If one only feeds at the informational troughs of the mainstream media, one might assume the only thing our 45th President has done during his first six months is make controversial tweets and buck allegations of Russian “collusion.” Neither of those affects the average American, but much of what he has accomplished or set in motion does, or will. Space constraints prevent a comprehensive enumeration, so what follows are only highlights.
A week after his inauguration, President Trump issued a series of Executive Orders (EO’s) that returned the nation to one governed by legal statute and law, with regard to illegal migration. Among other things, his EO’s called for Homeland Security and immigration officials to simply enforce existing immigration laws. It brought an end to the Obama-era practice of “catch and release” where illegals were caught and then released within the country. Also, law enforcement was instructed to enforce existing laws authorizing immediate deportation of illegal criminals.
And, according to the New York Times earlier this month, Trump’s policies are making a significant difference. “From February through May [of this year], the number of undocumented immigrants stopped or caught along the southwest border of the United States fell 60 percent from the same period last year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection – evidence that far fewer migrants are heading north, officials on both sides of the border say.”
The NYT article explains that immigrants already here are telling family and friends seeking to come here to not try it illegally. The result is more security on our borders, less illegal drag on our domestic resources and greater safety across the land.
A strict constructionist has been appointed, and confirmed, to replace the brilliant jurist, Antonin Scalia. As young as Neil Gorsuch is, his influence on the Supreme Court should last for decades, which is critical to the preservation of the republic, to have another justice who interprets the Constitution based on what it actually says, rather than what one wishes it says.
With a series of EO’s, some of our oppressive regulatory burdens are being eased. Any agency wanting to implement one new regulation must eliminate two, for due consideration.
There are no unconstitutional “czars” in the Executive Branch. Obama had over 30 such extreme ideologues as Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, and John Holdren in his administration. There are none, now.
Along those same lines, there are 110 fewer employees on the White House staff than there were under Obama. And the First Lady, Melania Trump, has but 5 staffers, while Michelle Obama sported a queenly 24 staffers. Projected savings totals more than $22 million.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that if passed by the Senate as well, would limit tort claims against doctors to $250,000, and reduce the number of unnecessary tests doctors run on patients for liability reasons. The bill, which Trump supports, will reduce the deficit by $50 billion just with the savings with government run plans like Medicare, and the savings to taxpayers and private insurance companies is estimated at over $650 billion per year. Not surprisingly, doctor’s organizations and insurance companies oppose it.
The President has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Accord, which was fraudulently represented to reduce man-made “climate change,” but was in reality, a punitive measure for America, and a redistributive mechanism to third-world nations. Obama bypassed the Senate in committing us to the ruse, so all was required was a pen stroke by a non-ideological head of the Executive branch to extricate us from it.
He has withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which protected many Asian interests but could be characterized as inhospitable to U.S. commercial interests.
He may have signaled the end of the free ride many nations have been enjoying by being members of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Currently, U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for over 70% of NATO’s expenses and only 5 of the 24 nation states are current on their obligations. Reports indicate that Trump’s wakeup call in February is already bearing fruit.
Last month the President signed into law the VA Accountability Act which holds VA employees accountable and protects whistleblowers within the Veterans Administration. Just since signing, 548 VA employees have been terminated, another 200 suspended, and 33 demoted, according to VA reports. This clearly signals a change in commitment to protect and serve the nation’s veterans.
The nation is another step closer to true energy independence as the long-stalled Keystone and Dakota Pipelines have been approved. The move is positive not just for job creation, but the impact on our energy independence and cost of energy is inestimable.
The President has formed the American Technology Council, which is charged with upgrading government digital services for efficiency and cyber security. In a related action, he signed an EO holding federal agency heads accountable for the cyber security of their networks.
With little more than an ardent pro-growth policy agenda, companies are changing plans for foreign expansion in favor of domestic production and job growth. Companies including Apple, Ford, Foxconn, Egger, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes Benz, and MollerTech, are changing former plans, or creating new ones, for domestic expansion, representing billions of dollars in investment, and tens of thousands of new jobs. No substantive statute or official policies have changed to stimulate the newfound economic patriotism, but a change in attitude toward business and economic growth in the White House is broadly credited.
Since January, Trump has issued over 110 Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda addressing a host of issues, including lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for foreign governments; reviewing the Antiquities Act granting the federal government control over state lands; encouraging industry to buy and hire American; review our trade deficits and strengthen anti-dumping rules; roll back EPA control of farmlands and private property; reduce federal meddling in the nation’s education system; reduce regulation over the agricultural industry; strengthen the military providing new resources and equipment; improve security and background checks for foreign nationals seeking visas; stripping federal grant money to “sanctuary cities, to name but a few.
With all that has been going on behind the scenes, one can’t help but wonder if all the nonsense dominating the 24-hour news cycle is simply misdirection. By keeping the mainstream media transfixed on fake news like “Russian collusion,” and his controversial tweets, he can implement his pro-growth, economic and national security agendas without so much as a whimper from the press. It appears to be an effective strategy.
Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].