Great: President’s quick start bodes well for him and the nation
Despite countless cries of outrage and shrieks of horror from left-wing activists, radical environmentalists and the mainstream media, President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office unquestionably should be judged a rousing success.
Let’s start with the economy. After eight years of sluggish economic growth, $10 trillion of additional national debt, and the imposition of crushing, incomprehensible regulatory schemes under the Obama administration, Trump has implemented a series of reforms that have reignited the American economic engine and set the nation back on the right course.
The number of workers employed full-time has risen by 1.3 million since Trump was elected in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the five months prior to Trump’s victory, the economy only added 958,000 full-time jobs.
Spurred by Trump’s commitment to reducing the toll taken on businesses by Obama-era regulations, investors seem more confident than they’ve been in well over a decade.
From October 2014 to October 2016, the Dow Jones industrial average increased by a meager 2.49 percent. Since October 2016, just prior to Election Day, the market has steadily risen more than 11 percent and has hit all-time highs, padding American retirement accounts along the way.
Consumer confidence has also increased dramatically under the Trump administration; it’s now at its highest level since December 2000.
Other major issues indirectly related to the economy have improved as well. For instance, the number of people crossing illegally into the United States has plummeted.
The number of immigrants caught crossing the border illegally in March, about 12,000, was 72 percent lower than the number reported in December, said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
Trump has also called for cutting costs at bloated federal agencies, proposing in his budget to slash spending by at least 20 percent at the departments of Justice, Labor, Agriculture and State. He’s also called for a 31 percent reduction at the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency.
On the energy and infrastructure front, Trump has been just as active and effective.
In February, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management sold drilling rights on 278 parcels of federal land for $129.3 million, the largest lease sale in four years.
And, following executive orders from Trump to review and rescind unnecessary and unjustified limits on energy production on public lands, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ended the Interior’s moratorium on issuing new coal leases and directed Land Management to rescind regulations limiting hydraulic fracturing.
Trump also reversed Obama administration policies blocking the completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The result: The Dakota Access pipeline was swiftly completed, and oil now flows through it today. Work is expected to soon begin on the Keystone XL.
Keeping his promise to miners, Trump’s early energy actions have paid job dividends in coal country.
Economist Stephen Moore notes that since Trump’s election, the mining sector, which has been plagued for years with layoffs, has added 35,000 jobs.
Additionally, the two largest coal companies in the United States, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, which had previously been forced into bankruptcy in part by Obama’s climate policies, are once again viable.
Perhaps most importantly, Trump successfully filled the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat with one of the most highly qualified, well-respected federal judges considered for the nation’s highest court in recent decades, Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Like any presidential administration, team Trump has faced multiple challenges and setbacks in its first 100 days. But considered in its entirety, Trump’s presidency thus far has been wildly successful and a substantial improvement over the largely ineffectual and reckless Obama administration.
Justin Haskins is executive editor of publications and H. Sterling Burnett is a research fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. Readers may write them at Heartland, 3939 North Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.
Awful: Trump’s early bungling shows him unfit for office
There’s an old joke in which a guy complains about a local deli: “The food is awful ... and such small portions.”
I think that joke sums up Donald Trump’s first hundred days as president. He’s had very few substantive achievements, and what he has pulled off has ranged from the very bad to the truly horrific.
By now, we are all well-versed on the failures. Unlike every other modern president at this juncture, he hasn’t signed a single piece of major legislation into law even though his party controls both houses of Congress.
His first major initiative _ repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act _ crashed and burned because the bill he embraced was too radical for even many Republicans.
His Muslim ban was poorly thought out and poorly drafted. It was struck down by several judges, including several Republicans.
He hasn’t appointed even a skeletal crew of executive branch employees, and both his proposed budget and his second “tremendous” proposal on tax reform appear dead on arrival.
The ironic and sad thing is that as obvious as his failures have been, we can be grateful for them.
A great example is the health care bill he embraced.
During the campaign, he made it clear he wanted to replace Obamacare. However, he never offered specifics on its replacement. All he said was that it would be “tremendous” and “really terrific.”
It turns out that what everybody was supposed to “love” would have taken away care from 24 million people and allowed insurance companies to stop covering even basic care such as “hospital visits” and “childbirth.”
If his Muslim ban had succeeded, we would have ended our already embarrassingly small commitment to helping desperate refugees fleeing oppression.
His tax plan is basically huge tax cuts for corporations and the richest Americans at the expense of our social safety net, education and environment.
Further, he has appointed people to powerful positions whose only qualifications appear to be their aggressive hostility to the jobs they are supposed to do.
For example, President Trump appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency Oklahoman Scott Pruitt, whose only relevant experience is his history of suing the EPA to stop it from interfering with his state’s right to pour as much poison into the atmosphere as possible.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has led a decades-long crusade against public education, and new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson doesn’t believe his agency should be involved in the business of helping people find housing. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Finally, Trump’s first 100 days have been marred most by Trump, who has revealed himself to be no different than candidate Trump and business-cheat Trump before that.
He is simply temperamentally unfit to be president. A total narcissist, he is someone who lies about even silly things that are easily checked. He continues to spew out bizarre allegations of wild conspiracies without any evidence.
Think “Obama tapped my wires.” Like the dictators he aspires to be, he routinely delegitimizes all institutional checks on his power, calling the judiciary “so-called” judges and the free press purveyors of “fake news.”
Trump has even managed to pick unnecessary fights with not only our adversaries but traditional allies like Mexico, Australia and Germany. And he has turned nepotism into an art form.
In short, Trump’s first 100 days have been a disaster. It is critical Americans of good conscience continue to resist his vision in order for our nation to have any chance of surviving the 1,300 days to come.
Daylin Leach, a state senator in Pennsylvania, is national president of Americans for Democratic Action, the nation’s oldest independent liberal political organization. Readers may write him at ADA, 1629 K St. NW, suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20006.