By: Michael Busler
ClashDaily Guest Contributor
When Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States, there were a number of very serious problems confronting the country. He was forced to find solutions while facing unfounded charges, as his opponents called for his impeachment even before he took any actions.
Considering national security, Trump faced a grave situation in the Middle East where ISIS had gained control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. Iran had just received more than $140 billion from the US government which was mostly used to fund terroristic activities. And there was an agreement in place that allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons within the next 10 to 15 years.
The North Koreans were shooting missiles that could carry nuclear warheads to surrounding areas and eventually to every US city. The North Korean leader spoke in a threatening tone.
The economy was stuck in a 2% growth mode which the prior administration referred to as the “new normal.” This lackluster growth was a long-term problem.
Trump noted that the economy hadn’t seen an annual growth rate of at least 3% since 2005 and hadn’t seen 4% since 2000. The poor growth meant that millions of underemployed college graduates were forced to take jobs which did not require a degree.
As a result, those without a degree had no opportunity available to them. Five to six million
became so discouraged that they dropped out of the labor market.
Trump also examined the trade deals. Virtually every one was slanted in favor of our trading partners and to the detriment of the US. Hundreds of billions of dollars were flowing out of the US annually.
The prior administration was so concerned with curing perceived social injustices, that they
passed thousands of counterproductive regulations. These regulations were meant to stop
business from taking advantage of consumers and to stop banks from making loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
The problem was recently passed Dodd/Frank bill did stop the predatory lending but it also
restricted all lending. Without banks making loans, Monetary Policy cannot stimulate economic growth. The other regulations on business also slowed economic growth.
Trump faced these problems with a mainstream media (MSM) that was biased when reporting the news. Numerous studies found that more than 90% of the reporting on Trump was negative.
Historically presidents are granted a honeymoon period, where the media does not criticize a newly elected president.
Trump had no honeymoon.
Although Trump’s Republican Party did have majorities in both houses of Congress, there were a number of Republicans who did not support Trump. These “never Trumpers” were able to block some of Trump’s initiatives, like the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Trump tried to work with Democrats whose sole objective was to resist. When Trump proposed a tax cut, similar to the growth-inducing tax cuts of Kennedy/Johnson in 1963 and Reagan in 1982, not one Democrat supported the bill.
Trump appointed an Attorney General who did not work with the president. In fact, Attorney General Sessions recused himself from overseeing a special prosecutor who was supposed to be investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election and if Trump obstructed justice.
It appears that Trump did not collude with the Russians nor did he obstruct justice. It also
appears that there may have been collusion from the Democrats, but the special prosecutor seems uninterested.
Now Trump is dealing with allegations of campaign finance problems. While he may have
misspoken about the timing, he paid for nondisclosure agreements from his own funds. The
MSM is calling for impeachment, but the law says that will not happen.
In spite of everything against the president, he has accomplished a remarkable set of objectives.
First, he neutralized ISIS, so they are no longer a major factor in the Middle East. He brought North Korea to the bargaining table to discuss denuclearization. North Korea has not fired a missile since.
Trump canceled the deal with Iran. Then he applied tough sanctions which are crippling Iran’s economy. This will force Iran to the bargaining table.
He reversed many of the growth-stifling regulations. Since then the economy has been growing at a 3% annual rate. He convinced Congress to cut taxes for all Americans and for corporations. He also got Congress to repeal parts of the growth-stifling Dodd/Frank bill.
Within 15 months of being sworn in, the economy started to grow at more than a 4% rate.
Trump took a tough stand on free trade to bring our reluctant trading partners to the table to
renegotiate the trade deals. Already the European Union, Mexico, South Korea, China, and Japan are in discussions or have made new deals. In spite of some short-term pain, in the long-term, foreign markets will finally be opened to US manufacturers.
The special prosecutor will not find any crime that Trump has committed. In the end, unless the prosecutor investigates collusion by all parties, nothing will come of this.
In spite of the MSM bias, the resistance from all Democrats and some Republicans and a special prosecutor determined to find Trump guilty of something, Trump’s success has been remarkable. He turned around the economy, made the world a much safer place, got (probably) two Supreme Court justices approved, put sanctions on the Russians, forced our trading partners to renegotiate bad trade deals and restored confidence in consumers and business.
Donald Trump is a remarkable man, in spite of some personality flaws.
Michael Busler, Ph.D. is a public policy analyst and a Professor of Finance at Stockton University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Finance and Economics.