President Trump published this list of accomplishments on his 500th day in office early last month, let’s revisit it through a more critical lens:
1) American economy is still humming along, despite the best efforts of President Trump to undermine it with a stupid trade war. Trump cites job numbers which are clearly just moving along the same trend since 2010. He cites his tax cuts which will send 83% of benefits to households with income greater than $1,000,000, and actually be tax increases for majority of households. Only thing they have done is led to massive stock buy-backs for rich corporations. He talks about trade deals, but besides eliminating TPP which would have helped the United States lead in Asia, he has just had a serious of escalating tariffs. He has achieved no beneficial deals. This will cost the United States’ business and consumers in the coming months and years.
2) America has gone from leading world, to alone, to trailing behind dictators. President Trump’s attempts to claim American leadership abroad are laughable. Trump scrapped: Iran deal and Paris accord, while attacking NATO. In this he moved the United States from a leader to alone. But, it gets worse. With North Korea he made a bunch of concessions, without any advantage. So, now he is beholden to a madman, in order to get his victory. And, of course, there is Russia. Russia is now attacking the United States with impunity, as Trump frantically tries to prove his loyalty to Putin. So, undermining traditional alliances with prosperous democracies with strong militaries to make a deal with a failing petro-state dictatorship, that is not leading, that is losing.
3) Immigration policy has made the United States a moral failure, less secure, and less prosperous. The Muslim Travel Ban (partially upheld by courts), ending DACA (protected by courts for now), Family Separation (abandoned by administration). The moral failing is the clear. Our security is compromised because we have alienated immigrant communities we need, at home and abroad, for strategic cooperation. And, by limiting the best, brightest, most ambitious from coming to the United States, we are hamstringing our future.
4) President Trump does not talk about healthcare, because he failed to completely destroy the market, but that is not for lack of effort.