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Why Donald Trump Presidency is the Most Successful Ever?

2/6/2019 Anant Goel

After 24 months into his presidency, Trump Administration has become the most effective administration since FDR’s first term.

And it’s being accomplished in the face of the so-called “resistance,” which includes the overt hostility of nearly all the mainstream media, the embedded civil service, the Democrats, the never-Trump Republicans, rogue elements of the intelligence and investigative agencies and Robert Mueller’s investigation into charges of “collusion” with the Russians.

It may sound crazy, considering the “chaos” from the start of Trump Administration and the persistent controversy over crazy tweets involving alleged face-lifts of TV stars, horrifically ill-advised comments about white nationalists, alleged personal profiting off the presidency, supposed interference in criminal investigations and the connections of multiple members of Trump campaign and administration team to Russia ─ and more.

But when it comes to actual policy accomplishments tied to pledges he made on the campaign trail, Trump is actually doing pretty well – whether you like the results or not.

In my last article “Donald Trump’s Structural Reform of America”, I made some bold statements about Core Structural Reforms Expected under Trump Administration, which after 24 months of Trump Administration, have been accomplished or are well underway.

The Chaos

From its start, the Trump administration has been plagued by charges of “chaos.” From the revolving door of senior staffers — including two secretaries of state, three national security advisers, one UN ambassador, one secretary of defense and two chiefs of staff — to the president’s brash and sometimes boorish personal style, to his politically incorrect taunt-tweeting, Donald Trump has refused to conform to his political opponents’ conventional notions of what constitutes an effective White House operation.

And yet, the economy is humming, thousands of regulations have been rolled back, the unemployment rate is way down, job openings are soaring, taxes have been cut and reformed, tax bill passed to repeal Obamacare Individual Mandate, welfare programs have been reined -in, black/Hispanic/Asian joblessness is at an all-time low, and more women are working. Prototypes for the wall along the Mexican border are being tested, raids by ICE are rounding up dangerous illegal aliens and the “travel ban” against several Muslim nations was argued before the Supreme Court, where the president’s authority over immigration was upheld.

At the conclusion of Trump’s 24 months in office, the stock market and small-business confidence were at record highs, and consumer confidence is the highest in 17 years. Trump’s loud campaign promises to lure back capital and industry to the heartland no longer look quixotic, given new tax and deregulatory incentives and far cheaper energy costs than in most of Europe and Japan.

Trump has now ended 66 regulations for everyone he has added. Few believed a Republican president could cut the corporate-tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent while capping state- and local-tax deductions for mostly high earners to $10,000. Those are the highlights of a comprehensive tax-reform and -reduction agenda that will likely accelerate the economy to an even more rapid growth rate than Trump’s first two full quarters of annualized increases in GDP of more than 3 percent.

Hundreds of large companies are passing along some of their anticipated tax cuts to employees through increased wages or bonuses─ dismissed as “crumbs” by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Rising workers’ wages and anticipated tax credits and savings for the lower and middle classes for now are rendering almost mute the age-old fights about state-mandated minimum-wage laws. The mostly unheralded nixing of the Obamacare individual mandate─ once the great ideological battlefield of the Affordable Care Act─ will insidiously recalibrate the ACA into a mostly private-market enterprise.

Domestic oil production is slated to exceed 2017 record levels and soon may hit an astonishing 11 million barrels a day. Gas, oil, and coal production are expected to rise even higher with new Trump initiatives to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge field in Alaska, encourage more fracking on federal lands and offshore, and complete needed pipeline links while encouraging coal exportation.

For all the political horse-trading over extending or ending the Obama executive orders on DACA, illegal immigration has declined according to some metrics by over 60 percent. It is now at the lowest levels in the 21st century─ even before the ending of chain migration and enacting of new border-security initiatives.

Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. He has pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He has put an end to the North American Free Trade Agreement and now we have a much more favorable trade agreement with Mexico and Canada called USMCA. Trade agreement with China is progressing well with China having made several concessions already prior to March 2019 deadline. Trump has made good on promises to vastly increase deportations of unlawful immigrants and curtail illegal immigration. While the original iteration of his Middle East travel ban did not pass judicial muster, the revised third version was passed and is sticking. He has gone beyond rhetorical commitments to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel's capital.

Perhaps most significantly, in his first two years, Trump has gotten numerous conservative judges confirmed and in place. Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are the most obvious examples – their position on the Supreme Court could affect American law and jurisprudence for decades or more to come. But Trump has also put over 12 circuit court judges on the bench, as The Washington Post notes, "the most during a president's first year in office in more than 100 years."

In foreign affairs, ISIS has been defeated with close to 100% of the territory liberated, the two Koreas are talking to each other and a summit between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un took place on June 12th in Singapore, and just a few weeks ago Trump yanked the carpets out from under the Iranian mullahs and canceled the nuclear deal negotiated ─ but never submitted to the Senate for ratification ─ by the Obama administration.

Yet there are two things that Trump could do to cement his legacy as one of the most successful president ever:

1) Get Congress to pass legislation that protects DACA recipients, and

2) Build a Wall on our Southern border with Mexico to prevent migrants crossing over illegally. 

The Hatred of Donald Trump

As much as the so-called “resistance” and the establishment hate Trump administration policies, the president’s enemies hate the man even more. Donald Trump’s words and actions offend the establishment on a personal, instinctive level. His opponents are the same folks who thought “Ike” Eisenhower was just a dolt who somehow won World War II. Who worshipped John F. Kennedy (but were repelled by LBJ), hated Nixon, thought Reagan was an amiable dunce and erected shrines to Obama. They are the Ivy Leaguers, the ones with credentials, the Georgetown establishment for whom there is only one right way to conduct a presidency, and that is the Harvard-Democratic-group think way.

Why Chaos and Unpredictability Works for Trump

What Trump understands, however, is what many great leaders have understood: that “chaos,” not consensus, is the way ideas are tried and tested… that if someone or something isn’t working, scrap it and try something else. Results are what count, not consistency. Trump’s ability to morph from saber-rattling lunatic to charming deal maker infuriates them because they see it as phony.

So what?

That doesn’t mean it isn’t also effective. Just ask North Korea’s Kim. Or ask Macron of France, who couldn’t be less like Trump and yet has developed a curious personal rapport with the brash American boss Trump, akin to that of a puppy around its master. Watch for France, Germany and UK to start edging away from the Iran deal as well.

Finally, Trump’s very unpredictability doesn’t just frighten the Washington establishment, it also terrifies his opponents.

North Korea’s Kim has declared he will suspend nuclear and missile tests, shuts down test site. The Saudis, following the strong American leadership, have made their hostility for the Iranian regime clear and are threatening to acquire their own nukes should Tehran overtly resume its nuke development. Having survived domestic uprisings in 2009 and 2017 by the restive Iranian young people, the graybeard mullahs of Iran won’t be so lucky a third time.

If that’s what chaos and unpredictability brings, then let us have more if it.

Trump Challenges Ahead:

Mid-Term Elections in 2018

The fall 2016 elections were a big test for Trump, but he has already eliminated some of the thorns in his side, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate gadflies Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, who have announced their retirements. GOP lost majority in the House but made solid gains in the Senate, and a Trump-friendly Senate and the Supreme Court will move forward Trump's Agenda to make "America First".

Donald Trump May Declare National Immigration Emergency and Build the Wall to Protect U.S. Borders

With the government shutdown and congressional Democrats unwilling to let go of their anti-border security views, the president said he would declare a national emergency to get parts of the border wall built. Of course, Democrats flipped a lid. It would be a constitutional crisis if President Trump did so. It’s unconstitutional. It would make Trump a king. It could foster the beginning of the end of America. Yeah, so the Democratic freak-out was just a typical day. Yet, constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley stated that Trump actually has the power to declare emergencies and that the Democratic response is interesting since they had zero problems, of course, with Obama circumventing the legislature on immigration, health care, and Libya.

Congress has refused the funds needed for the wall, so Trump is openly claiming the right to unilaterally order construction by declaring a national emergency. On its face, that order would undermine the core role of Congress in our system of checks and balances. However, the declaration is not unconstitutional. Schiff, now chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, insists that Trump “does not have the power to execute” this order.

WATCH: Trump delivers State of The Union Speech (2019)

Ongoing Conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to end “nation-building” missions such as efforts to train Afghan troops and stabilize the Afghan government so they can one day handle the Taliban and other militant groups on their own.

 

But over the summer, Trump changed his tune on withdrawing from Afghanistan, announcing a new strategy in August that includes an indefinite time commitment and sending thousands more troops to the country. The Pentagon started to send about 3,000 additional troops to the country in the second half of 2017, with 2018 looking to be a closely watched year for how the fledgling strategy shapes out. For now, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said that the war in the country is “still in a stalemate.”

 

Meanwhile, ISIS — while ousted from its onetime twin capitals of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, by U.S.-backed forces — remains a threat in the Middle East. The group may be on the run, but it still holds pockets of territory and inspires and encourages lone wolf attacks. Defeating ISIS is only part of the battle. Effort to create lasting stability in the two countries is now next on the agenda for the Trump administration.

 

Syria’s civil war and its leader Bashar Assad will likely be a challenge for Trump in achieving such stability. Empowered by Russian and Iranian allies, Assad has unleashed atrocities on his own civilians, including an April 4 chemical weapons attack that was met with Trump ordering a missile strike on an airbase in the country.

 

The administration also has yet to articulate what the U.S. role in Syria will be or how long U.S. forces will stay.

[Syria Update: President Donald Trump’s sudden decision Wednesday to withdraw the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria has set off an all-too-predictable debate between those who believe he is abandoning the sacred mantle of U.S. global leadership and those who believe that Syria is not a vital interest and that U.S. power should be deployed elsewhere or preserved for future contingencies.

Presidential adviser Stephen Miller backed President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria arguing that the United States has been fighting ISIS in its enemies' stead with great losses in US lives.

"ISIS is the enemy of Russia, ISIS is the enemy of Assad, ISIS is the enemy of Turkey," Miller told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Are we supposed to stay in Syria for generation after generation, spilling American blood to fight the enemies of all those countries?"

Miller echoed the President's comments that ISIS had been defeated in Syria, while putting the onus on Russia, Turkey and Syria to crush any future extremism.

"ISIS has been defeated," he said. "But if ISIS wants to retrench and re-grow and reorganize, it's going to be up to those countries to defeat their enemy." ] 

Trump Critics Say…

“… By abrogating behavioral customs, Donald Trump has made the presidency more uncivilized and less trustworthy. By departing from executive and managerial norms, he has made domestic and foreign policy-making more impulsive and disorderly. By fraying traditional alliances, he has made US presidency more isolated. By threatening to declare national emergency in the funding row over his Wall along the Mexican border, he has also indicated a willingness to [allegedly] discard constitutional norms that could [possibly] mean exceeding constitutional limits.

 

The cumulative effect of this has been to make the Oval Office a focal point of perpetual turmoil and uncertainty, with the White House hostage to the changing whims and temper of its occupant. Governing sometimes is perceived as secondary to winning political and cultural battles, and slaying opponents. Critics of Trump see his presidency as a rolling permanent campaign."

 

Will Trump bring about more permanent changes?

 

That will depend, to a large extent, on whether or not he wins a second term. Defeat in 2020 would represent a repudiation of his leadership style. Victory, on the other hand, would be validating.

 

Yet even as a one-term president, Trump would have changed the character of the presidency and US politics more broadly for a very long time to come.

[Curated content based on excerpts from posts, blogs, media articles, and sponsored research]

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