Last spring, a friend of mine, was convinced our world was going to end. God spoke to him. He believed. In fact, God shared with him the specific day, and the count down to the end began. Unfortunately, the countdown led to my friend’s imminent self-destruction. Fortunately, for the rest of humankind, his prediction did not lead to the EOTW. My friend freely espoused his convictions to his friends, his family and especially on social media. First Amendment Right; right? He was not fact checked, censored, banned from, or otherwise prohibited from making his voice heard. The world did not end, and one might argue that kind of rhetoric could create some serious chaos. It certainly did in my friend’s his life.
Fast forward to January 2021 and I know a number of folks who, similarly to my friend’s convictions, have the absolute heartfelt belief that some sort of divine intervention, hail Mary, “war’s over man, Wormer dropped the big one”, or other legal jujitsu is going to play out, and Donald Trump will be sworn in for a second term as President of the United States of America.
Ain’t gonna happen. But I did vote for Donald Trump; the flawed, narcissistic, bombastic, fact bending, passion inciting, mistake making, nerve touching, New Yorker.
Late last summer I saw a list of a bunch of “Trump’s” accomplishments floating around on the internet. The funny thing was, if I removed (the passion inducing blindness of) Trump’s name, and replaced it with some iconic Democrat (a friend suggested John Lewis), and the same list to folks without the Trump fuse, they might well support and cheer many of the accomplishments. And if that person had been on the ticket, those folks would likely have been enthusiastic toward “their” candidate.
When I read the list, it clearly supported an agenda. As one would expect, it tied Trump to a lot of successes. In some cases his accomplishments were merely “cheered” by him, in others “not interfered” by him, and in some, absolutely driven by him. The point is, politics is messy; and in politics, credit is rarely absolute. Similar arguments could be made for blame; a subject for someone else’s blog in some other place at some other time.
My overall observation of the list was one of awe. Not necessarily in the importance of any one accomplishment or claim, but in the magnitude and breadth of the list. Also striking was the cooperation and bipartisanship underpinning many of the accomplishments.
In digging up the list for this piece, I found a NYT editorial by a Ms. Farah Stockman published on 9/11/20 (never forget), which, as one would expect of an editorial in the NYT, it is seemingly is intended to discredit and debunk the list’s claims of accomplishment. While many of her responses hold true to the editorial tilt of the NYT, in many cases she offers balance which I believe a reasonable person reading the list for the first time would and should find themselves. My point/warning is that her counter “facts” in some cases are reminiscent of the “follow the science” mantra of our current lexicon, which works fine if it is “the science” supporting one’s personal beliefs.
If you have read this far, God bless you? You really must be bored? Just show me the damned list?
Here goes, with Ms. Stockman’s counterpoints/sources included. I have not included any of my personal counters to her counters. You’re welcome.
1. Trump recently signed 3 bills to benefit Native people. One gives compensation to the Spokane tribe for loss of their lands in the mid-1900s, one funds Native language programs, and the third gives federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Montana.
True, but tribal leaders credit bipartisan efforts in Congress for those bills. In 2019, Mr. Trump signed the Spokane Reservation Equitable Compensation Act for the loss of land that was flooded by the Grand Coulee Dam. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the reservation and pledged to support the bill. But Carol Evans, chairwoman of the Spokane Tribal Business Council, said most of the credit for the law goes to two members of Congress from Washington, Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican. Mr. Trump also signed the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act, which revises an existing grant program. That bill was introduced by Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico. Lastly, Mr. Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, which included a provision that gave long-overdue federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe. Tribal Chairman Gerald Gray credits the bipartisan efforts of Senators Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Steve Daines, a Republican, both of Montana, for tucking the tribal recognition provision into the military spending bill.
2. Trump finalized the creation of Space Force as our 6th Military branch.
True.But senior military leaders publicly opposed its creation, including Mr. Trump’s secretary of defense, James Mattis, because they argued it would create further complicated bureaucracy and counteract the Air Force’s work to defend the country’s space assets.
3. Trump signed a law to make cruelty to animals a federal felony so that animal abusers face tougher consequences. 👀👀
True.A bipartisan group in Congress also deserves credit for the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.
4.) Violent crime has fallen every year he’s been in office after rising during the 2 years before he was elected.
The violent crime rate has dropped steadily since 1999, from 523 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1999 to 432 in 2009 to 369 in 2018. The rate rose slightly in 2015 and 2016, but the general trend has been a long downward slide that predated his election.
5. Trump signed a bill making CBD and Hemp legal. 👀👀
True.Congress also deserves credit for the inclusion of this measure in the 2018 Farm Bill, which Mr. Trump signed.
6. Trump’s EPA gave $100 million to fix the water infrastructure problem in Flint, Michigan.
Both President Barack Obama and Mr. Trump deserve credit for this allocation, which was set in motion before Mr. Obama left office.
7. Under Trump’s leadership, in 2018 the U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil.True. Domestic oil production has been expanding since 2010, predating the Trump administration.
8. Trump signed a law ending the gag orders on Pharmacists that prevented them from sharing money-saving information.
True. Mr. Trump tweeted in support of this law and deserves credit for using the bully pulpit of the presidency to demand transparency in drug prices. But Congress deserves most of the credit for the unanimous 2018 passage of this transparency law, which prohibits gag orders that prevent pharmacists from sharing prescription drug prices with customers.
9. Trump signed the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA), which includes the “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act” (SESTA) which both give law enforcement and victims new tools to fight sex trafficking. 👀👀
True.The bill was crafted and pushed through Congress by Representative Ann Wagner, a conservative Republican from Missouri, who thanked Ivanka Trump for advocating its passage.
10. Trump signed a bill to require airports to provide spaces for breastfeeding Moms.
True.Congress also deserves credit for the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act of 2017, which was championed by Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, and former Representative Stephen Knight, Republican of California.
11. The 25% lowest-paid Americans enjoyed a 4.5% income boost in November 2019, which outpaces a 2.9% gain in earnings for the country’s highest-paid workers.
Probably true. Before the pandemic struck, low-wage workers saw wage increases.
12. Low-wage workers are benefiting from higher minimum wages and from corporations that are increasing entry-level pay.
It is grossly misleading to claim this as a Trump accomplishment. Higher state and local minimum wages are results of state and local laws increasing the minimum wage, not federal law. Mr. Trump has flip-flopped on raising the federal minimum wage.
13. Trump signed the biggest wilderness protection & conservation bill in a decade and designated 375,000 acres as protected land.
This is misleading.While Mr. Trump did sign the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act of 2019, he has stripped protections from far more land than he has preserved. Most notably, he removed some two million acres in Utah that had been part of the Bears Ears National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. According to a study published in May 2019 in Science, Mr. Trump is responsible for the largest reduction in the boundaries of protected land in U.S. history.
14. Trump signed the Save our Seas Act which funds $10 million per year to clean tons of plastic & garbage from the ocean. 👀👀
True.The credit for the passage of this legislation goes to a bipartisan group in Congress, namely Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey.
15. He signed a bill this year allowing some drug imports from Canada so that prescription prices would go down.
President Trump has signed a series of executive orders aimed at making it easier for states to import cheaper drugs from Canada. But it is far from clear whether these executive orders will succeed in that aim. This proposal bears no resemblance to Mr. Trump’s 2016 promise to use the buying power of the federal government to negotiate lower prices for drugs for Medicare patients, which would save hundreds of billions of dollars over a decade. Mr. Trump has not kept that promise. If he were serious about doing so, he would push Republicans in the Senate to pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which Democrats passed last year. There’s no evidence that he has done so.
16. Trump signed an executive order this year that forces all health care providers to disclose the cost of their services so that Americans can comparison shop and know how much fewer providers charge insurance companies.
True. Hospitals are now required to publicize their prices, which was also required by a little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act, signed by Mr. Obama. But enforcement has been spotty, and there has been little effort to hold hospitals to uniform standards, so it is still difficult if not impossible for consumers to compare costs, according to the journalism project Clear Health Costs.
17. When signing that bill he said no American should be blindsided by bills for medical services they never agreed to in advance.
Mr. Trump did say this. Unfortunately, people are still getting blindsided by medical bills.
18. Hospitals will now be required to post their standard charges for services, which include the discounted price a hospital is willing to accept.
See No. 16.
19. In the eight years prior to President Trump’s inauguration, prescription drug prices increased by an average of 3.6% per year. Under Trump, drug prices have seen year-over-year declines in nine of the last ten months, with a 1.1% drop as of the most recent month.
The data is mixed on whether drug prices are going up or down.
20. He created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans. 👀👀
True.Mr. Trump fulfilled this campaign promise by creating a West Virginia-based call center. It has limited powers to solve the problems of the veterans who call in from around the country.
21. VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
Many Department of Veterans Affairs employees have been demoted, removed or suspended during the Trump era, although there have been allegations that some of them were being punished for their political affiliations, not poor performance.
22. Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
23. Because of a bill signed and championed by Trump, In 2020, most federal employees will see their pay increase by an average of 3.1% — the largest raise in more than 10 years.
This is grossly misleading, at best.Far from being a champion of pay raises for federal workers, Mr. Trump proposed pay freezes for federal employees three years in a row; he was overridden by Congress. For 2020, Mr. Trump initially proposed a pay freeze, but then changed his proposal to a 2.6 percent increase. Congress raised that further, to 3.1 percent. Mr. Trump signed that pay raise into law when he put his signature on an omnibus budget bill, according to Jacqueline Simon, policy director of the American Federation of Government Employees.
24. Trump signed into law up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for millions of federal workers.
True.Tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act was a provision that gave all federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the first time in history.
25. Trump administration will provide H.I.V. prevention drugs for free to 200,000 uninsured patients per year for 11 years. 👀👀
True.The drugs are being donated by Gilead, a drug-development company. But the cost of patient visits and testing are not covered, and the Trump administration opposes expanding Medicare in the Southern states where H.I.V. infection rates are rising.
26. All-time record sales during the 2019 holidays.
Unclear what data this item is referring to.
27. Trump signed an order allowing small businesses to group together when buying insurance to get a better price👀👀
True,but a federal judge struck down the plan.
28. President Trump signed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that provides funding for states to develop maternal mortality reviews to better understand maternal complications and identify solutions & largely focuses on reducing the higher mortality rates for Black Americans.
True. Congress passed this act with broad bipartisan support, including 190 co-sponsors in the House.
29. In 2018, President Trump signed the groundbreaking First Step Act, a criminal justice bill that enacted reforms that make our justice system fairer and help former inmates successfully return to society.
True. The Trump administration championed these reforms. Credit also goes to criminal justice reform advocates from across the political spectrum who pushed these changes for years.
30. The First Step Act’s reforms addressed inequities in sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed Black Americans and reformed mandatory minimums that created unfair outcomes. 👀👀
31. The First Step Act expanded judicial discretion in the sentencing of nonviolent crimes.
32. Over 90% of those benefiting from the retroactive sentencing reductions in the First Step Act are Black Americans.
33. The First Step Act provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, helping them successfully rejoin society and not return to crime.
It is true that the First Step Act calls for the Bureau of Prisons to significantly expand these opportunities, but because of a lack of funding, around 25 percent of people who spend more than a year in federal prison have not completed any program, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which backed the bill.
34. Trump increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by more than 14%. 👀👀
Krystal L. Williams, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama College of Education who has studied federal funding of H.B.C.U.s, points to publicly available data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System on this matter. The data suggest an increase of about 6 percent in federal appropriations, grants and contracts from the 2016-2017 academic year to 2017-2018, the most recent year for which such data is available.
35. Trump signed legislation forgiving Hurricane Katrina debt that threatened HBCUs.
Debatable: The sharpest arguments on the most pressing issues of the week.
36. New single-family home sales are up 31.6% in October 2019 compared to just one year ago.
This appears to have been trueat the time.
37. Made HBCUs a priority by creating the position of executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
True.This previously existing position was moved from the Department of Education to the White House. Experts disagree about its impact.
38. Trump received the Bipartisan Justice Award at a historically black college for his criminal justice reform accomplishments.
True. Students protested.
39. The poverty rate fell to a 17-year low of 11.8% under the Trump administration as a result of a jobs-rich environment. 👀👀
This appears to have been true, according to census data, although economists disagree on the reason for the drop.
40. Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels since the U.S. began collecting such data.
This was true before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
41. President Trump signed a bill that creates five national monuments, expands several national parks, adds 1.3 million acres of wilderness, and permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water, Conservation Fund.
See No. 13.
42. Trump’s U.S.D.A. committed $124 Million to rebuild rural water infrastructure. 👀👀
This is true, though in 2016 Mr. Trump pledged to spend more than $800 billion on infrastructure.
43. Consumer confidence & small business confidence is at an all-time high.
False. The all-time high for the Consumer Confidence Index is 144.7, which was reached in January and May of 2000, according to Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators and surveys at the Conference Board, which puts out the index.
44. More than 7 million jobs created since the election.
In January of 2020, there were about 152 million nonfarm jobs in the country — about seven million more than existed in January of 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the number of jobs has been growing since 2010. In fact, the country gained more jobs — about eight million — between 2014 and 2017, the last years of the Obama administration. And since the pandemic began, between 10 million and 20 million jobs have been lost.
45. More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
Given that there are more Americans alive now than ever in history, this would not be surprising. Regardless, it’s no longer true, because of the pandemic.
46. More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs created since his election.
It was true, but since the pandemic, the Trump administration has seen a net loss of about 200,000 manufacturing jobs, wiping out the past six years of growth, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing. More than 900,000 manufacturing jobs were added between 2010 and 2016 during the Obama administration.
47. Trump appointed 5 openly gay ambassadors. 👀👀
48. Trump ordered Ric Grenell, his openly gay ambassador to Germany, to lead a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality across the globe.
Richard Grenell is leading an effort to decriminalize homosexuality around the globe. Mr. Grenell has said that Mr. Trump supports this effort, though its existence appeared to take Mr. Trump by surprise.
49. Through Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative, Federal law enforcement more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged by 75% in ACTeam districts.
Convictions of human traffickers have not doubled. The number of convictions rose from 439 during Mr. Obama’s last year in office to 499 during Mr. Trump’s first year. In 2018, they rose again to 526 but then dropped back down again, to 475 in 2019.
50. In 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismantled an organization that was the internet’s leading source of prostitution-related advertisements resulting in sex trafficking.
True.But the sting against Backpage was years in the making. Authorities have had the website in their cross hairs since at least 2016.
51. Trump’s OMB published new anti-trafficking guidance for government procurement officials to more effectively combat human trafficking.
This is true.But the anti-trafficking community gives the Trump administration low marks because the administration’s harsh treatment of undocumented immigrants has caused victims of human trafficking to fear turning to authorities for help. The administration has made it harder for victims to obtain the special T visas they used to get when they turned to authorities for help and provided information about their abusers.
52. Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested 1,588 criminals associated with Human Trafficking.
See No. 51.
53. Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline to identify perpetrators and give victims the help they need.
True. The hotline, which was founded in 2002, was also supported by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.
54. The hotline identified 16,862 potential human trafficking cases.
See No. 51.
55. Trump’s DOJ provided grants to organizations that support human trafficking victims — serving nearly 9,000 cases from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.👀👀
See No. 51.
56. The Department of Homeland Security has hired more victim assistance specialists, helping victims get resources and support.
See No. 51.
57. President Trump has called on Congress to pass school choice legislation so that no child is trapped in a failing school because of his or her ZIP code. 👀👀
Calling on Congress to do something is not really an accomplishment.
58. The President signed funding legislation in September 2018 that increased funding for school choice by $42 million.
Mr. Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on eliminating or drastically reducing the size of the Department of Education, tried to slash federal funding for public schools and dramatically increase funding for school choice and voucher programs. Congress overrode him. The $42 million is a small amount compared to the $400 million his administration initially proposed to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools.
59. The tax cuts signed into law by President Trump promote school choice by allowing families to use 529 college savings plans for elementary and secondary education. 👀👀
True.This is a tax break for those who send their children to private schools. Only a fraction of American families have these savings plans.
60. Under his leadership, ISIS has lost most of its territory and been largely dismantled.
American-led strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq began in 2014, predating the Trump administration. In 2018, Mr. Trump claimed in a tweet that ISIS had been defeated and ordered a withdrawal of U.S. troops within 30 days. He eventually gave military leaders more time after their objections. By 2019, the Islamic State had lost nearly all of its territory, but the group remains a threat.
61. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is said to have detonated a suicide vest during a 2019 raid by United States Special Operations forces.
62. Signed the first Perkins C.T.E. reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
63. Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.
True. Attempts to expand and modernize apprenticeships, a goal shared by Democrats, are widely seen as a bipartisan bright spot in the Trump administration.
64. Trump issued an Executive Order prohibiting the U.S. government from discriminating against Christians or punishing expressions of faith.
Mr. Trump signed an executive order that called for the vigorous enforcement of federal laws protecting religious freedom. Christians were not singled out.
65. Signed an executive order that allows the government to withhold money from college campuses deemed to be anti-Semitic and who fail to combat anti-Semitism.
True,though the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern that the order could be used to punish constitutionally protected criticism of Israel or the Israeli government.
66. President Trump ordered a halt to U.S. tax money going to international organizations that fund or perform abortions.
True.Every Republican president has adopted a version of this policy since Ronald Reagan.
67. Trump imposed sanctions on the socialists in Venezuela who have killed their citizens.
True.The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on Venezuela for more than a decade. Additional sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have increased economic pressure on the government of Nicolás Maduro, who remains in power.
68. Finalized new trade agreement with South Korea.
Mr. Trump signed a revised version of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which had been in place since 2012. In 2017, Mr. Trump threatened to terminate the deal, which he said “should’ve never been made.” But the new version is considered similar to the old version, with a few tweaks.
69. Made a deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe. 👀👀
70. Withdrew the U.S. from the job-killing TPP deal.
Mr. Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major change in U.S. trade policy. Experts disagree about the impact of the withdrawal on Americans jobs.
71. Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
This is true.China agreed to increase agricultural purchases by $12.5 billion in 2020 and $19.5 billion in 2021, compared with 2017 levels, but China is under no obligation beyond 2021.
72. O.K.’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation. 👀👀
The Trump administration announced a total of $28 billion in aid for farmers in 2018 and 2019, and another $23.5 billion through the coronavirus stimulus package passed in March.
73. Has had over a dozen U.S. hostages freed, including those Obama could not get freed.
This is true. Mr. Obama amended a longstanding U.S. policy not to negotiate with hostage-takers, making it more flexible. Mr. Trump continued to push the envelope on what could be done to release hostages, earning praise from those who view his efforts as a major foreign policy success and criticism from others who accuse Mr. Trump of authorizing the payment of de facto ransoms, incentivizing terrorists to take more American hostages.
74. Trump signed the Music Modernization Act, the biggest change to copyright law in decades.
75. Trump secured Billions that will fund the building of a wall at our southern border.
Mr. Trump promised in 2016 that Mexico would pay for the wall. What happened?
76. The Trump Administration is promoting second-chance hiring to give former inmates the opportunity to live crime-free lives and find meaningful employment.
See No. 77.
77. Trump’s DOJ and the Board Of Prisons launched a new “Ready to Work Initiative” to help connect employers directly with former prisoners. 👀👀
This is true,though it is unclear how many people have been able to participate in it.
78. President Trump’s historic tax cut legislation included new Opportunity Zone Incentives to promote investment in low-income communities across the country.
True.Experts disagree about whether these zones will benefit low-income communities, or just wealthy developers.
79. 8,764 communities across the country have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
True. See No. 78.
80. Opportunity Zones are expected to spur $100 billion in long-term private capital investment in economically distressed communities across the country.
See No. 78.
81. Trump directed the Education Secretary to end Common Core. 👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀
Mr. Trump promised in 2016 to end Common Core, but according to PolitiFact, 37 states still use some version ofit.
82. Trump signed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund into law.
True. Members of both political parties in Congress deserve much of the credit.
83. Trump signed measure funding prevention programs for Veteran suicide. 👀👀
True.And congressional supporters of these programs say the White House has been supportive.
84. Companies have brought back over a TRILLION dollars from overseas because of the TCJA bill that Trump signed.
True. TCJA refers to the president’s 2017 overhaul of federal tax law.
85. Manufacturing jobs are growing at the fastest rate in more than 30 years.
According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the rate of growth of manufacturing jobs in 2018 was impressive, but similar rates were achieved in 1994, 1997, 2011 and 2014.
86. Stock Market has reached record highs.
The highest closing record of the Dow Jones industrial average, the index of 30 top U.S. companies, was reached in February, after investors appeared to be encouraged that the trade wars initiated by Mr. Trump were being resolved. Recent interest-rate cuts in 2019 also contributed. This March, the Dow fell a record 2,013.76 points to 23,851.02, after it became clear that the U.S. economy would lock down because of the pandemic. That drop was followed by two more record-setting point drops.
87. Median household income has hit the highest level ever recorded.
This is true.
88. African-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
See No. 40.
89. Hispanic-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
See No. 40.
90. Asian-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
Thiswas truebefore the coronavirus struck.
91. Women’s unemployment rate is at a 65-year low.
This was truebefore the coronavirus struck.
92. Youth unemployment is at a 50-year low.
This appears to have been true, before the coronavirus struck. But the labor force participation rate for young Americans is not as high as it was in 1989.
93. We have the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded.
This is false.Unemployment rates were lower in the 1950s, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
94. The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans.
In 2018, President Trump launched the Pledge to America’s Workers, aimed at boosting the private sector’s role in training American workers. Companies signed on, to much fanfare. But there is evidence that resources for training are actually going down.
95. 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future — the highest ever.
This was true in 2018, but since the pandemic that number has dropped to 34 percent.
96. As a result of the Republican tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years. 👀👀
Not really.According to the Tax Foundation, the lowest top marginal rate in the past 80 years was 28 percent in the 1980s, although a “claw back” provision in the 1980s increased the top marginal rate to 33 percent for taxpayers with incomes over certain thresholds. Under current law, the top marginal rate is 37 percent, but pass-through businesses can receive additional tax breaks to lower their top marginal rate to 29.6 percent.
97. Record number of regulations eliminated that hurt small businesses.
This appears to be true.Mr. Trump has made reducing regulations a signature part of his legacy. He signed an executive order directing all agencies to repeal at least two existing regulations for each new regulation issued in the 2017 fiscal year and thereafter. A list of regulations that have been removed is being compiled by the Brookings Deregulation Tracker.
98. Signed welfare reform requiring able-bodied adults who don’t have children to work or look for work if they’re on welfare. 🙌🙌
The Trump administration released guidance in January 2018 that lets states take away Medicaid coverage from people who aren’t working or engaged in work-related activities. Tens of thousands of people have been affected. For instance, in Arkansas over 18,000 Medicaid beneficiaries lost coverage in 2018, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
99. Under Trump, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history.
True.Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, was praised for his efforts to streamline the process of drug approval before he left the administration.
100. Reformed Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs — saving seniors 100’s of millions of $$$ this year alone. 👀👀
It’s true that the Trump administration changed the rules for how Medicare pays for prescription drugs through the 340B program, lowering the rate that hospitals are reimbursed for drugs, which in some cases lowers co-payments for seniors, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. It is not clear how much seniors have saved through this change.
101. Signed Right-To-Try legislation allowing terminally ill patients to try an experimental treatment that wasn’t allowed before.
True. Some argue that a similar program that existed previously under the Food and Drug Administration was less risky.
102. Secured $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic. ❤️❤️
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, $9 billion in new grant funding was awarded to states and local communities to help increase access to treatment and prevention services during the first three years of the Trump administration.
103. Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded V.A. telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mentalhealth care. 👀👀
Mr. Trump has signed a number of bipartisan bills that call for improvements to medical care for veterans, including more access to walk-in clinics.
104. U.S. oil production recently reached an all-time high so we are less dependent on oil from the Middle East.
True.(Duplicate of No. 7.)
105. The U.S. is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
True.According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States began ramping up its exports of liquefied natural gas in 2016, and became a net exporter of natural gas during the Trump administration.
106. NATO allies increased their defense spending because of his pressure campaign.
True. Although NATO countries were already modestly increasing their military spending before Mr. Trump took office, there is evidence that his public complaints led to a deal that allowed the United States to decrease its own spending, while some other countries increased their share each year that he has been in office.
107. Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and that same year the U.S. still led the world by having the largest reduction in carbon emissions. 👀👀
It is true that Mr. Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Experts disagree on whether the accord would have created American jobs or destroyed them.
108. Has his circuit court judge nominees being confirmed faster than any other new administration.
It is not clear how to measure this across every U.S. administration, but it is an ironic thing to highlight, given that Republicans systematically blocked Mr. Obama’s judicial nominees.
109. Had his Supreme Court Justice’s Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh confirmed.
110. Moved U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. 👀👀
111. Agreed to a new trade deal with Mexico & Canada that will increase jobs here and $$$ coming in.
The Trump administration updated the North American Free Trade Agreement, fulfilling a campaign promise.
112. Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
True.The agreement aims to resolve a longstanding dispute about a European Union ban on hormone-fed U.S. beef. But tensions over Mr. Trump’s 25 percent tariffs on some European goods remain.
113. Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices, has agreed to a Part One trade deal with China.
True,though China has reportedly pulled back from its commitments in that deal amid the pandemic.
114. Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline. 👀👀
See No. 83.
115. Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research Act has been called the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill taken up by Congress. It was championed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and passed unanimously in 2018.
116. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by Trump doubled the maximum amount of the child tax credit available to parents and lifted the income limits so more people could claim it.
True.According to the Tax Foundation, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act doubled the maximum child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, while the phaseout threshold was increased from $75,000 to $200,000 for single filers and $110,000 to $400,000 for married couples filing jointly.
117. It also created a new tax credit for other dependents.
True.There is now a nonrefundable $500 credit for certain dependents who do not meet the child tax credit eligibility guidelines.
118. In 2018, President Trump signed into law a $2.4 billion funding increase for the Child Care and Development Fund, providing a total of $8.1 billion to states to fund child care for low-income families.
It is true that Mr. Trump signed this bill. Congress should also get the credit for passing it.
119. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) signed into law by Trump provides a tax credit equal to 20-35% of child care expenses, $3,000 per child & $6,000 per family + Flexible Spending Accounts (F.S.A.s) allow you to set aside up to $5,000 in pre-tax $ to use for child care.
According to the Tax Foundation, this is an accurate description of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, but it’s important to note that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not directly change the rules for the credit. Those rules existed before the Trump administration. So did the $5,000 dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts.
120. In 2019 President Donald Trump signed the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (CARES) into law, which allocates $1.8 billion in funding over the next five years to help people with autism spectrum disorder and to help their families. 👀👀
It is true that Mr. Trump signed this bill into law. Congress deserves the credit for passing this legislation, which received such broad support that 173 House members and 41 senators were co-sponsors.
121. In 2019 President Trump signed into law two funding packages providing nearly $19 million in new funding for Lupus specific research and education programs, as well an additional $41.7 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most Lupus funding EVER.
True.The measure was championed by the bipartisan Congressional Lupus Caucus.
122. Another upcoming accomplishment to add: In the next week or two Trump will be signing the first major anti-robocall law in decades called the TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence.) Once it’s the law, the TRACED Act will extend the period of time the FCC has to catch & punish those who intentionally break telemarketing restrictions. The bill also requires voice service providers to develop a framework to verify calls are legitimate before they reach your phone.
True.Congress gets credit for passing this law with bipartisan support. Even under the TRACED Act, the power of the F.C.C. to punish robocallers is limited.
123. US stock market continually hits all-time record highs.
See No. 86.
You are still reading? If you are you may feel a little bit like you are into the final credits of Ferris Buellers Day Off.
There are several important accomplishments not included in the list including the organization and success of Project Warp speed, the fact that Trump did not increase the breadth of the use of American military force abroad and decreased the numbers of forces in hot spots abroad (at least that I know of), that his administration made some unprecedented progress toward peace in the Middle East, he stared North Korea to silence for four years, his administration made progress in upgrading America’s military infrastructure, and he never once (no, not even one time) pushed the nuclear button. His record on healthcare is mixed and overall below average, BUT healthcare (sadly) is a third rail in American politics, but he did support the key element of Obamacare which in my opinion is guaranteed coverage (again, another blog for another day or you can read other blogs on this site or on “What is and HSA?”.
The Trump Organization has not succeeded through the years despite Donald Trump, but because of Donald Trump. I believe the same could be argued for his presidency. And for argument’s sake the above seems like a decent list to me and a reasonable place to start.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2021 Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. will be sworn in as the 45th US president, and his administration, too will begin compiling a list.
I love this country, I love liberty, I love the fact that no other country on the planet has a form of government which has allowed so many people the opportunity to succeed economically, religiously and socially. It ain’t perfect but it isn’t systemically bad either. I hope President Biden will succeed at raising up this great experiment.
God bless Joe Biden. God bless Donald Trump. God bless America. God bless my friend.