Tag Archives: 2017

Trump’s major accomplishments for the year 2017

Trump signs good executive action = GOOD TRUMP
Trump signs good executive action = GOOD TRUMP

At the beginning of 2017, I was a card-carrying member of the Team Never Trump. I was very grumpy that my picks for president, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, were beat out in the primary by a pretend-conservative. I expected Trump to be a center-left Democrat who would do nothing to fix 8 years of failure from our first affirmative action President. We now know that Trump basically lied his way through the GOP primaries, pretending to be a redneck pro-union isolationist Democrat when he actually intended to govern as a mainstream conservative.

This article from the Washington Examiner lists 81 of his major accomplishments, not counting the repeals of 11 Obama-legacy policies. Let’s look at the ones that are quantifiable improvements over his predecessor.

Excerpt:

Jobs and the economy

  • Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate.
  • Increase of the GDP above 3 percent.
  • Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent.
  • Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs.
  • A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high.
  • A new executive order to boost apprenticeships.
  • A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs.

Killing job-stifling regulations

  • Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one creates. He beat that big and cut 16 rules and regulations for every one created, saving $8.1 billion.
  • Signed 15 congressional regulatory cuts.
  • Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations.
  • Signed an Executive Order cutting the time for infrastructure permit approvals.
  • Eliminated an Obama rule on streams that Trump felt unfairly targeted the coal industry.

Boosting U.S. energy dominance

  • The Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.
  • Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.
  • Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.
  • Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions.

This Washington Examiner list failed to mention opening up a tiny area of the HUGE ANWR district to oil drilling. Not only will this create more jobs, but it also lowers the price of energy for individual families and for job creators. Also, it helps us to not be dependent on foreign sources of energy.

I think this is important as well:

Protecting communities

  • Justice announced grants of $98 million to fund 802 new cops.
  • Justice worked with Central American nations to arrest and charge 4,000 MS-13 members.
  • Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase.
  • Signed three executive orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions created new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.

Promoting peace through strength

  • Directed the rebuilding of the military and ordered a new national strategy and nuclear posture review.
  • Worked to increase defense spending.
  • Empowered military leaders to “seize the initiative and win,” reducing the need for a White House sign off on every mission.
  • Elevated U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command.
  • Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security.
  • Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory.
  • Pushed for strong action against global outlaw North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons.
  • Announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens support for U.S. forces at war with terrorism.
  • NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan.
  • Approved a new Iran strategy plan focused on neutralizing the country’s influence in the region.

The article didn’t mention the latest news of Trump’s decision to defend U.S. industry from an EMP attack – which is the threat we are least defended against.

This is a big difference from Obama, who liked to attack law enforcement at every turn, preferring to side with criminals and radical Islamic terrorists at every turn. He did it over and over and over. The criminals and terrorists were always right and entitled to special privileges. After all, Islamic terrorism was just “workplace violence”. The police had always “acted stupidly”. Obama had armed security on him at every moment, so who cares if some illegal immigrant shot you? If you were the victim of crime, then it was your fault. You deserved it. Remember the Crusades before you get on your high horse about judging. All that while his administration was running guns to Mexican drug cartels and giving $400 million in unmarked bills to Iran to aid their nuclear weapons development.

That’s the public safety you got with your taxpayer dollars with the Obama administration.

But one of the areas where Trump really shined had to be in the nomination of judges who were committed to interpreting the law as written, instead of interpreting the law based on their need to feel good and look good to others.

The Washington Examiner posted another article on the 9 most significant achievements, and here’s number one:

President Trump shattered an all-time record earlier this month when the Senate confirmed his 12th federal appeals court nominee, marking the only time in history a U.S. president has made more than 11 appellate appointments during his first year in office.

With those appellate appointments, a new Supreme Court justice, and his investiture of several other low-court judges, Trump has rapidly and radically changed the federal judiciary this year. The president’s close relationship with conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society has ensured that nearly all of his judicial nominees fit the mold of Justice Neil Gorsuch, a strict originalist who succeeded the iconic conservative Justice Antonin Scalia after being confirmed by the Senate last April.

“There’s been a serious effort to identify people who are seriously committed to doctrines and modes of analysis rather than just being seen as conservatives or Republicans,” Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute wrote recently.

Many conservatives see the president’s judicial appointments as his biggest accomplishment yet, noting that Trump’s progress in this area will likely be the most enduring element of his post-presidential legacy. With 59 nominations (including U.S. Attorneys) and 19 confirmations in the Senate so far, even legal conservatives who begrudgingly voted for Trump are likely to be pleased.

As a Never Trump person, this has been the biggest surprise of all. He picked judges better than George W. Bush! Who could have predicted this, based on his record prior to running for President? But he certainly has some conservative accomplishments now, to rival those of the better 2016 candidates like Walker and Cruz.

I’m a Never Trump person. Trump treated my favorite candidates shamefully in the 2016 primaries – especially Ted Cruz. However, I cannot deny that he governed more conservatively than expected. It will be interesting to see if he is able to make any progress on building the southern border wall, and on repealing Obamacare. He hasn’t been able to do anything on either of those yet. He needs to do a better job of being persuasive to centrists, instead of being snarky and insulting.

New study: health insurance premiums will rise 55% to 85% under Obamacare

From National Underwriter. (H/T Don Surber)

Excerpt:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could cut the number of uninsured Ohio residents by 790,000 in 2017, but it also could increase premiums for the 735,000 residents who have individual coverage by more than 55%.

Consultants at Milliman Inc., Seattle, have included those projections in a forecast report prepared for the Ohio Department of Insurance.

The Ohio department commissioned the report to help regulators know what to expect in 2014, when major PPACA provisions are set to kick in, and a few years further along, in 2017.

PPACA opponents are still fighting in the courts and in Congress to block implementation of PPACA.

If the act takes effect as written and works as drafters expect, PPACA is supposed to require major medical insurers to sell policies that meet minimum benefits requirements on a guaranteed issue, mostly community-rated basis starting in 2014. Individuals and employees at small employers are supposed to be able to buy coverage using tax credits through a new system of health insurance exchanges.

Today, about 10 million non-elderly Ohio residents have some kind of government or commercial health coverage or go uninsured. About 15%, or 1.5 million, were uninsured in 2010, and that percentage could drop to 7.1%, or 712,000, in 2017, the Milliman consultants estimate.

The Milliman consultants suggest that the total number of people covered by insured and self-funded group plans could fall to 5.4 million in 2017, from 6.1 million in 2010.

The number with some kind of individual commercial coverage could increase 735,000, from 350,000.

The percentage with some kind of government coverage, or coverage provided by a private insurer but paid for in whole or in part by the government, could increase to 31%, from 20% in 2010.

Although the percentage of residents with coverage could rise by about 7.9%, the price of individual health insurance coverage might rise about 55% to 85%, excluding the impact of medical inflation, the Milliman consultants predict.

How can this be… it’s named the blah-blah-blah… AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. I swear – if that nutcase in the White House passed a bill banning Christianity, he would call it the Christian Freedom of Religion Act.

Repeal and replace Obamacare.

Evaluating Democrat policies on the budget, health care and cap and trade

A Harvard economist says that tax hikes will kill the recovery: (H/T John Boehner, Mike Pence)

Harvard economist Martin Feldstein writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Even if the proposed tax increases are not scheduled to take effect until 2011, households will recognize the permanent reduction in their future incomes and will reduce current spending accordingly.  Higher future tax rates on capital gains and dividends will depress share prices immediately and the resulting fall in wealth will cut consumer spending further.  Lower share prices will also raise the cost of equity capital, depressing business investment in plant and equipment.

Tax hikes for the poor:

Mr. Obama’s biggest proposed tax increase is the cap-and-trade system of requiring businesses to buy carbon dioxide emission permits. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the proposed permit auctions would raise about $80 billion a year and that these extra taxes would be passed along in higher prices to consumers. Anyone who drives a car, uses public transportation, consumes electricity or buys any product that involves creating CO2 in its production would face higher prices…

But while the cap-and-trade tax rises with income, the relative burden is greatest for low-income households. According to the CBO, households in the lowest-income quintile spend more than 20% of their income on energy intensive items (primarily fuels and electricity), while those in the highest-income quintile spend less than 5% on those products.

Bye-bye, American manufacturing sector. Or maybe Obama will nationalize the entire industry, who can say? He’s already practically doing it now.

Remember the no tax increases pledge that Obama made? Kevin Boland writes:

If you drive a car or flip on a light switch – Democrats have a new national energy tax for you.  If you’re a small business owner or if you’re employed by one – Democrats have a new tax for you.  If you’re a charity – Democrats have a new tax for your donors.  If you’re looking to produce more American energy – Democrats have a new tax for you.  If you own stock – Democrats have a new tax for you.  And when you’re finally able to relax – after paying all your taxes to Uncle Sam – and you want to kick back, relax, and have a cold beer, you guessed it, Democrats may have a new tax for you too.

USA Today asks where the promised fiscal restraint of Mr. ACORN lawyer has gone off to. (H/T Mike Pence)

When it comes to federal spending, there’s a pattern emerging with President Obama, and it’s not a flattering one. The president says all the right things about the importance of getting the deficit under control, but his actions don’t come close to matching his rhetoric.

An early sign of the disconnect was his heavily publicized demand last month that his Cabinet secretaries shave $100 million from their administrative budgets. Obama said the cuts would “send a signal that we are serious about how government operates” and would help close the “confidence gap” with skeptical Americans. Those cuts amounted to a less-than-confidence-inspiring 0.003% of the 2009 budget, or about 3 cents out of every $1,000.

Then, when he unveiled his 2010 budget last week, Obama made a big deal of his demand for $17 billion in cuts, insisting that the cuts “even by Washington standards … are significant” and that $17 billion is “real money.”

The president got it backward. Out in the rest of the world, $17 billion is a ton of money. But in Washington, where the president is proposing to spend $3.6 trillion next year, $17 billion looks puny – a little less than half a percent of the budget, or the equivalent of cutting a $100 grocery bill by handing back a 50-cent pack of gum.

Anybody who read David Freddoso’s book or looked up Obama’s voting record could have known that his rhetoric was just lies for the gullible.

Over to the health care issue, where John Shadegg explains how capitalism is the right way to reduce health care costs.

President Obama’s pledge to work with health care providers and insurers to scale back costs misses the entire point: health care costs are so high because we are not giving patients choice and forcing insurers to compete.  We need robust market reforms – not symbolic gestures.  The way to lower prices is to put control in the hands of patients.  We need to empower Americans by giving them the freedom to either keep their employer plan or purchase the plan of their choice through a tax credit.  Choice and competition will drive prices down and quality up.

Shadegg goes on to explain why the Obama plan does none of this. And why should it? We already know that the Democrats want private health care to fail, so they can usher in single-payer health care. (Just they want private industry to fail so they can nationalize more of the free market)

Putting 120 million Americans on government coverage will create a monopoly that sends costs skyrocketing. Choice will be lost because the enormous government-run plan will put the private plans out of business.  In other words, if you like what you have, you will lose it.  And while health insurance will be provided, health care will not – like every nationalized health plan across the world, as costs escalate, care will be slashed, patients waitlisted, drugs denied.

Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann notes the looming entitlement crisis is now closer than ever, with the Medicare insolvency date moving earlier.

Yesterday, the Medicare and Social Security Trustees issued a new report that laid out unequivocally that our current Medicare and Social Security programs are on a path for financial implosion and are in need of serious reform.

In fact, the Medicare insolvency date has moved up to 2017.  And, that doesn’t include the impact of the so-called “stimulus” bill, which could accelerate insolvency by about 6 months.

And, we’re facing a strain on Social Security like never before, with nearly 80 million retiring Baby Boomers tapping into the funds soon we’ll be spending more to pay benefits than what the system receives in payroll taxes. Yet, we continue to carry on with the status quo, every now and then saying that we need to reform it, but not actually doing anything about it.

Michele is trying to do something about it, but the House is filled with Democrats who never ran a business in their entire lives.

I’ve introduced the Truth In Accounting Act to make government finances truly transparent and open.  Not only would financial commitments be crystal clear to Congress, but also to the taxpayers.

Currently, when Congress and the President prepare budget proposals and pass spending bills, they have the luxury of ignoring shortfalls year after year.  They prepare, present, and approve budgets which project these estimates over the short-term – usually five or ten years.  And, there are a lot of things that can be done on paper to paper over the long-term shortfalls.

My Truth in Accounting Act would require the President to consider these long-term shortfalls when he proposes his budget.  And, it would require both the GAO (Government Accountability Office) and the U.S. Treasury to report this information to the Congress so that the numbers can be used when we’re finalizing the annual budget.

Furthermore, my legislation would require that the report be translated into easily comprehensible terms so that nothing could be hidden by complex jargon.  The government’s fiscal imbalance would be presented in the whole, and as distributed per person, per worker, and per household.

I hope she is somehow able to pass this bill.