Celebrating 100 Days

President Trump passed his first milestone Saturday, the 100th day of his Presidency. This day was like so many others, nothing special (except maybe if it was your birthday). Yet the 100 day marker has provided the news media with plenty to write about, some assessing this interim marker as a great success and others a day saluting dismal performance. Here’s my take.

  • Public Opinion – The public seems frozen in their views from November 8, 2016. If a person voted for Trump, they are today either feeling the same favorable vibes or they are even more convinced they made the right choice. And, not surprisingly, if someone voted against Trump, they are even more sure their ABT (anyone but Trump) vote was the wise one. Hmmm.
  • No Surprise – The sharply different perspectives on President Trump’s first 100 days should not be a surprise. There has been insufficient time for anything good or bad to manifest itself as a consequence of the Trump Administration activities. Also there should be no surprise that supporter expect wonderful things to occur given the executive orders.
  • Affordable Care Act – No impact, yet. The President, aided and abetted by the Congressional GOP majority, surprised the public with the combined inability to pass the American Health Care Act, (the supposed “repeal and replace” legislation). For a party which had passed repeal legislation more than 50 times, the inability to propose a plan agreeable to the Republican majority is breath taking. The American Health Care Act offers Americans less coverage at higher prices while cover less Americans. Hard to expect the public to cheer about this when (and if) it finally passes. The wealthy who already have healthcare insurance will amazingly receive a hefty tax reduction to boot.
  • Corporate Tax Reform – With a one page, 200 word outline, Americans received an inkling about Corporate tax reform. The intent is to reduce rates from 35% to 15%. Most pundits have expressed comfort with 20%, so the 15% is not too wild and crazy. As with individual tax reform, there are no details so who can game the system is unknown.  However, the expected legislative fight will be between the deficit hawks and those seeking large tax cuts for their friends and benefactors.
  • Individual Tax Reform – While one cannot be sure of details, the individual income tax reform outline reveals the cruel and unfair face of the Administration. Hailing the reform as the largest tax cuts in history, the only certain winners are the wealthiest Americans, hardly the silent majority that put Trump in office. The reform outline is so unbalanced and most likely so un-funded, that passing this legislation is unlikely.
  • Infrastructure Investment – No action is visible on this sure jobs and business stimulant has been seen. Once again there will be the deficit hawks on one side and the supply siders on the other. Where the President will be is as usual unknown.
  • Jobs – President Trump has rattled his “jobs creating” sword at US corporations, friendly foreign countries and his campaign whipping boys like NAFTA and China, and Japan, South Korea, and Germany etc. The President hasn’t uncovered any way to instantly increase US jobs and most of his “shoot from the hip” statements would ultimately be job killers.
  • Cabinet Appointments – Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, and the EPA have Secretaries who are dead set against the past directions of these departments. Trump supporters see “course correction” at play while others see a risky and potentially dangerous change in domestic policy at hand.
  • Foreign Affairs – There has been favorable reaction by President Trump’s supporters over the decisive way the President handled the Syrian use of poison gas. There were also smiles of approval over President Trump’s rhetoric towards North Korea. Since there is no sign of a coherent foreign policy while there have been numerous inconsistent statements (for example, opening a trade surplus harangue with South Korea while speaking threateningly towards North Korea speaks to ADHD or possessing too many advisors and not know which one to listen to.

The 100 day marker is just arbitrary and will fade away before year’s end. If one sees President Trump as a bluffer and poorly equipped for the Presidency, the first 100 days have offered plenty to reinforce your views.

If one is a supporter, President Trump has accomplished little that could dissuade one and it will take some time before the first 100 day chickens come home.

Hmmm.

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