Despite expected Democratic opposition, resistance from his own party, and the mainstream media intent on focusing on non-issues, President Trump’s first year in office saw a flurry of activity and accomplishments.
President Trump said in October, before he succeeded in overhauling the decades-old tax code and repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, that “perhaps no administration” had done more in its first nine months than his. Though some call that hyperbole, the fact is that much has been accomplished in 2017.
Trump took time during his working Christmas vacation to remind those who voted for him of the accomplishments of his first six months in office when he tweeted:
The Fake News refuses to report the success of the first 6 months: S.C., surging economy & jobs, border & military security, ISIS & MS-13 etc.
Not surprisingly, CNN took issue with the President’s claim by calling it “specious” and that it has reported on those issues and more. But the Media Research Center backs up Trump’s tweet. According to the Center, coverage of Trump on the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS and NBC in September through November was over 90 percent negative.
One of Trump’s greatest accomplishments in 2017 was the numerous setbacks that ISIS has taken as the result of his initiatives. But Ross Douthat noted in the New York Times that the defeat of ISIS is “a case where the media is not adequately reporting an important success because it does not fit into the narrative of Trump Plan disaster in which our journalistic entities are all invested.”
Even former president Jimmy Carter said, “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about.”
Here are the top 10 things that should be credited to President Trump and his leadership:
1. Judicial Appointments
President Trump set an all-time record when the Senate confirmed his 12th federal appeals court nominee. No president in U.S. history managed to appoint more than 11 appellate appointments during his first year in office before Trump.
Even progressives admit that Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was an unmitigated victory.
By naming a worthy successor to Antonin Scalia and his appointment of Constitutional minded lower-court judges, Trump has radically changed the federal judiciary for years to come. Trump’s 59 nominations and 19 confirmation in the Senate to date have left even staunch establishment Republicans and radical conservatives to give the president an A+.
2. Individual mandate repeal
Trump fulfilled one of his key campaign promises by overseeing the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate. The mandate requiring everyone to carry health insurance or pay an annual penalty was long seen by many as the worst aspect of the 2010 healthcare law.
3. The Tax-cut Bill
Like his appointment to the Supreme Court, Trump did something that harkened back to Ronald Reagan – he led Congress to pass a historic tax cut.
When congressional Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare earlier in 2017, few though the tax bill had a chance.
Numerous mainstream media sources later reported that Trump would not sign the bill until 2018 for political reasons but was proven wrong when he signed it on December 22nd.
The signature bill cut individual rates for all income tax levels, greatly increased the standard deduction, doubled the child tax credit to $2,000, and slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.
4. Roll-back of Regulations
An executive order cut regulations for small businesses and accelerated plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan. Trump also oversaw expanded oil drilling in the Arctic and Gulf of Mexico and overturned Obama’s refusal to grant a permit to the Keystone XL pipeline previously rejected by Obama.
The Department of Interior led the way in cutting regulations and opening plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.
5. Cutting Government Waste
Trump appointee Secretary of State Rex Tillerson eliminated several coordinators for sanctions policy, made plans to redesign the agency, and offered early retirement incentives to hundreds of career employees.
Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management and Budget Director, has also been overseeing the reduction of duplicative programs and wasteful spending at Trump’s directive. His agency did away with 59 guidance and policy documents that officials had deemed “obsolete” or inefficient.
6. Repeal of Net Neutrality
The regulation enacted under Obama by the Federal Communications Commission was repealed much to the anger of consumer groups, tech companies, and Democrats. This is seen as a major step for those in favor of smaller government and less intrusive oversight.
7. Degrading ISIS
Trump expanded the military’s authority to carry out air strikes in the Middle East. Many experts credit this decision for his administration’s progress in stemming the tide of terrorism in the region.
8. Travel Ban
His first decision in office gained a major victory a few months ago when the Supreme Court allowed the entire policy to take effect. Legal complaints brought by the state of Hawaii and the American Civil Liberties Union failed to gain approval by the Supreme Court in spite of lower-court activist rulings.
9. Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement
In spite of objections from some of his closest advisers, President Trump held true to his campaign promise to withdraw from the agreement.
10. Tougher Stance on International Stage
Trump resisted pressure to preserve the status quo of his predecessors and made waves on the international stage by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The United Nations tried to flex its muscles by voting against Trump’s decision but was greeted by a strong rebuff by President Trump and his appointee as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. Together they announced that the United States was reducing its contribution to the UN by $285 Million.
Other accomplishments include a reduction of federal monies for abortion and defunding of abortion providers and the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.
President Trump has truly made America great again!