As 2017 ended, there were a lot of articles assessing President Trump’s accomplishments, and even some of his most staunch critics grudgingly admitted that things were better off than they’d predicted. Instead of a never-ending stock crash and a worldwide depression, the Dow gained 5,000 points in one year for the first time ever, and the economy is booming. Unemployment is way down, including black and Hispanic unemployment rates; hiring and business expansion are up; and there are no internment camps for immigrants, only deportations of criminal illegal aliens, which is what laws passed years ago by bipartisan Congresses require. Overseas, ISIS is still a threat as a shadowy terrorist group, but its dreams of an expansive caliphate have been crushed as they were driven from the territory they grabbed over the past eight years, and the people there celebrated no longer being tortured, beaten, raped and murdered. And instead of kowtowing to dictators, as we have for years, standing up to them has emboldened reformers in Iran and Saudi Arabia and forced China to step up in trying to rein in North Korea.
While Congress failed to enact much of Trump’s agenda, they finished the year by passing a tax bill that critics said would never happen. Polls show it’s unpopular now, but that’s because Democrats, with the amplifier of a compliant media, have endlessly repeated their ridiculous lies about how it’s going to harm the poor and middle class and be a “giveaway to the rich” (because letting people keep some of their own money is a “gift” from the government.) Early on, even the Washington Post fact-checker admitted that the Democratic leadership’s hyperbolic attacks on the tax bill were false, but that was seldom mentioned again as the press continued repeating them unquestioningly.
This has liberals dreaming of a blue wave election in 2018, based on generic preference polls taken 10 months before the election and several months before voters will start seeing bigger paychecks and expanded hiring and GDP growth and start to realize how they’ve been hornswaggled (“Wait, you mean 1% growth isn’t ‘the new normal’ and we DON’T have to just get used to that?”) As for claims that the tax cuts will reverse after 10 years: at any time during that 10 years, Congress can retool the tax laws. In other words, if you like your tax cut, you can keep your tax cut. As long as you aren’t foolish enough to give Congress back to the Democrats; they aren’t well-known for keeping promises like that.
Congressional Republicans didn’t give Trump the Obamacare repeal and replace he asked for (and that they repeatedly promised voters), but the tax bill did repeal the onerous (and sorry, SCOTUS, but also unconstitutional) insurance purchase mandate. That’s being misrepresented as “nine million Americans losing health care,” which actually means about nine million Americans are expected voluntarily to stop buying overpriced, under-performing insurance policies they don’t want. How come the people who keep telling us that Americans love Obamacare now are so terrified it will collapse if the government stops forcing people to buy it?
Finally, one of Trump’s biggest accomplishments, which has gotten almost no coverage: either due to deliberate policy choices or just sending bureaucrats into fits of impotent pique, Trump has managed to cut (or drive out) hundreds of federal workers, and he apparently has no intention of replacing them. When you hear talk about the tax cuts increasing the deficit, remember that that’s based on the notion that government will inevitably keep growing bigger and spending more. The idea that it might shrink and spend less is a shocking new concept to those inside the Beltway, but the shrinking is already happening. Another shocking new concept that the businessman President is dropping on federal bureaucrats, as quoted in this linked WaPo story: accountability (“Many chafed as supervisors laid down new rules they said are aimed at holding poor performers and problem workers to account.” Oh, the horror!)
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