Making America Great Again — First Year Report
"A wave of optimism has swept over American business ... new plants, equipment and factory upgrades that bolster economic growth, spur job creation — and raise wages significantly." —New York Times
“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.” —Thomas Paine (1776)
In his 1980 presidential debate with Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan did what he would often do in the years that followed: He talked over the mainstream media cameras and spoke directly to the American people. On this particular occasion, he asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” They were not, of course, and they thus entrusted Reagan with two presidential terms to right our nation’s course.
And he did.
Today, only a leftist suffering from the deep denial associated with Trump Derangement Syndrome refuses to acknowledge how much better off our nation is today than it was just one year ago.
Notably, Donald Trump has also found a way to talk over the heads of the Leftmedia propaganda machine — his social media platform. Fortunately, Trump’s chief of staff, former Marine Gen. John Kelly, is helping his boss refine his use of that message medium, curbing his propensity for undermining his own achievements with petty social media disputes.
In the first week of 2017, I had concerns about what a Trump presidency would look like, but I knew for certain that our nation would be better off on his worst day in office than on Hillary Clinton’s best.
Two months earlier, like most other constitutionally conservative defenders of Liberty, I had encouraged fellow Patriots to vote for the Trump ticket — as I did personally, motivated primarily by four lines of reasoning.
First, Hillary Clinton (never an option) would have taken the domestic and foreign policy catastrophes implemented by her predecessor and their statist Democrat Party and driven those stakes further into the heart of Liberty.
Second, one of the deepest stakes would have been Clinton’s Supreme Court nominees, which would have further advanced her tyrannical “rule of men” agenda over our Republic’s Rule of Law mandate. It is that most fundamental republican principle which all federal politicians and administrators have sworn “to Support and Defend,” but which those on the Left violate constantly and contemptuously.
Third, though the ranks of genuine conservatives in the House and Senate have grown substantially, the so-called “establishment Republicans” were still in control. We were ready for a Trump detonation in the middle of that status quo “leadership,” to set a course for something other than more of the same.
And last but certainly not least, I have known and followed closely the career and policies advocated by Mike Pence for 20 years. Trump’s choice of Pence, versus Clinton’s pathetic choice of Sen. Tim Kaine for her ticket, spoke volumes about Trump’s leadership potential.
So are we better off than we were a year ago? President Reagan would, I think, be proud of the conservative agenda that Donald Trump has pushed through.
All the leftist denial notwithstanding, here is what the Trump administration’s domestic policies have helped create in just 12 months.
GDP topped 3% for the last two quarters of 2017. (In the 32 quarters of Obama’s “recovery,” only twice did he register a GDP of 3% or better.)
American businesses have created more than 1.7 million new jobs, including almost 160,000 manufacturing jobs and another 58,000 in mining and logging. And the number of illegal immigrants vying for American jobs, and at the same time lowering American wages, has declined significantly. (Illegal border crossings are now at a 45-year low.)
The headline unemployment rate of 4.1% is the lowest mark in 17 years, though I note this benchmark with caution as there are many Americans who had to take subsistence jobs or had given up on looking for work over the previous eight years. The real unemployment rate is closer to 8%, though that is down 2% in the last year. Unemployment declined for workers of all educational levels.
As the Trump-hating Washington Post declared in a headline: “Trump’s first year jobs numbers were very, very good.”
For the record, those bold black Americans who voted for Trump have been vindicated: The jobless rate for black workers dropped to the lowest level since 1972.
And “food stamp” rolls declined by more than two million in 2017.
Our economy, refueled in large part by enthusiasm for the future, is once again growing. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index is at a 17-year high, and the National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Index is at its highest annual average in its history. Manufacturing orders and production are the strongest since 2004. And notably, Ram Truck just announced their production is moving from Mexico, back to Michigan.
Even The New York Times has had to acknowledge, “A wave of optimism has swept over American business leaders, and it is beginning to translate into the sort of investment in new plants, equipment and factory upgrades that bolsters economic growth, spurs job creation — and may finally raise wages significantly.” (One can only imagine the gnashing of teeth that took place prior to publishing that single sentence.)
The prospects of continued growth are being supercharged by the Republican passage of tax reform, Donald Trump’s signature agenda achievement. The package includes $1.5 trillion in tax cuts — almost 60% to families, most of whom will now be able to file their IRS return on a single page. According to the most recent Treasury Department estimates, “90% of people who get a paycheck are likely to see more in take-home pay, as soon as February.”
Recall how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) described the tax bill: “If this goes through, kiss life on earth goodbye. … This tax bill is Armageddon. It is the end of the world.”
Of course, undermining the Democrats’ power to tax and spend is “Armageddon” for their grip on power, and has started an avalanche of outrage and spurious claims of impending doom. Reducing Democrats’ ability to seize and redistribute income undermines the greatest power they have. But despite all their hyperbolic exhalation about “ransacking the middle class” and only “benefiting the rich,” Republicans might remind them that at one time, the Democrats’ most revered leaders understood the benefits of lowering taxes.
Pelosi’s dire warnings notwithstanding, the positive effects of the Republican tax cuts are just beginning to emerge.
Just weeks after the Republican tax cut was codified into law, the list of companies announcing pay raises, benefit increases, bonuses, expanded operations and hiring, is rapidly growing. A new study finds that millions of workers will receive wage increases and more than 3 million will receive bonuses. And there will be many more to come.
Walmart, one of the nation’s largest employers, just added their brand to the list of those boosting wages and bonuses.
And recall how in the 2016 campaign, Trump insisted that tax reforms would lead to repatriation of offshore funds.
One of the world’s largest companies, Apple, announced it is is “bringing back home” almost all of its $250 billion in foreign cash holdings, and will pay $38 billion in taxes instead of $0. They also announced a $30 billion expansion in its U.S. operations over the next five years, including the creation fo more than 20,000 jobs – a 25% boost to its U.S. employees. Additionally, Apple employees will receive stock-based bonuses worth $2,500 each.
That notwithstanding, Pelosi and former DNC Chairman Deborah Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) have characterized the bonuses as chump change.
John F. Kennedy, arguing for tax cuts in 1963, proclaimed, “It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power … an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.” On the relationship between taxes, income and revenue, JFK noted, “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. … A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. … As the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues. … A rising tide lifts all boats.”
Even utility companies announced rate cuts for customers based on tax savings.
The Republican tax reform measures also repealed the so-called “Affordable Care Act” individual mandate, which has been an onerous burden on many individuals and families. At the same time, the Trump administration is proposing rule changes that will extend health care options for 11 million uninsured.
Economic growth will be boosted by record cuts in government regulations and new accountability measures. The Trump administration eliminated 22 regulations for each new one enacted, and Trump signed 15 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, more than any other president. Regulations are now at the lowest count since such recordkeeping began in the mid-1970s.
The rogue Environmental Protection Agency, which was weaponized by Democrats to control and micromanage economic development, is being reined in, including a 50% cut in staff scheduled over the next three years.
Trump has unleashed energy development to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources.
And the so-called “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” is now under Republican management.
On the coattails of the U.S. economic recovery, the global economy grew at a faster rate than it has since 2011. That’s American leadership. The Trump administration has worked to close hundreds of billions in deals to sell American products abroad. And in recent months, foreign companies have announced $50 billion in new U.S. projects.
Trump is also putting American workers first by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, working to modify NAFTA, and saying farewell to the utopian socialists’ so-called “climate change” treaty.
While economic strength certainly bolsters Liberty, Trump’s nomination of more than 70 conservative federal judges, including that of now-Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch for the seat vacated by the revered late Justice Antonin Scalia, has been a critical step to ensuring Liberty for the next generation. Republicans confirmed a record-setting 12 conservative federal circuit judges.
The Trump administration is also implementing measures to restore law and order, further dismantling organized crime, combating the opioid crisis, aiding local police and confronting human trafficking.
A strong economy also bolsters national security.
The year in foreign policy has been favorable, unless you’re an adversary of the United States. The most notable advances in U.S. national security interests would certainly include Trump’s confrontation of China’s nuclear puppet, North Korea and Kim Jong-un.
Just a few short years ago, we heard that “al-Qa'ida is on the run.” And when that proved untrue, we heard that “we’ve contained them.” Today, however, we can truthfully report that al-Qa'ida’s bloodier successor, the Islamic State, founded in effect by Obama and Clinton, is really on the run, having been largely eradicated from its rat holes in Iraq and Syria. However, so-called “lone wolf” Islamist sympathizers remain a daunting threat to Western Europe and the U.S.
Furthermore, there are emerging democracy movements around the world fueled by the knowledge that they will now have U.S. support. The most notable movement now underway is that challenging the terrorist-sponsoring Islamist theocracy of Iran.
Democrats have thus far failed to derail Trump’s “Make America Great Again” agenda, although they have inflicted serious damage. Unfortunately, they have received a fair amount of help from Trump, who has a propensity to undermine his administration’s achievements with distracting petty social media disputes.
That notwithstanding, it’s worth noting that, though the mainstream media has been overwhelmingly anti-Trump during his first year in office — versus Barack Obama’s overwhelmingly admiring media during his first year, and all that followed — their first-year approval ratings are virtually identical, with both at 46%.
This year, Republicans across the nation only need ask their constituents if they are better off than they were just one year ago, at the end of Obama’s eight long years of domestic and foreign policy failures.
They should also remind their Democrat opponents what Reagan correctly declared: “You can’t be for BIG government, BIG taxes and BIG bureaucracy, and still be for the little guy.”
Before the end of this month, I’ll be covering in detail the critical issues for maintaining control of the House and Senate this year, starting with the “Trump Effect — Good and Bad,” then covering the abject corruption among Obama’s deep-state operatives within the Department of Justice and the Demos’ Detestable DACA strategy.
But for now, let me just say that I’m grateful for the year just passed for many reasons — and that the future prospects for Liberty are in much better hands than they might have been.
I hope you and your family had a peaceful and joyous Christmas and that many blessings, large and small, come your way throughout this New Year. Know that your Patriot team is all about resolve, not resolutions, as we remain on the wall day in and day out.
In the spirit of Christmas joy, allow me to leave you with a great story that you may have missed last week.
On Christmas Day, an eight-year-old boy in Washington County, Utah, fell through pond ice while chasing his dog. He was submerged in the frigid water for 30 minutes before being rescued by Sgt. Aaron Thompson. That child has recovered and is now home. His father called the encounter “a Christmas Miracle.”
Indeed, it was!
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776