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Editorial: Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail. Trump’S First 100 Days

DONALD Trump is on the back foot now, scrambling as his presidency hits the 100-day mark to build some record of fulfilling campaign pledges in the wake of repeated setbacks and failures.

His numerous efforts to erect barriers to immigration, from bans on certain Muslim countries to completion of a wall costing billions of dollars along the US-Mexican border, have largely foundered so far.

His attempts to roll back his predecessor’s efforts to safeguard the environment against overzealous business development have succeeded only sporadically. Trump’s much-ballyhooed assault on Obama’s Affordable Care Act suffered an initial, spectacular collapse, ironically undone by resistance from within his own Republican party. Now, critics charge that a renewed attempt may leave even more Americans without health coverage.

The list goes on, assiduously chronicled by a New York and Washington establishment press corps increasingly eager to oppose and perhaps topple a president who has declared war on much of the media.

Meanwhile, there have been a few successes, though even these must be modified in the light of longer-term effects that cannot presently be foreseen. The Senate’s confirmation of conservative justice Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court obliged Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to change the chamber’s filibuster rules to permit simple majority confirmation votes on Supreme Court justices. Things will look different in the future when Democrats control the White House and Senate.

The surprise attack on a Syrian air base from which the despicable Syrian regime launched a poison gas attack on its own people prompted a chest-thumping moment of American pride, but no one is arguing that it has changed much in the dreadful, fatal civil war now tearing apart that Middle East nation.

Evidence mounts that neither Trump nor his campaign team actually expected to win last November’s election. They were obviously unprepared for victory. And having won, they continued to underperform their new responsibilities. Carelessly appointing a collection of rich men (and a few women) to significant federal jobs without properly vetting them might be expected to produce precisely the scandals and embarrassments from which many Americans now recoil on a daily basis.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn may still go to trial for corruption and other misdeeds. A suspicion is growing that some of Trump’s fortune, and that of his son-in-law, may be built on the once-secret contributions and gifts of foreign interests seeking influence in the US. Trump’s stubborn refusal to release his tax returns fuels this suspicion.

None of these setbacks is necessarily permanent, and it seems likely that Trump will manage some accomplishments of significance. But his record and his approval ratings are nonetheless dismal.

Which brings us to Trump’s tax plan concept. In proposing to significantly reduce corporate and personal income tax rates, primarily to the advantage of the already wealthy, the president is resurrecting Republican dogma of over 30 years ago. Economist Arthur Laffer had, as long ago as 1974, helped to popularise the notion that a capitalist free-market economy largely unfettered by government regulation, business would prosper and invest and expand. All would benefit. So-called “trickle down economics” became the mantra of the apologists for greed. During and after the Reagan presidency, Republicans embraced this theory enthusiastically.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is one of the leading current advocates, clearly hoping for the revival of a doctrine which relies for its positive promise on responsible, civic-minded corporate management and behaviour - not on the naked avarice, illegality and irresponsibility of American corporate titans and their minions who led the US into the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980s and the housing collapse of 2008-9, from which large swaths of mostly rural America have yet to recover.

Nineteenth century philosophers such as John Stuart Mill argued that a coherent society requires a balance between the collective good and individual liberties. Excesses in greed by a few thus lead to exercise of central governmental power to rein in such selfish, destructive behaviour.

Barack Obama’s administration was clearly committed to the exercise of such governmental power to redress imbalances in the American economy. Now Trump signals his intention to introduce stunning new economic imbalances. Mill’s balance will be established again, but perhaps not soon.

Comments

milesair 2 years, 4 months ago

The so-called fiscally responsible Republicans, under the guise of Obamacare's replacement just passed a bill that will give tax breaks to the rich making the deficit even worse than it already is and making people with preexisting health conditions unable to afford the cost of insurance. The Republicans are the REAL death panelists! They obviously don't give a damn about anybody but the rich. Now they are also trying to take away Obama's pension claiming that he and of course, no other Republican past President, is making too much money. Obama is the GOP scapegoat and this is getting real old and tiresome. Trump is the biggest liar in the world who is hellbent on starting WW3. P.T. Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute and the American people have proven it by voting for Trump who never won the popular vote anyway. Watch out for global climate change as the Republicans don't believe in it. God help us all!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 4 months ago

After only 100 days in office, and against almost insurmounting odds and unrelenting opposing forces, Trump is virtually guaranteed to go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents the U.S. of A. has ever had. And many will end up just having to stuff that in their pipe and smoke it no matter how much more dizzie-wizzie-tizzie they may become over the next eight years! The failure by The Tribune's Editor to realize that Minnis has far more in common with Trump than Christie does is both very ironic and laughable!

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milesair 2 years, 4 months ago

You must not pay any attention to polls in the U.S. Trump is the most unpopular President in his first 100 days in recent history. He is, among other things a racist pig and if you can't see that than you MUST BE BLIND! No reasonable person can support this stupid jackass!! HE WILL NEVER BE ELECTED FOR A SECOND TERM and if his GOP cohorts think they will loose the next election, he WILL BE IMPEACHED! Bet on it!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 4 months ago

Ahhhhh......the "racist pig" card. We really need to stop thinking in terms of skin color. Thankfully millenials are pretty much colour blind when it comes to the pigmentation of anyone's skin. I suspect though you are from an earlier generation. Why would anyone try deny the simple fact that President Trump has indeed accomplished a great deal to date against almost insurmountable odds?

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milesair 2 years, 4 months ago

When the President of the U.S. appoints KKK sympathizers and known racists to his cabinet like Jeff Sessions, Attorney General as just one of many examples than one has to call it what it is, racism pure and simple. If you want to overlook that fact than do it at your own expense and don't try to blame others for your own ignorance. Why don't you ask the NAACP and just about any other civil rights organization what they think of Trumps racism and educate yourself just a little. You just might learn something. You obviously don't know anything about Trumps racism and all the racists he has in his cabinet. I lived in the Bahamas in the 50's and 60's which is where I learned a lot about racism. You ought to learn a little about your own countries racist past and again educate yourself about racism. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck! Trump is a racist pig pure and simple! Trump has done nothing for working people in America and has accomplished nothing of significance in his first 100 days. Everything he has done is for the benefit of himself, his family and his wealthy friends. Look it up and try not to use alternative facts like most right wingers do.

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Reality_Check 2 years, 4 months ago

And so says a non-Bahamian (possibly American) whose mind is trapped in the bubble of "fake news" created by the far-left leaning media that still likes to think of itself as being main stream.

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milesair 2 years, 4 months ago

Right-wingers are the ones who like "fake news" parading as alternate facts because the facts ie: the truth, doesn't agree with your fascist agenda. Why not provide some real facts ie; the truth, that ANYTHING that I said can't be backed up as factual. When you can unequivocally provide proof that anything that I said is untrue, I'd be willing to listen, otherwise bug off! And the media in the U.S. is controlled by corporate America which supports the GOP. Calling the media "liberal" is a GOP perpetuated lie! Also, you do need a "reality check" as in get real!

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milesair 2 years, 4 months ago

PLP, ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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