|Trump's 2017 Top 10 Achievements | RealClearPolitics|
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As 2017 fades into memory, and before you raise a toast to 2018, kiss that someone special at midnight and pretend to know the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” consider the absolutely momentous year for President Donald J. Trump. His top 10 accomplishments:
The Economy. Trump triumphed in 2016 primarily because he spoke to the angst of the average American worker who felt – correctly – forgotten and exploited by a crony globalist system that benefited only the connected few. In 2017, the real economy accelerated, as opposed to just asset prices. Worker productivity ramped up to 3 percent in the third quarter, far above the scant 1.2 percent average of the Obama years. Truck orders surged this fall and manufacturing jobs jumped higher, as November recorded the highest gains in 15 years, according to the payroll firm ADP. Reflecting this growth, small business confidence soared as National Federation of Independent Business CEO Juanita Duggan declared, “We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years.”
ISIS. Just months into the Trump presidency, their so-called caliphate has been crushed by a coalition organized and supported by the U.S. military. What a joy to see some of the world’s oldest Christian communities in the Mideast again worship freely at Christmas.
The Border. Illegal crossings have plunged as much as 60 percent vs. pre-Trump levels. Clear-eyed rhetoric and an invigorated ICE show immediate results as we reclaim control from human and drug smugglers. ICE Director Thomas Homan recently said that “the president has done more for border security and public safety than any of the six presidents I’ve worked for.”
Judges. Perhaps the longest legacy of Trump will be in the judiciary. In 2017, he fulfilled a campaign promise by getting conservative judges seated, including Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and a record pace of 12 Circuit Court confirmations.
Taxes. Trump did what hasn’t been done in Washington since the top movie was “Top Gun”: He signed comprehensive tax reform. I believe that immediate business expensing will become the most potent of these improvements as companies large and small will finally invest aggressively in capital expenditures – new software, plants, equipment.
Regulation. The administrative state empowered the bureaucratic swamp at the expense of American entrepreneurs. By one key measure of regulatory growth -- the page count of the Federal Register, which lists all new rules -- Trump reduced regulation by almost 50 percent in 2017.
Religious liberty. Trump ended the government war on groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, and ordered exemptions for religious groups that cannot, by conscience, pay for practices they reject such as abortion-inducing medications.
Trade agreements. Trump’s put the world on notice that America will no longer be exploited at the bargaining table with pacts that may benefit U.S. corporate chieftains but not American workers. Exiting TPP and demanding a re-negotiation of NAFTA represent important achievements for economic nationalism.
Military buildup. Trump just signed a 2018 defense budget that features -- pending congressional rollback of the 2011 budget sequester -- large increases overall, including for troop salaries and missile defense. The president also finally demanded that our wealthy NATO allies pay their fair share for defense of the West.
Russia. Contrary to the unceasing mainstream media narrative, Trump pursued tough policies against Vladimir Putin and Russia. He armed the Ukraine, denounced Russian aggression in his historic Warsaw speech, and slapped serious new sanctions on Moscow. So much for being Putin’s “puppet.”
To be sure, not every White House move in 2017 worked. For example, the first travel ban rollout was incredibly sloppy. Jeff Sessions should never have been made attorney general, given his widely known inherent conflicts regarding any Russian investigations. James Comey should have been fired as FBI director on Jan 21.
Still, despite the cacophony of clamoring critics on the left, both in Washington and in legacy media, the real Trump record of 2017 reveals the efficacy of America’s first entrepreneur-in-chief. Real results have made the swamp less daunting and made America more prosperous and safe. May those 2017 gains lead to even more successes in 2018.
Steve Cortes, a contributor to RealClearPolitics and Fox News, is the national spokesman for the Hispanic 100, an organization that promotes Latino leadership by advancing free enterprise principles. His Twitter handle is @CortesSteve.
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