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.
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:
- 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.