See what Trump has wrought so far, telling us what to expect next

Summary: By now we can see the outlines of the Trump era. Both Left and Right misrepresent these events, but the truth can be seen — if we look at what Trump has done, and what we should expect next.

Donald Trump signs Orders

The latest hot meme among journalists and pundits is that Trump’s agenda is in trouble. For example…

Gutting Dodd-Frank Is Hard, So Republicans Focus Elsewhere” by Elizabeth Dexheimer at Bloomberg. “Key Republican lawmakers turn to less controversial measures. Rolling back Dodd-Frank financial law isn’t close at hand.”

A Key Part of the GOP’s Plan to Overhaul the Tax Code Is in Deep Trouble” by Lynnley Browning at Bloomberg — “The hard reality is the border tax is on life support.” Trump’s idea has little support among Republicans, from the mega-corps that own the GOP, among trade experts (it violates core treaties), and among economists (who warn of its likely calamitous results).

Trump aides weighing staying in Paris deal, but rejecting Obama pledge” by Andrew Restuccia at Politico. “Trump administration officials are considering a plan to remain part of the nearly 200-nation Paris climate change agreement, while weakening former President Barack Obama’s pledge to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, multiple sources told POLITICO.”

And, of course, critics point to the incompetently conceived and executed immigration restrictions — which mobilized Trump’s opponents and remains hung up in the courts. It’s a gross misrepresentation of Trump’s actions since January 20.

Godzilla in action

While journalists focus on the fluff, the core GOP agenda advances.

Trump proposed a large (but not unprecedented) increase in military spending. But most of Trump’s actions so far have been taken via Executive Orders.

My favorite, showing what we can expect from Trump during the next 4 years : on February 28 Trump pledged to Congress that “My administration wants …to promote clean air and clear water“. That same day Trump issued an Executive Order to begin the repeal of the Clean Water Rule issued in May 2015 by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. See “Trump Plans to Begin E.P.A. Rollback With Order on Clean Water” by Coral Davenporter at the NYT.

While the Let marches and screams Nazi Nazi NAZI!, Trump has issued some Orders which begin the process of reshaping America into plutocrat’s paradise (other than cancelling the TPP, no signs of the populist tens of millions delusionally voted for).

Fox News lists Trump’s Executive orders: (a) the powerful ones.

These are right-wing spin on these Orders, muting the impact of some and exaggerating that of others. See the White House website or the Wikipedia entries for details.

  1. An order requiring every agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate regulations and recommend rules for repeal or modification.
  2. An order instructing agencies that whenever they introduce a regulation, they must first abolish two others.
  3. An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers as a way to shrink the size of government. This excludes the military, as Trump noted at the signing.
  4. An order to lengthen the ban on administration officials working as lobbyists. There is now a 5 year-ban on officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government, and a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
  5. A notice that the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump called the order “a great thing for the American worker.
  6. Two multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement including: the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.
  7. Two orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines. He also signed three other related orders that would: expedite the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects related to the pipelines; direct the Commerce Department to streamline the manufacturing permitting process; and give the Commerce Department 180 days to maximize the use of U.S. steel in the pipeline.
  8. An order that directs federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare. It orders agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of ObamaCare that imposes a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”
  9. A memorandum instructing the Labor Department to delay implementing an Obama rule requiring financial professionals who are giving advice on retirement, and who charge commissions, to put their client’s interests first.

Fox News lists Trump’s Executive Orders: (b) the posturing.

  1. Three orders establishing three Department of Justice task forces to fight drug cartels, reduce violent crime and reduce attacks against police.
  2. An order directing the Treasury secretary to review the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law.
  3. A memorandum directing the Secretary of Defense to draw up a plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS.
  4. A memorandum calling for a 30-day review of military readiness.

Fox News lists Trump’s Executive Orders: (c) the misc. ones.

  1. A memorandum to restructure the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
  2. An order to reinstate the so-called “Mexico City Policy” – a ban on federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion. The policy was instituted in 1984 by President Reagan, but has gone into and out of effect depending on the party in power in the White House.

Back to the Future

Looking ahead.

Trump has begun his four years of work to roll back the New Deal, restoring the Gilded Age’s engines of inequality and unleashed corporate power. But all we have heard is the warmup band. The real action will come from the hard-right majorities in Congress. Expect demolition of the structures regulation corporations, rips to the social safety net, and massive tax cuts for the rich. Ignore the fun stories about conservatives’ disunity. They will march on lockstep on these issues. The Left has shown little ability to resist (but they’re having fun).

What about Trump’s allegiance to his Kremlin masters? It’s propaganda to distract us from the Right’s actual agenda, unsupported and refused by facts. Trump has stocked his national security team with generals and executives from defense contractors. These are hard core cold warriors, some even warmongers. They are Putin’s nightmare, that combined with low oil prices will wreck Russia — now only a shadow of the cold war-era Soviet Union. (For details see Debunking the stories about a Trump-Putin conspiracy.)

“Choice. The problem is choice.”
— Neo, in The Matrix Reloaded.

For More Information.

To see what to expect: “On Labor and Beyond, Trump Is Following Scott Walker’s Playbook” by Dahr Jamail at Truthout. Walker is the vanguard of the GOP. Trump is following his trail. Also see the AP’s “Fact-checking Trump’s Skewed Ledger of Achievements“. Most of what he says if bogus, as usual.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about Trump and the new GOP era, about reforming America: steps to new politics, and especially these…

  1. Trump and the 1% lead America back to its past, to its roots.
  2. Here’s the news about Team Trump. See the promises fade away.
  3. See the warnings about Trump’s infrastructure plan. It’s betraying populism.
  4. Trump assembles a Strategic and Policy Forum to better hear the 1%.
  5. The headlines show America being dismantled. It’s time to act, not just watch.
  6. Trump is the next logical step as America becomes a plutocracy.
  7. Here’s the news about Team Trump. See the promises fade away.
  8. Trump assembles a Strategic and Policy Forum to better hear the 1%.
  9. What to expect from the Trump years, and why.

Recommended books about the weakness of the Republic.

Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Wolfgang Streeck.

Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred by John Lukacs.

Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism
Available at Amazon.
Democracy and Populism
Available at Amazon.


5 thoughts on “See what Trump has wrought so far, telling us what to expect next”

  1. Nice simple explanation. Too easy, eh? Some people know this but …..what can they do? Dems are having fun, you betcha. Away we go. Better get ready or out in the Streets or don’t complain later.

    1. Get out on the street? To do what exactly–demand that the results of the election be thrown out and Hillary declared the winner? To demand that Trump be impeached and removed so that the even more odious Pence becomes president? To make the makers of $30 designer pussy hats rich?

      I voted for Sanders, but have come to accept that liberals have become a big joke. They preferred to lose with Hillary rather than win with Bernie–and now they are reaping the whirlwind.

    1. Moises,

      Putin says that the transcript will clear Trump. Of course, this assumes that we can trust Putin’s transcript.

      “Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump had not divulged any secrets during a meeting in Washington with Russian officials and offered to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript.” {From Reuters.)

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