Friends, this election season has been the worst of my relatively long lifetime. I first voted in 1982, so I have some experience.
I would venture to say that very few of the permabloggers at M* voted for Trump. I would also venture to say, based on the comments we get on this blog, that most readers also did not vote for Trump. I did not vote for him.
But he is the president-elect, and it is time to consider what he would actually do in office. Here is a quick analysis. I am sure there will be other analyses, but my feeling is that few people have actually considered what Trump has said he will do. I will grade his plans based on my opinions of them. If you don’t like my opinions, you can politely disagree or you can go write a post stating your own opinions.
But first, let’s consider how Trump in the White House might affect the Church. Mormons did not support him in large numbers compared to Republican candidates of the recent past, although most Mormon dominant states did vote for him. My guess is that Trump will treat the Church much like other recent presidents, ie, respectfully. But I am willing to be proven wrong, and we at M* will be on the lookout for evidence of Trump administration bigotry toward Mormons.
So here goes, an analysis of Trump’s plans:
(This analysis is taken from Trump’s 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again). My comments are in Bold.
What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. It is a contract between myself and the American voter — and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington
Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:
* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
Will never happen, Congress doesn’t want it. Waste of time.
* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.
I hope this happens. It has the potential of really changing the way things are done in Washington, although most likely the Gadiantons in government would find a way around it.
* FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;
Same comment as above.
* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
Same comment as above.
On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:
* FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
There is nothing wrong with renegotiating a trade agreement. Will it be done in a way that is positive for both countries? Too early to tell, but Mexicans are not happy.
* SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Free trade is a great thing. Huge multi national trade agreements are about crony capitalism. I oppose the TPP.
* THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.
Ridiculous. The biggest currency manipulator in the world is the United States because of massive Fed money-printing.
* FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately.
There is nothing wrong with “identifying” such “abuses.” What kinds of tools will be used? Probably not good ones, but let’s see.
* FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
Excellent. New high-paying jobs for potentially millions of Americans. This could be Trump’s single greatest accomplishment as president.
* SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward.
* SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.
If this happens, it could severely wound the completely corrupt and anti-science climate change movement, which would be a wonderful thing.
Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:
* FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
I am not sure that Trump has ever read the Constitution, but there are a huge number of executive orders from Obama, Bush and many others that are unconstitutional, so this could be a great thing.
* SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Trump will disappoint, but he keeps on saying he will appoint conservative judges, and his list is excellent, so if he actually does this it would be an amazing thing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
* THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities.
A meaningless gesture, but I am against almost all federal funding for just about everything except the courts, Congress and defense, so I am also against federal funding for sanctuary cities.
* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back.
Deportations were up during the Obama administration compared to the Bush administration. There is nothing wrong with deporting criminals, but will civil liberties be protected? I am concerned about this.
* FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
Most of the refugees were caused by Obama administration policies in Syria and Iraq. The solution is to allow people in the region to resolve their own problems. Most refugees should remain in region. Private citizens should be encouraged (as the LDS Church has done) to aid the refugees. There is nothing wrong with vetting refugees who may be potentially violent, and this has taken place for years now.
Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
- Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate. Very good. Will it pass Congress? Probably not.
- End The Offshoring Act. Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free. I am against tariffs, and this is an unnecessary interference with private companies and how they do business.
- American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral. Allow companies to invest without government interference and there will be a boom. There is no reason for a new act — just cut regulation and taxes, and the market will make it happen.
- School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable. This is awesome. This could be a great achievement by the Trump administration.
- Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications. Obamacare, as I predicted repeatedly on this blog, has been a MASSIVE DISASTER. Repealing it is a start, but we need to allow the market in medical care to function. Trump’s plan is a good start.
- Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families. I am against any new government program in this area. I am always for tax deductions, so I don’t oppose them, but there are market solutions that would be much better than any government program.
- End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first. Ridiculous. Half the border is a river. I oppose the stupid wall and the militarization of the border.
- Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars. I am skeptical there are any federal solutions to this situation, except to end the militarization of local police. People need to work in their communities to improve police interactions with the populace. I doubt this program would help.
- Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values. We need massive cuts in military spending and a change in foreign policy. If we left the Middle East and concentrated on defending our vital national interests, we could make significant cuts in defense spending. Trump’s plan sounds like more big government Wilsonianism to me.
- Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics. Definitely needed. The best way to reduce corruption is for governments to be smaller and to do fewer things. I am not sure that will happen under a Trump administration.
So, there you have it: Trump’s plan and my reaction to it. Some of the plan is good, some is actually great, and some is ridiculous. Let’s pray that a Trump administration will do good things for the country and that we will have peace and prosperity in the years ahead.