Donald Trump’s uncanny campaign has created skeptics out of many of us in regards to how he will run the United States come January. However, whether you like him or not, a presidential campaign is as much a publicity stunt as it is a legitimate means of narrowing down potential candidates. Trump obviously knows this, and utilized his arrogant, yet highly entertaining persona to win over the American populace (by a slight amount).
Whether you like his personality or not — just because he is narcissistic, arrogant, and even borderline racist at times doesn’t mean he will fail as a President. Rather, it’s Trump’s actual policies that will determine the future of the country – not his ridiculous hairdo.
In this article I am going to outline what his actual policies are, as well as give my personal insights into whether I think they are feasible or not.
Outlining Trump’s Policies
Like I said, it isn’t Trump’s personality that will determine his success in the oval office – it’s his policies. Most notable of any of Trump’s policies during his campaign were his Foreign policies, which range from building a wall to keep “Mexican drug dealers” out of the country, to bombing the hell out of the Middle East to take their oil (no, I’m not exaggerating). Now if you want to learn about these policies you should check out a previous article of mine that goes into more depth on this issue as I don’t include his foreign policy in this article.
Donald Trump has over 140 Policies that he plans to implement during his four year term, some of which are drawing a lot of controversy. Let’s take a look at what some of these are.
On November 6, 2012, Donald Trump tweeted: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” As ridiculous and arbitrary as this is to the average person, America’s next President actually said this. But as I mentioned before, the American Presidential candidacy is very much a publicity stunt, where candidates will say whatever they can to gain notice. With this being said, has Trump changed his views on climate change since his candidacy?
As stated on Donald Trump’s website, he plans to, “Make America energy independent, create millions of new jobs, and protect clean air and clean water. We will conserve our natural habitats, reserves and resources. We will unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to our country.”
Trump has previously stated that he would look to exploit the “$50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves” in the United States to stimulate the economy and create jobs, which is probably the ‘energy revolution’ that his policy talks about.
Although there is not much information about environmental policy on Trump’s website, there have already been indications that some of the pledges made on his campaign trail may not come to pass. Shortly after his election was announced, Trump’s controversial policy to ban all Muslims from entering the US was removed from his website.
Ségolène Royal, France’s environment minister, warned of “disastrous consequences” of Donald Trump’s plans to halt the United States’ cooperation with the global community in tackling climate change – Let’s hope he realizes this.
As many of us know, Trump plans to build a wall along the Mexican border, which Mexico will pay for. Yet another campaign publicity stunt, the proposed border wall doesn’t look like it will be passed easily by congress.
Not only did Mexico say that they would not pay for a border wall, but Congress has stated that they will “challenge Trump on his plans to build a border wall” as they should. Trump’s plan to halt illegal immigration into America is great, but the only feasible outcome to his proposed border wall is looking like a mere, extension, at best.
Other policies on Immigration state that Trump wants to…
- Deport all illegal immigrants
- Require companies to hire American workers first
- Temporarily halt Muslim immigration as long as the threat of ISIS persists
Although there are many more, these are the highlights, and as of now, they don’t seem to be challenged by congress. Trump’s classification of Muslims and Mexicans as “threats to homeland security” successfully injected fear into the hearts of many Americans, but to put a halt on Muslim immigration may be a step too far.
Jobs and Economy
A large crutch for Trump’s campaign was his promise to stimulate the American economy by bringing back jobs to American soil, but how does he plan to actually do this?
His first step to accomplishing this is to “Bring China to the bargaining table by declaring it a currency manipulator.” As I’ve stated in a previous article linked above, China did not intentionally de-peg its currency to take jobs away from America, but rather to stimulate its own economy.
China is not a “currency manipulator,” they simply made a currency change that let them increase exports – a decision that proved smart on their end, as financial equality within China is better now than it has been in a very long time.
More concerning however, are the tax propositions that Trump wants to place on imports and exports.
Trump wants to…
- Place a 45% tariff on Chinese exports to the United States
- Impose a 35% import tax on Mexican border
- Impose a 20% tax on all imported goods
- Mandate a 15% tax for outsourcing jobs
His intentions are clear: He wants to create more jobs for Americans. As great as this may seem on the surface, basic economics teaches us that a government tax creates a deadweight loss in the market for that good, a loss that society as a whole incurs. Thus, goods coming into America from China (there are A LOT of them) will cost a hell of a lot more.
Things like clothing, school supplies, and electronic parts will all skyrocket in price if a 45% tariff is implemented, which leads me to believe that congress will not pass such a controversial tax.
Aside from the concerning tariff propositions, Trump has stated that he wants America to withdraw from the TPP, which will also help maintain domestic job security, as well as protection of laws and regulations. (I have an article on the TPP here)
Among other policies, Trump wants to create many jobs in construction, as he plans to revitalize infrastructure across the country. Needless to say, his economic policies are targeted more at “making America great again” rather than catering to the needs of global markets – which can prove to be costly to Americans in the form of increased costs of goods.
His policies in terms of healthcare actually aren’t that bad. He wants to increase funding for PTSD, which is something that will be valued by Americans considering that the ongoing invasion of the Middle East won’t be slowing down anytime soon
More controversial however, is his policy to repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts. So what does this mean? Well, millions of Americans could lose their insurance coverage. In January, the GOP passed a bill (that Obama vetoed) that eliminated the subsidies that help many Obamacare recipients afford their health coverage as well as Medicaid expansion that gave coverage to more than 6 million low- and moderate-income Americans.
Trump plans to immediately add an additional federal investment of $20 billion towards school choice, as well as work with congress on reforms to ensure universities are making a good effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt.
Yes, this seems great, but Universities are after one thing and one thing only: Money. Trump can say that he will “work with congress” to decrease student debt, but this is simply sugarcoating the fact that they probably won’t make any significant changes to education costs – It’s like saying he’s going to work with oil companies to make oil more affordable because he truly cares about the average American commuter.
Aside from this, Trump will be dishing out extra funds for more kids to attend college, as well as providing school choice to every one of the eleven million school aged children living in poverty – which is a large claim.
If he truly cares about making America great again, he needs to begin by allowing everyone to attend post-secondary education, and from first glance, it seems that he is well on his way to accomplishing this. Whether or not he can obtain the funds necessary to send all these kids to University is still to be decided, but it is a nice thought for now.
Trump’s policies on crime may actually be some of his best; he will allow all states to legalize not only marijuana, but various other drugs in order to take profit away from drug cartels. This claim seems very surprising to me, considering the United States thrives off of their ‘war on drugs’.
However, if this is the case for Trump’s drug policy, America could be in for a major social shift, not to mention the burden this would cause the private prison industry.
Furthermore, one can’t be surprised at Trump’s next crime policy: he aims to empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves. Although this has caused a lot of controversy within America over the past year, the ability to own a firearm is something that is clearly still important to a majority of Americans – and it is something that Trump will vow to protect.
My only critique is that the Trump government should make it harder for people to obtain firearms in the first place. If an individual who is already on the FBI wanted list can walk into a gun store and purchase a fully-automatic assault rifle, there is a glaring flaw in your system.
Summarizing Trump’s Policies
Are they good? Are they bad? Personally, I think there is an array of feasible policies within the list, and others that simply don’t make sense.
Among his worst policies are his claims to drastically increase tariffs on imports and exports in an attempt to stimulate domestic job growth. Yes, Trump will accomplish what he set out to do in the first place if congress allows such aggressive tariffs, but commodity prices for Americans will skyrocket.
However, his plan to push for impoverished kids to have the opportunity to attend post-secondary schooling is great. The extra tax revenue generated by these import tariffs will be enough to subsidize the growing post-secondary population.
Overall, I think it’s important to realize that America isn’t being run by just one person, but rather, the ideology of one person. In my opinion, having Trump in Washington won’t be a catastrophic move, but it will provide a change in America. His more concerning policies either won’t be passed by congress, or they will be changed in one way or another to better fit the needs of America as a whole, as well as foreign relations. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing which policies become implemented and which ones, tossed aside. Either way, I think America will stay intact throughout Trump’s reign as President