Will Trumpomania Ever Cease?
President-not-in-waiting Donald Trump has been running an off-the-chart-rating TV reality (unfortunately) show, that keeps the public in daily suspense, and the cable news channels in a monetary heaven. For our sanity, we hope that at some point this trickles down to the same political boredom of past administrations. In that hope, we gather here some quick time scales in which Trump has promised to accomplish his disruptive miracles.
We have to keep in mind that the new Congress was sworn in on January 5, and has a 15 day head start on mayhem. Of course, Trump has beaten them by going immediately to Twitter purgatory to stir up every kind of devilish trouble that he can.
Trump has promised certain disruptive actions on day one. I didn’t see how he could do this, since his appointees to head Departments had not been advised and consented to by the Senate. However, the Senate is taking up six nominations on next Wednesday, and if advised and consented to, they still can’t take office until Jan. 20th, with the inauguration, and would not be able to recommend regulations to cancel. How wrong I was.
Trump’s nominee for the Administrator of the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has spent his time trying to block EPA regulations. He can immediately tell President Trump which regulations to cancel, and how to do it. Trump’s cabinet nominees and the transition committee has already looked for people to fire and regulations to cancel in other Departments, as in the Department of Energy, to be run by Texas’ former governor Rick Perry. Trump calls these job killing restrictions, and promises “many millions of high paying jobs” in shale and “clean coal”. However, there are only 75,000 coal mining jobs, while in California, alone, thee are 300,000 clean energy jobs.
Trump has promised to kill on day one the EPA regulations, and may cancel Interior Department rules limiting fossil fuel production on federal lands and offshore areas.
Trump has required all agencies to submit a list of all cancelable regulations in a few months. At one point he claimed that 80% of regulations could be canceled. More recently, he said that for every new regulation, two had to be canceled. I guess that it doesn’t work the other way around. There is a fallacy with counting regulations, since a topic of regulation, say on clean energy, can have hundreds of sub regulations for hundreds of different instances. It’s also like Republican presidential candidates (Trump included), who were going to restore our navy to the number of ships after World War I. In World War II, we had thousands of ships that were very small landing craft. Do you count one of those the same as you do a massive Dreadnaught? Do you count a nuclear submarine with a dozen nuclear missiles the same as a World War I destroyer with a pair of cannons?
There are 81,640 pages of regulations in the Federal Register for 2016. That covers $153 billion of new regulations in 2016. The totality of regulations is a $1.9 trillion burden every year. Many of them need an act of congress to cancel. With this background, the Clean Power Plan, which only costs $7.2 billion a year, seems like small peanuts. Considering that future hurricanes may resemble the 2012 Sandy which cost $65 billion, and the 2005 Katrina which cost $128 billion, it is cost effective not to mess with the climate, and to save our health from coal emissions.
In the first 100 days, on immigration, Trump will cancel DACA, affecting some 1.7 million people, and DAPA, affecting some 5 million, which probably will be denied with Trump’s new Supreme Court justice.
Trump has promised cancellation of Obamacare, but has somewhat discouraged Congress from jumping the gun before they have a replacement for it, and has promised to keep some of its new coverage. If Republicans cancel but keep it until after the next election, for political reasons, this uncertainty will last at least another four years. Republicans have been struggling with a replacement for six years now. Its hard to replace a plan based on Romneycare, which they supported in the first place.
Trump will institute “extreme vetting”, which has already been going on under Obama.
Trump will impose tariffs and alter NAFTA and cancel TPP trade plans.
Trump will start building a wall against Mexico. Even if he raises a tariff to get “Mexico to pay for it”, it will be American consumers that really have to pay the higher prices for the imported goods.
Trump will pass a tax plan giving money back to the rich and cancelling the estate tax. Changing the number of brackets doesn’t matter, since you either have a program or a tax expert calculate the tax, or you look up the results in a table. It will just make people more income class conscious.
There is a standard political consideration of passing any new laws the first of the two year congressional term, since constituents supposedly cannot remember what you have done when you are running for reelection the second year. The need to do things in the first 100 days seems to be just to railroad changes without debate or thorough consideration. In this case, it is really very poor and irresponsible management. Representatives are elected to serve 730 days, and compressing them to the first 100 is only fulfilling 14% of the job.
Since Trump was elected for four years, he is planning to inaugurate all of his policies in only the first 7% of his term, which implies very little relative consideration of them, since few of them have been decided upon currently.
While Trump won the election, a lot of his suggested programs were unpopular in general, and some in contention among Republicans themselves. Republicans will have to run for reelection in two years with many Trump supporters ready to withdraw support if they don’t toe the Trump line, and possibly leading to primary challengers backed by Trump himself. Trump is really good at threatening people and labeling them, and punishing those who oppose him. On the other hand, Republicans controlling congress for he last six years have had their way voting for laws that were vetoed by Obama, or filibustered in the Senate. For example, the House killed Obamacare 60 times, with no replacement. The Congress may not like having Trump and his billionaire appointees dictating bills for them when they have no knowledge of the necessary details or the local impacts of them.
Can Trump win a second term without Russian hacking of Democrats, or intervention by the FBI, and Congressional investigations of his opponent? Remember, Trump will dominate daily news with great effect, followed by cleanup by Trump’s spokespersons. He made a promised thousand saved jobs overcome Obama’s actual creation of 16 million jobs.
The Republican congress will launch multiple investigations of any Democrats that look like likely candidates, eagerly magnified by Fox News. The undisciplined Russians will continue hacking and publishing embarrassing results, with total denial by Trump. An average computer user cannot combat such sophisticated attacks. There appears to be no punishment or oversight of Republicans embedded in the FBI or law enforcement. Trump’s Attorney General will not enforce any such oversight.
Republicans will advance their assault on voting rights of minorities, with no federal opposition, and perhaps no Supreme Court opposition.
Trump’s contingent will keep softening up the public and media to accept his lies. He will also keep news focusing on his shows over issues. Even though Trump just squeezed out a victory by three large Midwestern states by less than a percent, he will concentrate on jobs for the Rust Belt to keep their loyalty.
Tax cuts will be appreciated by many Republicans, and all very rich Republicans, leading to plentiful campaign contributions.
Does Trump only have to fear Trump himself? Nope. He had major goofs from his past that should have hurt him bigly, but they did not.
Trump is aware that there are two opposite worlds in America. This is seen in his denial of Russian hacking. There is the world that only believes news from Trump himself, from Fox News, and Breitbart-like sources. All of Trump’s announcements are directed only to his believers, and seem incredulous to us who get our news from the “lyin’, liberal, loser,” press.
Will Trumpomania ever cease? Sorry, it never will.