Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Trump's Agenda

Trump made a video laying out his initial agenda and posted it to YouTube; hey, why not. What he promised to do:
  1. create jobs
  2. renegotiate trade agreements
  3. relax limits on energy production and pipeline construction
  4. limit the influence of lobbyists
Since job creation is already humming along at a steady clip, he should certainly be able to keep that promise, at least until the next recession. At the moment there are no meaningful Federal limits on energy exploration and production; some states have fracking bans, but the President can't do anything about that, and anyway US energy production is being limited by low prices, not regulations. He probably can restart the Keystone Pipeline, but as I said when this came up before, that is just not really an important issue in terms of US energy use or production, and if that will distract Republicans from important issues like the Clean Power Plan, go for it. Trump can try to renegotiate trade agreements, but since the last round of international talks collapsed after five years of effort, good luck to him.

Limiting the influence of lobbyists would be like repealing gravity.

Things he said nothing about:
  1. repealing Obamacare
  2. deporting immigrants
  3. building a wall
  4. fighting terrorism
On the health insurance front, it seems that Trump's people are actually looking to enact some sort of replacement bill rather than a straight repeal. There are a number of Republican proposals floating around, some of which are not terrible, so it remains to be seen what happens on this front; Trump cares more about winning votes than anybody's ideology, so I think he will hesitate before stripping 20 million people of their health insurance. Kevin Drum predicted that Republicans will mess around this for a year, trying to agree on a replacement plan, but will finally give up and just do a straight repeal. Time will tell.

My prediction about immigration issues is that Trump will deport about as many people as Obama has, staying away from families who have settled into America, and that he will build a few hundred miles of fence as a gesture.

To me the one really alarming thing Trump has done so far is making Michael Flynn his National Security Adviser. That man is a deranged warmonger, and I dread his influence on our policy.

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