Major news agencies are now commenting on Trump’s first 100 days. In traditional fashion, the news outlets just copy (generally inaccurately or incompletely) without ever linking to the source.
I prefer a link straight to the horse’s mouth. Let’s review Donald Trump’s Contract With the American Voter.
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 and accountability, and bringing change to Washington. 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.
★ SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).
★ THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.
★ FOURTH, a five-year ban on White House and Congressional oﬃcials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.
★ FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House oﬃcials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
★ SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
Corruption Agenda Analysis
The first item is just a proposal. The proposal is doable. Whether or not such a proposal would ever win is debatable and would take years at a minimum. the rest of the points are doable by decree or likely passable legislation.
Seven actions to protect American workers:
★ FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205.
★ SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
★ THIRD, I will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.
★ 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.
★ 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.
★ 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.
First, TPP is dead. That’s a good thing. However, I oppose TPP because it isn’t really about free trade. Trump opposes TPP on the grounds it is about free trade.
Second, I strongly disagree with labeling China a currency manipulator. Nothing good can possibly come from it. A global trade war may result. The same result was likely under Hillary.
Third, NAFTA was an agreement, not a treaty. Article 2205 is only 34 words and simply says that a party may withdraw from the agreement six months after it provides written notice.
I agree Trump can and will kill NAFTA. I disagree that he should. I am a huge free-trade advocate. But I also said Trump would win the Republican nomination because he wasn’t.
The fourth point is simply a milder form of the second. I disagree.
I agree with Trump on points five, six, and seven.
Some say Mexico would automatically become subject to normal trade relations status and be subject to a bevy of tariffs.
Others, including Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a proponent of NAFTA, say it’s not clear what would happen since the U.S. has not faced this situation before.
Regardless, it would almost certainly end up in court.
“U.S. importers would take the U.S. to court the next day,” Gary Horlick, a trade lawyer, said.
What’s also clear is the uncertainty would wreak havoc on American businesses, and the withdrawal would likely lead to higher prices for American consumers, as Trump himself acknowledged in a speech in New Hampshire last week. And experts don’t expect eliminating NAFTA bring back jobs.
CNN discusses three alternatives. 1. Trade war. 2. Trump secures an amazing deal. 3. Nothing much happens.
CNN does a good job analyzing the possibilities. Realistically, the best we can hope for is nothing much happens.
The jobs are gone, they are not coming back, and NAFTA had little to do with it. Manufacturing jobs have vanished everywhere. Blame the robots.
Five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:
★ FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.
★ 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 U.S. Constitution.
★ THIRD, cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities.
★ FOURTH, begin removing the more than two million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back.
★ 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.”
Points one, two, and five are all doable by decree, and I agree with all of them.
If point four really means “criminal” I certainly agree with that was well. I would rather send back foreign criminals than jail them as long as they pose no security threat to the US. Otherwise, sending back people en masse who have been here a long time and are gainfully employed is a serious mistake.
Point three would take an act of Congress. It will not happen.
Trump’s Congressional Proposals
- 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 two children will get a 35% tax cut.
- 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.
- American Energy and Infrastructure Act: Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over ten years. It is revenue neutral.
- 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 and brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and makes two- and four-year college more affordable.
- 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.
- Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act: Allows Americans to deduct childcare and eldercare from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-site childcare services and creates tax-free dependent care savings accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
- End Illegal Immigration Act: Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a two-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a five-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I am strongly in favor of one and five and strongly against seven. I need more details on the rest but most seem like do-nothing ideas or wishful thinking.
Fortunately, a wall is not going to happen.
All in all, Trump has some good ideas and some bad. Hillary would have been a disaster.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock