July 16, 2018
In my last post, I identified the two problems with “I love Trump because he says what he thinks.” The other common defense of his supporters is that he does what he promised.
As with the former, there are two problems with this defense. First, he hasn’t delivered on a good many of the promises he made. Here is a partial list of promises not fulfilled:
- Health care
- Bringing back manufacturing
- Solving our immigration problems
- Building a wall and making Mexico pay for it
- Expanding national right to carry concealed weapons
- Eliminating wasteful spending in government
- Bringing back waterboarding (or “a helluva a lot worse”)
What he has done is cast blame for these failures on Democrats and fake media. This, coming from a President who campaigned on being the best deal maker and the best negotiator–ever. Having his party controlling both chambers of Congress, he is nevertheless in need of scapegoats. It seems his deal making skills are insufficient, even with all this power at his fingertips. Of course, there are millions of us who hope he will never succeed with some of his promises, e.g., the wall, waterboarding, etc.
The second problem is even more negative in consequence. For the promises he has kept or in the process of trying to keep, many of those are highly detrimental to the US:
- The tax cut
- Tariffs on imports
- Suspending immigration from certain countries
- Increasing military spending
- Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem
- Pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal
- Temporary ban on new regulations
- Defunding Planned Parenthood
- Nominating Supreme Court Justices
The promise to cut taxes was received by economists as something not needed, because the economy was already strong on his arrival to the Oval Office. Furthermore, it was taken by the citizenry to portend big benefits for the working man. He refused to structure it such as to primarily benefit workers, financed by higher taxes on wealthy and corporations. Instead, what he delivered went 80% to the wealthy (his donors) and to corporations, with only a little trickle down to the middle class. He financed it by adding more than $1 Trillion to the national debt.
The trade war he has ignited by raising tariffs on imports is now threatening the global recovery, and is already costing US manufacturer and consumers in higher prices.
The increase in military spending for a country already spending more than the next seven nations combined is not something supported, except by conservative hawks. Why not, instead, spend more on education and infrastructure?
And on, and on. So, many of the promises kept are harmful in the opinion of many of us, and among the unfulfilled are many we hope will never be fulfilled.
It is hard for Liberals to find anything undertaken by this administration as positive. But even in the destruction of a wrecking ball, there seems to accidentally result a few positives. The attempt to reduce regulations is commendable, were it not for the choices of regulations, including severe damage to our environment, as an example. His attempt this week to use Executive order to demand job training of major corporate employers is positive–depending on how it is executed.
In school, a failing grade was anything below 70. Many of us feel the grade for this administration is between zero and maybe 20, stretching to be generous. The problem is that the whole philosophy or strategy (if there is one) seems to be selfish (“America First”), economically oriented toward the wealthy, and stoking fear of immigrants and foreigners to build military at the expense of much greater needs.
The great unanswered question of this period is how, why, do his supporters fail to see the Emperor has no clothes. His economic policies are seen by economists as detrimental to those who voted for him. Yet, their blind devotion to him seem unfailing. No doubt, this phenomenon will be the subject of a vast psychological, sociological, and political literature in the aftermath of this administration.
Let’s just hope the the first (“destructive”) phase of this Populist era ends soon, and is followed by a positive second phase–a reconstruction of a better America, one dedicated to shared prosperity for all, to peace, and generosity toward the rest of the world, which is almost all poorer and in greater need than are we.