President and Trump and his administration are without a doubt one of the most controversial to have ever been leading our country, no matter which party someone is supportive of. The ideas and views of both Trump and his cabinet have, in many times, been seen as less favorable to most citizens but it has not stopped him from going through with his plans. When it comes to domestic policy he has lots of ideas dealing with equality, the environment, and the economy that do not go with most people’s mindset, and when it comes to foreign policy he has done interesting things regarding trade and overall treatment of other countries that is much different from how it has been handled in the past. The most notable good thing that he has done for the country so far is the changed the economy for the better for many reasons such as, the stock market and consumer confidence have hit all-time highs, the number of mortgage applications for new homes has reached a seven-year high, and gas prices have fallen to a 12-year low, but other than that there’s not much else (Schweller).
Trump’s foreign views are vastly different from past presidents but at times have led to successful outcomes. To start with the new, for the most part friendly, relations with North Korea, Trump went through with the first summit and agreed to a second summit with North Korea on their quest for some peace (Stokols). Closer to home he has also created a new United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal called USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) which took more than a year to reach, but will overall help US farmers and make trade more free and fair (Trump Praises New). To name just a few other positive things that Trump has done when looking at foreign relations, he has decided to leave remaining US troops to fight Iranian troops in Syria when before he wanted to pull them all out and supported the citizens of Venezuela in their push for a regime change (Is the Trump Administration; Trump Administration Pushes). Both of these situations were originally not going to be handled like they were, but due to the change in Trump’s mind, he went through with different plans that were better for our country and how our country appears.
Other than the little successes with the economy, and with very little improved foreign relations, there is not much else that the Trump Administration has been successful with. While the Trump Administration has had few successes, they have overall been unsuccessful when it comes to dealing with the environment, economy, equality, and immigration of the US and when dealing with the trade and treatment of other countries.
When President Obama was in office he did a lot to prevent climate change whether it was limiting regulations on coal-fired power plants or joining the Paris Agreement that planned to fight climate change, but in the two years that Trump has been in office he has managed to undo most of it. Recently Trump set to reverse the centerpiece of Obama’s efforts to stop climate change by rolling back on the Clean Power Plan, which restricted greenhouse gases that came from power plants (Daly). This withdrawal from the Clean Power Plan paired with the planned rollback of fuel-economy standards starting in 2020 sets the US in reverse for the fight for climate change and leaning away from clean energy sources (McMahon). Aside from the Clean Power Plan, Trump is working on dismantling many other Obama-era regulations on methane emissions and oil and gas operations, which will just further the quantity of greenhouse gases that the US produces (McMahon). Trump and most of the Republican party view Obama’s Clean Power Plan as a war on coal that was waged by Obama, but in reality, it was just a push to avoid global warming from getting worse (Daly).
Since the start of Trump’s presidency he has done some good things for the economy overall, but recently his actions are leading to a future filled with failure. To start he has a distorted view on today’s economy and tried to flat-out deny that poverty was affecting America despite the fact that there are about 40 million American citizens that are living in poverty (Sherman). When the leader of the country is denying something that affects almost one-tenth of the population it is easy to see that the leader is not doing the best job that they could be doing, especially when it comes to something as large as the economy. Branching off from this, he also is focusing on the wrong economic classes when trying to fix something in the economy. With a recent Executive Order he was trying to help the rich or upper-class with retirement by making it so elders can keep more money in their retirement accounts longer, and because the rich usually put their money into these to avoid taxes it is giving them more power than they need (Ghilarducci). It will mean that if they do not draw from their retirement accounts they will nott have to pay taxes, and their family’s tax rate will most likely be lowered (Ghilarducci). With the unnecessary power given to the rich, there is power that is also being taken away from the middle class. When the National Treasury Department released moved to put a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, the states retaliated in court (Gordon). By putting the cap on some states it would result with the citizens seeing an increase in their taxes this following season, which to the upper-class does not mean much, but to the middle and lower-classes it means a lot since they may not necessarily be able to afford it(Gordon).
Aside from those aspects of the economy, his trade war with China is leading to a breakdown in the States, and this is where the economy and trade begin to blur together to create unfavorable conditions. It is easy to see that Trump’s effort to scare foreign countries into yielding is not working, the biggest example being the back-and-forth of tariffs with China and the US. So they would not be beaten out by Trump, China placed a $14 billion tariff on American soybean exports that enter China’s borders (Silverstein). Because of the high tariffs and the trade war between the countries it has caused American farmers to suffer since they are caught directly in the middle of it (Trump Faces Fallout). Not only are American farmers being affected, but some big companies such as Volvo are taking a big toll (Trump’s Trade Policy). Because of the high cost of trade between countries the company has been considering laying off a lot of their workers, and if the current trade policy does not change by this next summer then the US is estimated to lose 700,000 jobs overall (Trump’s Trade Policy). To date Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese technology imports and 25% on $3 billion in Chinese steel and aluminum, but that is not all there has to do with China (Brinkley). President Trump has even threatened to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports,” which would essentially lead to a trade disaster if it is modeled off by how things have been going now (Brinkley). When mixed together it is seen that the tariffs will lead to rising input prices for American businesses, which means employees being given a weaker wage and therefore a weaker employment growth, which will then result in even worse retail sales and end with a large decline in economic growth (Coppola).
Other foreign relations under Trump have been a bit rough, specifically the way that he has treated and acted to other countries. He acts impulsively in most situations with other countries because of how much he embraces his nationalist views which usually ends with unpleasant results (Freedman). Puerto Rico, which is an island of US territory, is not a state of the US despite the fact that they have to abide by the laws of America, and under Trump’s presidency he says they will not be granted statehood because there are some Puerto Rican citizens that are mean to him (Trump Says Puerto Rico). This not only is the wrong treatment to a situation such as the granting of statehood, but it is overall so immature because the head of the country will not even consider it for a reason as small and petty as them being mean to him. The entire nation is represented by President Trump, and when he says something such as that it shines the country as a whole in a bad light. When it comes to countries that Trump has other feuds with he has stuck by his maximum-pressure strategy, despite the fact that his national-security team’s beliefs do not match up (Nasr). Trump plans to make conditions progressively worse for countries until they finally buckle under the pressure and give in to what he wants, but when this was used with China in the current trade war it just caused them to retaliate with big tariffs of their own.
Trump’s treatment to countries as a whole has been bad, but the treatment of their leaders have been worse in sometimes. When Trump met with the Kenyan Leader, Uhuru Kenyatta, throughout the entire meeting he avoided questions related to the recent death of Senator John McCain and repeatedly joked with the Kenyatta during serious topics such as the Kenyan economy and the overturning of the August presidential election by Kenya’s Supreme Court, which tarnished Kenyatta’s image (Odula). Moving over to Russia, while Trump was talking about his upcoming meetings with NATO, the United Kingdom, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, he joked and said that Putin would be the easiest of them all (Trump Says Putin Meeting). Despite the comment being a lighthearted joke about the meeting with the Russian President, the meeting between two national leaders should not be made into a joking matter.
While Trump has made very substantial work with reaching peace with North Korea, there have been times where he has acted wrong for the situation or not done enough when he should have. While Trump has worked to get North Korea to end their nuclear program and bring an end to the tension, he is getting in a bit over his head. He has said that he respects Kim Jong Un and frankly likes him, and while he should not be saying that he hates him and is against him, he also should not be showing support for a dictator that has such tight control over a country (Wong). And while North Korea did agree to begin to denuclearize, no progress has been seen since they said it (Wilkinson). In a situation such as this Trump should be giving a bit more of a push to denuclearization, and while he did cancel Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea after finding out there was little to no progress on denuclearization, he has not worked on doing much else (Wilkinson). Because both North Korea and the United States have been skeptical about the situation as a whole they both have been slow to work with one another, but that just gives all more the reason for Trump to work harder and tougher at reaching the peace that is so close (Jervis.)
The idea of equality is a tough one when it comes to today’s world, even though in the society that we live in it really should not be. Affirmative Action is something that the Democratic and Republican parties have fought over for many years, and after certain policies were passed under Obama that affected some aspects of the college admissions process. While the law that Obama passed did not directly give colleges and universities the power to use race as a basis for admissions, it did make it a lot easier, and now Trump wants to undo that (Trump to Reverse Obama-Era). Another aspect of race that Trump is indirectly getting into is found in Chicago (Riechmann). Almost half of the population of the city of Chicago is African-American, and with Trump saying that he openly supports stop-and-frisk policing in the city it can be taken a little as a racial hit (Riechmann). While this is definitely not a direct jab at any specific race, it still is not something that he should be endorsing because every citizen is entitled to certain privacies and should not be subjected to getting stopped and frisked by police while minding their own business walking down the street.
Immigration is also a very big issue that Trump has certain ideas on and they recently have not had good results. Immigration overall is a very big deal because people entering a country without a citizenship or visa should not be happening, but the way Trump has been handling it should not be happening either. Parents who are illegal immigrants are losing their children to the adoption system and giving them such a hard time at getting them back because of the flaws that are built into the idea of it (Burke). Parents have a right to take care of their children and it should not be taken away from them, and in the instances such as illegal immigration they definitely should not be taken away and given to another family to then take months and months of work just to get them back where they rightfully should be (Burke).
While this has neither to do with domestic policy or foreign policy directly, it still is a big issue that President Trump has, and that is the way that acts as a person. To begin, Trump publically lashed out at his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to a case in violating campaign finances in coordination with Trump (Miller). After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Trump claimed that the 3,000 reported deaths were completely fake and totally exaggerated while there was evidence to prove that they were all real (Trump Faces Bipartisan Backlash). After Judge Kavanaugh was approved to the Supreme Court there was talk about impeaching him, and to do that they would have to first impeach Trump, which President Trump then went on to joke about in front of a crowd after Kavanaugh’s hearing (Trump Jokes About His). Lastly, when it comes to the border wall between the US and Mexico that Trump is so supportive of, he has said many times that he will get Mexico to pay for it, which will not happen (Trump Throws Fit Over). This fact along with lack of funding for a border wall in the Senate version of the Spending Bill ended with Trump throwing a fit over the border wall and how it is being paid for (Trump Throws Fit Over). When looked at past presidencies it is shown that none have ever reacted as drastically as Trump has, and overall no leader of any country should act or react in the ways that President Trump does.
Trump’s presidency as a whole definitely is not a completely terrible thing for the US, as they have majorly improved some aspects of the economy and made huge steps in some areas of foreign relations. While they were able to accomplish these, they missed the mark when it came to the environment, aspects of equality, areas of the economy, immigration of the US, and the treatment and trade with foreign countries. Trump has yet to do anything drastically terrible that will ruin the United States, but he also has not done much in helping it either, and in the end has possibly just made it worse.
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