Reflecting on Trump’s past year

Reflecting+on+Trump%27s+past+year

Lucas Romualdo, Staff Writer

January 23, 2017: it has been one year and two days since Donald Trump took office as the 45th President of the United States, and he has failed to achieve many of his campaign promises.

Over the course of his campaign, Trump detailed many ambitious plans: repealing Obamacare, building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, lowering taxes, and banning Muslims from entering the U.S. Of these plans, only his tax bill was signed into law, and it does not live up to his promise of cutting taxes.

Firstly, after just a week in office, Trump enacted an Executive Order which was deemed by many to be a “travel ban”. The order blocked travel from seven countries, primarily located in the Middle East, and were all Muslim-majority nations. In addition, the order enacted several visa restrictions for people entering the U.S. The Trump Administration called this order an “extreme vetting proposal”, with many White House officials, most notably then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who said that it was “not a travel ban”.

This Executive Order was met with fierce opposition on both sides of the aisle. “You have an extreme vetting proposal that didn’t get the vetting it should have,” said Republican Senator Rob Portman.

A California Federal Court promptly declared the Executive Order to be unconstitutional. Thankfully, a Hawaii Federal Court blocked the ban, a ruling that was, in part, upheld by the Supreme Court. Republicans and Democrats agree, and so do I: banning people categorically based on race is not the way to protect ourselves from the real threat of terrorism.

Two months later, the first draft of the Republican “repeal and replace” health care bill was introduced. The bill barely passed the House, despite a strong Republican majority.

After the House version was passed, a completely new Senate version was composed. This bill was voted down 57-43, with nine Republicans against the bill. The bill then failed an additional two times. Repealing Obamacare was the first major legislative task of the Trump Administration, and it was a massive failure. While the bill brought the many issues of Obamacare to light, it still failed to solve the issue of access to healthcare in the United States, and thankfully did not become law.

Even Trump’s tax bill, which was recently signed, does not live up to his promise of cutting taxes. According to a study by the New York Times, a large share of the U.S. population uses state and local deductions, which the new bill caps at $10,000. While the increased standard deduction will compensate for this tax increase, certain people will still end up facing a tax increase, due to already-high state taxes, and a comparatively small standard deduction increase. Trump frequently promised to cut taxes during his campaign. Judging by the content of the bill, that has not been achieved. Upon signing the bill, the President proclaimed that it was “the largest tax cut in the history of our country”. Yet, many Americans will see a tax increase, because of the cap on local deductions, and an insufficient increase of the standard deduction. It is a disgrace to the Republican Party, to Congress and to the Office of the President that a phony bill like this should be allowed to become law.

The first year of the Trump administration has been a disaster. Liberals find the ideology of the administration to be destructive, while conservatives are ashamed of the poor execution of ideology into policy. Tax reform, immigration reform, healthcare policy and national security are all laudable goals: to achieve them, the administration must work across party lines, allow debate on the floor of Congress and take the time to think about details. The current process of quick, ill-thought, simplistic bills is not a path to success.