A quick analysis of what Trump plans to do in office

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);

Yes!  Excellent.

* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;

Very good.

* 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.  
  10. 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.


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

17 thoughts on “A quick analysis of what Trump plans to do in office

  1. Did I approved of Trump? No, of course not. But the old saw: “Better the devil that you know than the one you don’t know.”; was wrong in this case.

    Hillary, the known devil, has such a string of bad behavior that she would have been worse than anyone. A partial list:

    -Travel Gate
    – The insider trading on futures
    – Bill Clinton’s numerous assaults on women, which were reported at or near the time that they occurred not 15 or 20 years later. And he didn’t stop at inappropriate touching either.
    – Bill Clinton’s Oval Office activity, known to Hillary who did nothing to try to stop him.
    – Bill Clinton’s refusal to properly support the troops he sent to Mogadishu resulting in the Black Hawk down situation.
    – Massive influence peddling via the Clinton Foundation.
    – Benghazi, more dead Americans.
    -The private email server.
    -Obstruction of justice in the email server scandel.

    This is just a partial list, I’m sure there are more incidents.

    The election was a zero sum game, not voting to keep the Clintons out of the White House would have been wrong. Throwing your vote away by voting for a third party candidate would be effectively a vote for the Clintons. So yes I voted against her.

    Trump is an unknown but hopefully his people around will keep him steady and on course. We know what the Clinton’s would be doing.

  2. Being from the opposite end of the political spectrum from you, I am skeptical that an unbridled free market approach to solving our problems will work, but the next four years will tell us something, This election definitely was a choice between two problematic candidates, and while I did not vote for Trump, I do hope that he is successful in making our economy work better for all, and fixing some of our endemic problems with how we govern. I certainly hope that the Democrats do not follow the lead of their Republican counterparts over the last eight years, and work exclusively to make the new president’s term in office a failure. Working together is better than the divisive atmosphere we currently have.

    A couple of observations:

    Yes, the wall is ridiculous, and Mexico is, as I recall our third largest trading partner, so somehow forcing them to pay for it, which I doubt is possible, can only result in some economic consequences that are bad. Immigration reform, yes. Wall, totally impractical.

    Common Core is not a federal program, as the states all set their own education standards. While encouraged by administration policy, it already is up to the states as to curriculum and testing, and as President, Trump will have limited ability to impact this.

    Also, requiring the repeal of two federal regulations for every new one creates a false equivalency as to the value or harm created by regulatory efforts. I can only hope that some greater nuance is applied to this beyond a two for one mentality.

    Repealing Obamacare, despite its many flaws, does pull the rug out from under 22 million plus citizens who were without health insurance, and allows insurance companies to impose barriers for coverage, such as pre-existing conditions, or the many who work in small businesses where the employer has not offered insurance coverage. Reducing the pool of covered individuals will likely drive up insurance and healthcare costs even higher, without any realistic plans to replace the provisions of Obamacare that have been helpful. Insurance companies are already reporting record profits; removing some of the people that most need coverage from the pool likely only increases their profits, and hurts the most vulnerable among us, the working poor who look to a Trump presidency to help them.

    To put an LDS spin on all of this, I am reminded that the ultimate end of the Nephites’ two hundred years as a Zion society after the visit of the Savior came about because:

    “And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world. And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them. And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.” (4th Nephi v 24-26)

    That sounds like neither the Trump nor the Clinton plans, so in some ways we were always screwed. But I am an incurable optimist, and I hope that things do get better.

  3. Thanks for the quick analysis. Although not all is feasible, at least he appears to heading us in the right direction. However, I think it’ll take us putting pressure on our federal representatives and senators to make things happen.

  4. As an aside, I don’t see anything in his agenda that would adversely affect members of a particular religion, women, the LGBT community, or minorities. And yet, listening to people, you’d think he was the next Hitler.

  5. I am hoping that we will have a mature congress. A Congress that will work together. And a Congress that will work to rein in and channel the more radical ideas into ones that will work.
    I do not want to see a wall along the Mexican/U.S. border. I do not even want to see all of the illegal immigrants here in the U.S. deported. I mix with some of those people on a daily basis. My grandchildren play with their children. Immigrants made this country great and it is still a beacon for many people in many nations whose prospects in their own countries are bleak at best. Most of those people are hard workers. They do not take jobs from other people but often make their own jobs. They add to the economy. Of course there are problems that need to be fixed. But I would like to see it done compassionately.
    I actually would like to see Trump pardon Hillary for any wrongs she may have committed. Not Obama, but Trump, for obvious reasons. I would like to be able to pick up a paper and not read about email-gate or the like. I would like to pick up a paper and read about something positive for a change.



  6. I could not bring myself to vote any of the major candidates.

    That said, I wish President Elect Trump well. We should all pray for him, as well as the Congress and other other government officers.

  7. Trump pardoning Hillary for her e-mail crimes would be good for the healing of the country. There should be some clear confession or exposition of wrongdoing before the pardon, so that it is not just a feel good item that can allow her allies to wipe away all memory of scandal. This should finish her like Nixon was finished after the Ford pardon.
    On the whole, the proposals are positive. I think that negotiations with Mexico will improve trade and remove the wall from the spotlight. That is the only true folly in the package. The tax, health insurance, education and energy plans are a giant improvement to the current situation. If these 4 get done, I foresee a huge economic surge and a walkover re-election for Trump.

  8. “The tax, health insurance, education and energy plans are a giant improvement to the current situation. If these 4 get done, I foresee a huge economic surge and a walkover re-election for Trump.”

    The great hope of the Trump presidency is that he doesn’t do or say anything incredibly stupid (like declare war on China because some functionary insulted him), and that some of his conservative reforms actually get through Congress and get signed by him. I think there really is a potential for an economic boom if investors got the signal that government is going to allow them to invest in things and actually earn money, and if taxpayers could get a break. It has been so long since the economy truly boomed (I would argue since the late 1990s) that people don’t realize how pleasant it is to live in a situation where people get raises every year and where there are many job opportunities. If we could bring that sense of hope back to America, a lot of things would change for the better. I still have my doubts that any of this will happen, but I hope it will.

  9. On the immigration side of things, I hope he doesn’t get rid of DACA, and if he does I hope he comes up with a feasible and humane proposal. I served and I love many people that I hold dear who are anxious of what he may pursue on this very sensitive issue, and naming Kobach to lead on that stance it’s fixating my hope on that issue.
    My only hope is to be surprised for the better

  10. Unfortunately, putting all that carbon in the atmosphere will cause an environmental disaster that will make the Trump presidency look benign in comparison.

    And what’s this nonsense about letting the market work in health care. The market does a few things well. Health care is not one of them. The market creates winners and losers. That’s just how it is designed to work. Allowing a market approach for health care will simply put us back where we were, with tens of millions more Americans without health insurance. This is why the Republicans can’t come up with a reasonable alternative to Obamacare (which, at its core, is based on conservative ideas). Eventually, we will need to join the rest of the world, where this was figured out long ago, and accept a single-payer system.

    And forget the tax cuts (which, by the way, favor the wealthy more than the middle class or the poor). Supply-side economics is not going to create 4 percent growth. All it will do is reduce government revenues (they are already low) and increase the debt dramatically. Recession will soon follow.

    Trump’s policies will not help those who put him in office. Watch for the backlash, beginning in about two years, if he makes it that long without being impeached.

  11. Wally said, ” The market creates winners and losers. That’s just how it is designed to work.”

    Wally doesn’t understand markets. A market is a place where buyers go to meet sellers and where sellers go to meet buyers. By definition, a market is win-win. If you don’t want to participate, you don’t go.

    Healthcare markets are not magical. They operate the same way, as long as we don’t muddle them up by forcing buyers to buy things they don’t want from sellers they don’t want to do business with, and forcing sellers to sell things that buyers don’t want.

    This is usually where someone points out cancer or various emergency care. Here markets also function, and just saying “make it free” doesn’t help. And especially, saying, “pay a 5000 deductible + 30% copay after you’ve spent all your disposable income on government inflated premiums” doesn’t change much when it comes to the market for cancer treatment. You will still be confronted with the realities of life in a world of scarcity that your time, quality of life, resources, doctor’s time, his/her quality of life, resources, etc. will impact your care. Does the market help you and the doctor more? I’d say yes, Wally not only says no, but he tries to publicly persuade others with lies and misunderstandings (winners/losers) to scare others about what a market is.

    At the end of the day, whether we have “free” health care or whether we have co-pay healthcare, it’s still rationed by price and availability. The government does not have a “spare no expense” to your health issues, and the doctor does not have a “must accept every patient” requirement.

    It’s better to create a system that recognizes markets and is built around them to maximize their power rather than pretend the markets don’t exist.

    People like Wally who suggest otherwise only demonstrate their ignorance.

  12. Well said, GSO. Markets are based on win-win, not win-lose. People exchange one thing that one person wants (money) for something that another person has (apples from their tree). Both people win.

    It is also worth pointing out that most modern economies actually don’t have a single payer model. Most actually have a health insurance based model. Switzerland and Hong Kong, to cite two examples, have systems in which individuals buy health insurance themselves and don’t receive it from the employer. The plans allow consumers to negotiate with doctors directly, keeping costs down. The third party payer model is the most disastrous element of government health care, and of course this is why single payer never makes it on the state level in the U.S., including even socialist Vermont, where it was abandoned because it was too expensive. You can read more about the Swiss system here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2011/04/29/why-switzerland-has-the-worlds-best-health-care-system/#41c2cc7218af

  13. One of the main reasons markets seem to work so badly when it comes to health care is the fact that governments have already interfered too much. When was the last time you went to a clinic or hospital and saw prices listed? How can you make an informed purchasing decision with so little information provided? But most people in the US do not care about the price much because “the insurance company will pay, not me.” And most people in the US have very little choice in the insurance company that they use for health care because so many get their health care insurance from their employer.

    If you look at the current state of the health care industry in America and claim that “the free market doesn’t work”, I have to ask how you know since the free market has not been tried on the system in your lifetime. It is bound up in more Government regulation than you can possibly believe. What you had before ObamaCare was not a free market system.

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