Political cartoon by A.F. Branco, www.commicallyincorrect.com.
For most of us in the Tea Party, Trump was not on our list of top GOP candidates to become the 45th president of these United States. But seven months into his term, number 45 deserves more credit for advocating for conservative ideals than most of us had expected. Despite some definite negatives, I consider him to be the best president since Reagan. Trump has his faults, but they are far fewer than those of Obama, Bush Jr., Bush Sr., or Clinton.
Let me digress for a moment though and start with a bit of historical trivia. While Trump is the 45th US president, he is the 44th man to hold that job. You read that right. But how is it possible that he is both the 45th US president while simultaneously being the 44th person to serve as president?
Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms, so Cleveland is considered to be both the 22nd and the 24th president, thus the answer to the riddle, “How can Trump be both the 45th president and the 44th person to serve as president?”
Now, back to Trump’s first seven months. Before I say why he is the best since Reagan, I will start with a few of the negatives that really bother me. With proposed initiatives like the one trillion infrastructure plan or paid maternity leave, he is no Reagan, Cruz, or Paul. But, so far, neither of these things has happened; so we can’t factor them into an analysis of the first seven months of his presidency.
And, yes, some of his personnel decisions are also troubling, such as appointing liberal Democrat Gary Cohn as his chief economic advisor and the director of the national economic council. Cohn is such a left-wing radical that he recently sided with the violent Antifa protesters, Communists, and Black Lives Matter groups at Charlottesville and against Trump. Although Trump denounced the violence at the Charlottesville protest on both sides over and over, Trump’s very reasonable statements were seen as offensive by Gary Cohn. Cohn condemned Trump’s statements while justifying the violent actions of the radical Antifa groups. According to Cohn’s liberal thought process, Trump should have ignored the actions of violent vandals from Antifa and condemned only white protesters who had obtained a legal permit to protest the destruction of historical monuments.
Another personnel mistake is Trump’s failure to fire John Koskinen, the disgraced, corrupt IRS commissioner, who has participated in a coverup and the obstruction of justice in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Trump could win a lot of support from conservatives if he held Koskinen accountable.
And perhaps the two biggest mistakes of the Trump presidency so far are that his administration continues the illegal bailouts for big insurance corporations and the illegal subsidies for Congress. First, these subsidies to insurance companies, labeled cost-sharing-payments, have been ruled illegal by a federal judge. So Trump could simply comply with the judge’s decision and bring Obamacare to a screeching halt. He says he wants to kill Obamacare, and he has the ability to do it but fails to do so.
Second, the subsidies being paid to Congress to cover their cost for Obamacare are also illegal, and he has the authority to stop them anytime he wants. Congress is motivated by self-interest, and this is probably the best weapon in his arsenal to force Congress to repeal Obamacare. However, he has not stopped these payments yet, although he has threatened to do so. It is time to go beyond threats and to take action now.
You may be wondering then why I think Trump is the best president since Reagan. For starters, Clinton, both of the Bushes, and Obama set the bar very low. But, more importantly, President Trump has done the following:
- He has rolled back costly regulations. The cost of regulations has now surpassed the cost of taxes in America, so rolling back unnecessary regulations is of paramount importance.
- Trump has slowed down the flow of illegal aliens coming into this country. The Homeland Security Secretary says that the number of illegals apprehended crossing from Mexico is at its lowest point in 17 years.
- He withdrew from Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that was designed to hurt America.
- He pulled out of the costly, anti-American Paris Climate Agreement.
- He finally allowed construction to move ahead on the pipelines that Obama had on hold for years.
- Obamacare repeal. Although there are additional things he should do to ensure Obamacare is repealed, he continues to hold Congress’s feet to the fire and is pushing Congress to act. Many GOP liberals and all Democrats in both houses of Congress would like to just “move on” and leave Obamacare in place. But Trump and most of America know that moving on is not an option because Obamacare is killing jobs and hurting Americans. So, I give Trump credit for keeping Obamacare repeal on the radar.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US inflation rate has decreased to 1.6%. This is in part due to Trump’s energy policies that have helped lower the cost of gas and electricity.
- The US manufacturing index soared to a 33 year high in Trump’s first six months. That is the best number since Reagan was president.
- According to the US Census Bureau, housing sales are now almost double what they were at this point in Obama’s term. In 2009 376,000 houses were sold, whereas the annualized housing sales in May 2017 were $610,000.
- Conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed and sworn in as Supreme Court Justice in April.
- Trump put a hiring freeze on federal employees.
- He signed around 150 Executive Orders, proclamations, and memoranda. Some of these included dismantling Obama’s climate change initiatives, travel bans for certain terrorist hotspots, protecting law enforcement, cutting funding for sanctuary cities.
- The Trump administration reversed the Obama-era policy that banned local law enforcement departments from receiving or purchasing used military equipment from the Pentagon, such as life-saving Kevlar vests and helmets. This permits local law enforcement to recycle and repurpose billions of dollars of used gear and equipment.
- We also have to give Trump credit for his continued efforts to get Congress to come up with a badly needed tax reform package. While this feat has not yet been accomplished in the first seven months, I include it here because Trump is definitely setting the stage for the most consequential tax reform package since the 80s.
All of this has been done despite the most hostile media treatment and the most radical liberal resistance ever experienced by any president. So overall, Trump deserves high marks for his presidential term, so far.
Allen Tharp is President of the San Antonio Tea Party.
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