Archive for the ‘Trump’s accomplishments’ category

Brett Decker: ‘Trump in One Year Is Already Better Than 16 Years’ of Bush, Obama ‘Put Together’

January 7, 2018

Brett Decker: ‘Trump in One Year Is Already Better Than 16 Years’ of Bush, Obama ‘Put Together’, BreitbartRobert Kraychik, January 6, 2018

MANDEL NGAN, Win McNamee, Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images by ROBERT KRAYCHIK6 Jan 201813

“Trump in one year is already better than sixteen years of [George W. Bush and Barack Obama] put together,” said former Wall Street Journal editor Brett M. Decker, pointing to a current 17-year high in consumer confidence.

Decker, an expert on Asia and the bestselling author of Bowing to Beijing: How Barack Obama Is Hastening America’s Decline and Ushering a Century of Chinese Domination, joined Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with Breitbart News’s Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour.

“The leading indicator, when you dig into the data on why consumer confidence is high, is because people are anticipating higher wages,” said Decker. “The economy and consumer, they work logically. … What you’re seeing [are] the consequences of positive policy.”

President Donald Trump’s economic policies incentivize economic investment in America, said Decker, noting the mobility of capital in the modern era. “Businesses and consumers are [responding] logically” to the Trump administration’s economic policies, he added.

Decker rejected narratives crediting former President Barack Obama’s economic policies with recently developing economic figures during Trump’s presidential tenure, framing such assertions as “absolutely crazy”: “You look at the unemployment numbers, and it’s 4.1 percent. I look at Obama and Bush kind of combined, when I look at their block of sixteen years. Anyone that says this is inheriting some kind of Obama economy, he had eight years, and in 2010, the unemployment rate was 9.6 percent, absolutely crazy. … This idea that it has anything to do with Obama is absolutely crazy.”

Dropping unemployment rates, said Decker, will not be welcomed by all persons or interests. “Big business” interests, he said, prefer higher rates of unemployment given their depressive effects on wages. He also praised Trump’s emphasis on expanding domestic manufacturing. “When there are fewer people looking for jobs, you have to pay those few people more to take those jobs. What scares me about this is big business … seeing the unemployment numbers go down, and they’re like, ‘Oh, no. We’re going to have to pay these people more. We better call Paul Ryan and get him to flood us with cheap immigrant labor.’ So not everybody who looks at these numbers gets excited. There are different kinds of reactions.”

Decker went on to say that “one of [his] favorite things that Trump has done [was when] he was with some of the automakers, and he pointed to the head of Toyota of America, he said, ‘You have to build plants here.’ Within a short period of time, Toyota canceled a factory they were building in Mexico and said they were going to put it in the U.S., instead. What is that, a few thousand extra manufacturing jobs?”

Decker added, “Trade policy, I think, is one of the clearest areas where, if you look at the deindustrialization of America, how much government policy matters. The period between 1994, when NAFTA was passed, and 2014, a 20-year period … our trade deficit with [Canada and Mexico] went up 430 percent. … We get zero benefit out of these trade deals.”

America’s hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs to other countries, said Decker, was economically disadvantageous: “Fundamentally, I think most people know in their heart of hearts, you can’t just be a consumer economy. If you want to consume anything, you have to make something. We’ve had decades of policy where we just decided we didn’t have to make anything anymore.”

Neo-conservative predictions of China’s political liberalization resulting from its deeper integration into the global economy had not borne out, said Bannon and Decker, with the former describing it as “one of biggest strategic mistakes” of modern Western political leadership.

Decker said, “This idea that you see among the neo-con right is, if you make [China] richer, eventually they’re gonna get more economic freedom. People are gonna demand more political freedom.” Bannon responded, “Oops. That was a miss,” and Decker agreed. “That was one of the biggest strategic mistakes,” said Bannon, adding, “When they look back at the history of this thing a hundred years from now, the Clinton and Bush administrations, the strategic miscalculation about China will go down in history as one of the greatest failures of the elites and the leadership of this country – the mid-nineties to up until, really, President Trump came on the scene, the whole ‘China’s gonna change.’”

It is Time to Pull The Plug on Never-Trumpism

January 1, 2018

It is Time to Pull The Plug on Never-Trumpism, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, December 31, 2017

In short, Never Trumpism can make sense only if you don’t take seriously the importance of the issues with which the president grapples, and on which President Trump has made, I think, remarkable progress in the last 11 months. If the outside world had no meaning, and the pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post encompassed the only, or even the most salient, political reality, then it probably would be reasonable to wish that Hillary Clinton were president. How much simpler things would be!

But for those who take seriously the world that exists outside of newspaper op-ed pages, it is a very good thing that Donald Trump is our president. It is time for the Never Trumpers to gain a sense of perspective, to throw in the towel, and to acknowledge reality.

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As President Trump’s first year in office draws to a close, even the Democrats have been forced to admit that he has accomplished quite a lot. While it pains Democrats to acknowledge Trump’s successes, those successes probably pose more of an existential crisis for the Never Trumpers. They, too, have had to re-examine their premises in light of the president’s track record through (almost) one year. From InstaPundit:

BRET STEPHENS IN THE NYT: “I admit it gives me pause. I agree with every one of the policy decisions mentioned above. But I still wish Hillary Clinton were president. How does that make sense?

And this:

Let’s go back to Never Trumper Bret Stephens. He does a pretty good job of itemizing the administration’s successes, from a conservative point of view:

Tax cuts. Deregulation. More for the military; less for the United Nations. The Islamic State crushed in its heartland. Assad hit with cruise missiles. Troops to Afghanistan. Arms for Ukraine. A tougher approach to North Korea. Jerusalem recognized as Israel’s capital. The Iran deal decertified. Title IX kangaroo courts on campus condemned. Yes to Keystone. No to Paris. Wall Street roaring and consumer confidence high.

And, of course, Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. What, for a conservative, is there to dislike about this policy record as the Trump administration rounds out its first year in office?

That’s the question I keep hearing from old friends on the right who voted with misgiving for Donald Trump last year and now find reasons to like him. I admit it gives me pause. I agree with every one of the policy decisions mentioned above. But I still wish Hillary Clinton were president.

How does that make sense?

Stephens goes on to explain why he is still a Never Trumper. I agree that from a particular point of view, a conservative can rationally be a Never Trumper. It requires a belief that the tone of our politics is important, and that the president contributes greatly toward setting that tone. I am fine with those views. But it requires something more: a belief that the tone (or style) issue is so important that it outweighs all of the policy fronts on which the Trump administration has moved the conservative ball forward.

To come to this conclusion requires, I think, a certain disconnection from reality. The Never Trumper cannot take seriously the possibility that North Korea might drop a nuclear bomb on San Francisco. He cannot find much to worry about in Iran’s potential domination over the Middle East. He must be blind to the critical difference between 1.5% economic growth and 3% economic growth, not to the nation’s elites, who will be fine either way, but to the middle class. He must fail to apprehend the dire threat to the rule of law posed by politicians, professors and–most important–judges who despise the Constitution and believe that law is merely another avenue for the exercise of power. The list goes on.

In short, Never Trumpism can make sense only if you don’t take seriously the importance of the issues with which the president grapples, and on which President Trump has made, I think, remarkable progress in the last 11 months. If the outside world had no meaning, and the pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post encompassed the only, or even the most salient, political reality, then it probably would be reasonable to wish that Hillary Clinton were president. How much simpler things would be!

But for those who take seriously the world that exists outside of newspaper op-ed pages, it is a very good thing that Donald Trump is our president. It is time for the Never Trumpers to gain a sense of perspective, to throw in the towel, and to acknowledge reality.

Trump vs. the Deep State

June 19, 2017

Trump vs. the Deep State, PJ MediaRoger Kimball, June 18, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida, on June 15, 2017, about re-instituting some of the restrictions on travel to Cuba and U.S. business dealings with entities tied to the Cuban military and intelligence services. (Photo by JL) (Sipa via AP Images)

The sociology of the Trump presidency—and the anti-Trump “resistance”—is an unwritten chapter in recent American history.  As I say, I suspect it will have to be filed chiefly under “Snobbery, examples of,” but that’s as may be.  This much I am convinced of: 1. Those who identify the “administrative state” (the “deep state,” etc.) as our chief political problem today are correct; 2. Donald Trump really is trying to unravel (“deconstruct,” “drain”)  Leviathan; 3. The right-leaning anti-Trump campaign is so virulent because, even if unwittingly, it is itself part of the overweening bureaucrat dispensation that is the enemy of freedom; 4. Trump will survive to the extent that he is able to follow the example of his hero Andrew Jackson and challenge his challengers by pushing through his agenda undistracted from the yapping of the PC chihuahuas.

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With his typical panache, Frank Buckley asks the central political question of our time and hints at an answer with an original suggestion for remediation. The question is what to do about the “administrative state,” a.k.a., the regulatory state, the “deep state,” that Leviathan that Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, has said he came to Washington to “deconstruct.”

As Buckley points out, that laudable goal is hedged around with difficulties, partly because the meddling class has built up such a formidably complex hive of extra-constitutional rules and regulations, partly because the populace has been supine for so long that strategies for effective rejoinder seem utopian at best.  What, really, can one do about the proliferation of “guidance,” of the statute-like interference in the conduct of business or, indeed, of everyday life?

The Kafkaesque bureaucracy stymies ordinary people at every turn as it pursues its two overriding goals: the perfection of a “progressive,” i.e., socialist agenda and—just as important—the consolidation of its own power and perquisites.

What to do? The courts can only do so much without themselves falling prey to the molasses-like blandishments of the administrative state. Effective responses seem to be few and far between.

One model, Buckley notes, was provided by Andrew Jackson who, disgusted by the encroaching sclerosis and corruption of the bureaucracy he inherited, instituted a “spoils system.” He fired 10 percent of the federal workforce and replaced it with people of his own choosing. “Was that so bad?” Buckley asks, indulging in what Latinists refer to as a “Num” question: one expecting the answer no.  As Buckley notes, even so partisan a liberal as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., lulled perhaps by the historical distance of Jackson from our own time, thought that it was a positive development that  helped to restore the people’s faith in government.

Donald Trump has himself said that he would like to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent and has outlined many other cost-saving and, more to the point, bureaucracy-cutting measures. Why are these efforts, many of which have already begun to bear fruit, not universally applauded, at least among conservatives?

I do not know the answer to that question.  But it is certainly the case that Trump’s efforts are not universally applauded among conservatives.  Buckley quotes a curious tweet emitted by my friend Bill Kristol, former editor of The Weekly Standard and a paid-up member of the ever Never Trump brigade: “obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

What I find so curious about this tweet is the phrase “Trump state.”  What is it?  What horror does Bill envision that would lead him to prefer what Donald Trump has on offer to the “deep state”?

Ever since Trump was nominated, I suspected that he was going to govern as a far more conventional figure than some of his campaign rhetoric might have suggested. And so it has turned out to be. Sure, he continues to broadcast eyebrow-raising tweets and make provocative statements, but look at what he has actually done:

  • Nominated, and had confirmed, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme court.
  • Nominated a score of federal judges whose impeccable conservative credentials should be balm to conservatives like Bill Kristol.
  • Issued many executive orders and other initiatives to pare back onerous and counterproductive regulations.
  • Changed the rules of engagement in hot spots like Syria and Afghanistan so that commanders on the ground, not Washington weenies, make decisions about appropriate military responses.
  • Outlined an ambitious tax plan that would slash taxes across the board.
  • Worked diligently to unravel the monstrosity of Obamacare.
  • Undertaken on his first foreign trip a robust articulation of his “America First,” anti-terrorist policy, all while demonstrating what progress in the Middle East might look like by flying, for the first time, directly from Saudi Arabia to Israel.
  • Made it possible for entrepreneurs to exploit America’s enormous energy-producing potential by scraping the prohibitions on coal mining, opening up the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, etc. etc.
  • Reduced illegal immigration by more than 70 percent just by being president.
  • Released a budget that makes meaningful cuts in federal programs.
  • Etc., etc., etc.,

Now, Bill Kristol knows all of this.  So why does he speak of the “Trump state”? How does it differ from the “normal democratic and constitutional politics” he says he prefers?

I suspect, but do know know for sure, that the issue is largely aesthetic—what in an earlier time might have been called “snobbery.”  Bill does not like where Donald Trump hails from. I don’t means Queens, NY, but rather the unschooled precincts of the spirit that people without the right credentials inhabit by definition.  There are objective correlatives—a certain taste in ties, in victuals, even in feminine pulchritude—but it all boils down to a matter of style in the most comprehensive sense.  Bill Kristol, scion of one of the most accomplished conservative intellectual couples of the last century, has it. Donald Trump does not. Bill is Harvard, not just because he went there, but because of the intellectual manners, the habitus, he internalized.

The sociology of the Trump presidency—and the anti-Trump “resistance”—is an unwritten chapter in recent American  history.  As I say, I suspect it will have to be filed chiefly under “Snobbery, examples of,” but that’s as may be.  This much I am convinced of: 1. Those who identify the “administrative state” (the “deep state,” etc.) as our chief political problem today are correct; 2. Donald Trump really is trying to unravel (“deconstruct,” “drain”)  Leviathan; 3. The right-leaning anti-Trump campaign is so virulent because, even if unwittingly, it is itself part of the overweening bureaucrat dispensation that is the enemy of freedom; 4. Trump will survive to the extent that he is able to follow the example of his hero Andrew Jackson and challenge his challengers by pushing through his agenda undistracted from the yapping of the PC chihuahuas.