November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States of America. Throughout his campaign, Trump made many promises, such as making America great again, tax reform, and to repeal and replace of Obama Care. After a year in office, how well is that going?
Senior Dallas Hunewill thinks Trump could be performing better.
“I guess he (Trump) is doing as expected; there is still room for improvement,” said Hunewill.
According to the Washington Post, Trump made over 70 promises to the people of America, and only a few of them have been accomplished in a year's time. Maybe because of this it is not surprising he has the lowest ratings of any president ever according to fivethirtyeight.com, except for maybe Gerald Ford; but nobody has heard of that guy.
Senior Braden Thomas believes Trump is just what America needs.
"Unlike President Obama, I believe that in his first year, Trump has kept the promises that were given to us during the election. Donald Trump is a leader that this country has been in need of for many years. Throughout his first year in office, he has made many big decisions that are, in my opinion, beneficial to this country," said Thomas.
Senior Seth Hornbarger is a little more cynical about the sincerity of Trump’s promises.
“A few of them [promises], but I think most of the promises were just to get him elected,” said Hornbarger.
AMERICA AND ITS GREATNESS
It’s on hats, t-shirts, Twitter, TV ads, just about everywhere. “Make America Great Again”. Is Trump fulfilling his most common slogan? According to senior Braden Thomas, “I do believe that America was always great, however, it had fallen onto a path headed in the wrong direction. I believe Trump is bringing this country back onto the path America needs to be on.”
So far, wages have risen, and the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent The stock market is at an all time high, and Trump also created a task force to reduce crime. Food stamp use is at the lowest it has been in seven years. President Trump has also drafted a plan to defeat ISIS. According to Gary Shapiro from investors.com, “Americans are safer and more secure. Other than a nuclear North Korea…”.
Hurricane Maria and Irma cleanup is in process, about which Trump tweeted, “Much of the island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water, and medical are top priorities…”.
When Trump decided to pay a visit the Puerto Rico; he handed out paper towels.
So, has Trump made America great again? Some would argue it already was great; others would argue he has been successful; while others might say he hasn't done enough.
The economy had definitely improved over the last year. For many this is the single most important goal for a president. But It is fair to say that there is still some room for improvement in the US.
One of Trump’s most well known promises was to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.
"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall," said Trump.
Many people believe that Trump's great wall is a great idea and will help control illegal immigration. Trump really stressed this wall during the election and in the past year he hasn’t really made any progress.
“I believe Trump has touched on a few of the promises he made. One of the major points that got him elected his stance on immigration and the wall and i don't think he has made much progress toward that,” said senior David Roberts.
As in most things, Trump was impatient and really wanted to build the wall as soon as possible.
"I don't feel like waiting a year or year and a half. We're going to start building. Mexico in some form and there are many different forms, will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall. That will happen. Whether it's a tax or whether it's a payment," Trump said during a press conference in January.
After just a year of being in office, prototypes have been built. But it may consist of only surveillance technology, not a physical structure and Mexico has refused to pay for the wall.
However, illegal immigration has fallen by over 70 percent. Trump is considering raising taxes on Mexican imports to 20 percent to pay for the wall, and bids for the wall are underway However, a budget proposal released in March revealed money will, at least initially, come from US taxpayers and not Mexico.
Maybe this isn't a failed promise yet, but it definitely is a long way from completion.
Overturning the Affordable Care Act has failed to pass legislation multiple times.
Trump signed an Executive Order stating that he would be “saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare”, meaning that healthcare would no longer be funded. This could result in those under the insurance of Obamacare being forced to pay higher premiums. Plans would cost 50 percent more according to Maureen Groppe from USA Today. The number of people uninsured would rise to about 18 million initially, and around 32 million in 10 years. Those with medicare or medicaid will not be directly affected, but since it will not be funded, taxes will be increased to make up for the difference.
For now repeal and replace has been sidetracked, but it will likely reappear in the future.
Get ready for tax cuts for the wealthy.
Trump promised that he would have a new tax plan which is progressing. President Trump said a married couple who earns up to $24,000 will not pay a dime in taxes. Currently a family of four doesn't pay taxes on the first $28,800 of earnings.
On September 27, The Washington Post reported that Trump spoke in Indianapolis about Ronald Reagan's tax reform plan in the 1980’s. Trump said that as a result of Reagan’s tax reform middle class families thrived and income increased.
On August 22, 1991, Trump spoke about the exact same plan but said the complete opposite.
“It was a disaster it took all the incentives away from investors etc. etc. It was a disaster and you don't hear that but that was really in my opinion that was the primary problem with the savings and loans and that's why the country is losing millions and hundreds and millions of dollars,” said Trump as reported by the Washington Post.
Braden Thomas hopes the proposed cut become law.
“He [Trump] has done many things, but it seems that the biggest one recently is the tax cuts. I like the ideas that he has presented and I hope that in the future he is able to put them into action,” said Thomas.
Last week the House released it "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". The bill includes changes to tax brackets, lower corporate tax rates, and changes in deductions for mortgages and state and local taxes to name a few.
As this is just the beginning of the process, this can't really be called a completed promise; but it is definitely on its way.
GOLF AS A VACATION?
President Donald J. Trump also promised “he will not take a vacation while serving as president.” Trump has spent some part of 20% of his days in office at a golf club according to Sports Illustrated.
He also regularly criticized President Obama for “playing too much golf.” Since taking office he has watered down his promise saying, “We won't be big on vacations,” Trump told CBS. President Trump left the White House for a 17 day “work vacation” to his golf course in Bedminster, NJ.
In 2016, President Obama signed an Executive Order involving gun control. To obtain a gun, citizens were to pass a mandatory background check which included mental illness, domestic violence, and criminal record.
Trump stated that he “will veto. I will unsign that so fast”.
Trump proceeded to reverse the bill, as he has done with many Obama actions. Since then, the Las Vegas shooting has taken place, in which Trump justified his ban on Muslim countries. He posted little about it on Twitter, but stated that “we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”