama initially saying he’s “not a dictator” so can’t act on immigration alone. Once re-elected in 2012 and without facing another election, he acted. The problem with an executive order is the next president can immediate reverse it. Trump has done that, saying (rightly so) DACA should be handled by a bill out of a congress, and the deadline is March 2018 when DACA expires. The genius of this is has shown Washington in all its ugliness as the Democrats tried to use DACA last weekend to help pass a budget bill. The government is shut down and it’s all the Democrats’ fault as they are exposed as using illegal immigration to hold the entire country to ransom. Trump and the Republicans knew they couldn’t be wedged, as DACA has nothing to do with funding the government, so the longer the Democrats sit on it, the more they are exposed as obstructionists and hypocrites. DACA is also the key bargaining chip in Trump getting his border wall. If the Democrats are so concerned about these “Dreamers”, surely extra border security would be an easy compromise, or will they be thoroughly exposed for using these people, and immigration in general, as a political weapon? Remember, immigration was meant to be Obama’s year one big achievement, and even with a super majority in the senate, did absolutely zero.

The most intriguing and entertaining part of the Trump presidency is his behaviour. His tweets are often hilarious, and nicknames like Sloppy Steve (Bannon), Cryin’ Chuck (Shumer), Leakin’ James Comey, Crazy Mika and Psycho Joe from MSNBC, and the best, Pocahontas for Elizabeth Warren. It’s staggering that after a year much of the media still hyperventilate over his antics and language. Remember, “take Trump seriously, not literally”. They do it the other way around. His tweet about his nuclear button bigger than Kim Jong Un’s was his way of saying that the USA is more powerful than North Korea, and they’re not afraid to act. Yet the media somehow thinks Trump really has his hand on a button ready to push. Such a thing doesn’t even exist, and his power is only in approving the request from generals. Then the “shithole” remark. It says enough that instead of Democrat senator Dick Durbin confronting Trump in the meeting about the language, that he chose to keep it for the media. While CNN used the hearsay of a vengeful political opponent to proclaim Trump a racist, the truth is the plan meant to make DACA permanent also increased chain and lottery migration, not reduce it as promised to Trump. A double-crossed Trump then raged about America always taking people from shithole countries, not places like Norway. Again, this is his style. He’s been a vulgarian since the day he announced he was running, yet so much of the media gets caught up in the histrionics of it. Probably it makes good ratings – probably the main point of it.

Trump gets the last laugh, and is beginning to thrive in his role as president. While the promise of his Fake News Awards had his media opponents salivating for a mention, he eventually revealed twelve actual and serious moments of fake news and general media bias, with CNN winning four awards. Personally, the most galling was the claim by Time magazine that Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office. This was barely a day into his presidency and yet the media were already trying to prove him a racist. It really highlighted their agenda, and from there it’s become worse, as opponents try and out-do each other on their various cable news shows. The division they apparent loathe is division they are fuelling, and merely a continuation of the divisive “basket of deplorables” identical politics Obama and then Hillary Clinton trafficked in. Trump is actually the product of that, and continues to fight back in his own inimitable style.

Rest assured snowflakes, Trump can’t really do much damage. Cries of fascist are absurd for someone that was democratically elected and, indeed, potentially could see his domestic agenda thwarted if the Democrats win the house in this year’s mid-terms. Yes, this great democracy has elections every two years to keep politicians to account. For those not taking it all so seriously or taking it all so personally, jump on the train, enjoy the ride, because this is already the greatest presidency ever!

Obama’s Legacy – The Reality Check; Trump’s Inauguration

Donald Trump is President – What the heck just happened?

 

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From → Politics

One Comment
  1. I agree, this has been great. As someone who would’ve once identified as ‘democrat leaning’ the meltdown of the left in the US is… mesmerizing. Trump is tearing a hole in identity politics, I believe we’re all better for it in the long run.

    http://blog.dilbert.com/2018/01/18/fake-news-awards-persuasive/

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