10 campaign promises Donald Trump kept — or attempted to keep — in his first year


Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

MEASURING TRUMP AGAINST HIS PROMISES IN FIRST YEAR

TOM LAMPRECHT: Today, specifically, I’d like to take a look back on the first year of Donald Trump’s administration and his presidency – what he promised and then what he accomplished – again, let’s sort of go through this in a bullet point fashion.

However, before we get into the specifics, Harry, can you remember a president who has managed to accomplish as much as Donald Trump has done in his first year?

DR. REEDER: The idea of us doing this program came about in terms of the extraordinary pushback against President Trump when he moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents have been under an order to do this, although they’ve been given the flexibility not to do it for purposes of negotiations and national security decisions, but, every six months, they’d have to say why they hadn’t moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – and he went ahead and did it.

And he said, “Well, it’s time to do it. We’ve had all these presidents who were supposed to do it so it’s time to do it and I’ve done it.” He had promised this in the campaign and now he delivered.

Well, what else has he done? He has made, as I counted, ten basic campaign promises and, those campaign promises, he has responded to either accomplish them or initiate their accomplishment.

Now, let me be very clear: this particular Today in Perspective is not an evaluation of whether we agree with these particular acts that he has done, but we’re looking at the overall dynamic of a president who made campaign promises and then, within the first year, this is what he has done in relationship to those promises.

1. TAX CODE BILL

TOM LAMPRECHT: You’ve mentioned the first one, moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The No. 1 I’ve got on my list was this most recent accomplishment – that’s the tax code bill.

DR. REEDER: He made a promise to simplify and to bring tax reform. Again, we’re not evaluating the tax bill, but he has delivered in his first year of office.

2. SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 2, the Neil Gorsuch confirmation.

DR. REEDER: And he made a promise on the Supreme Court which, by the way, probably was the most influential promise that he made that garnered much of the evangelical support, who had a number of issues with him on a number of things that he both said and did during his campaign, but ended up voting for him probably motivated by this issue more than any other. He also, in the first year, has appointed more appellate court justices than any other president in recent history.

3. ROLLBACK OF OBAMA-ERA REGULATIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 3 on the list is just the basic rollback of regulations that Obama implemented.

DR. REEDER: “For any regulation that we institute, we’re going to cut out three.” Well, he has gone way beyond that in what they would have determined as unnecessary regulations that are paralyzing upon the economy.

4. IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 4, Trump ran on a platform of tougher immigration enforcement – the travel ban.

DR. REEDER: He has attempted to initiate a vetting process on who is to be allowed in and also immigration reform. This is one where he has not delivered as most people would have thought he would have delivered because included in that was border security – the promise of the building of the wall – but there have been efforts at his immigration reform in terms of who is allowed in and the vetting process of visas in light of national security.

5. WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

TOM LAMPRECHT: Next on the list, Harry, is the withdrawal from the Paris Climate deal.

DR. REEDER: Tom, let’s take a look at two of these agreements that the previous administration had entered into that Candidate Trump campaigned against. One was the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and the other was the Paris Climate Agreement that also affected manufacturing and regulation in the United States and it was declared that that was an unusual duress to what was required of the rest of the world. He said that he would get us out of both of those and he has delivered on both of those promises in his first year.

6. CUBA

TOM LAMPRECHT: The rollback of some of Obama’s Cuban policies.

DR. REEDER: That would fall in under his national security strategy, Sustainable Security Strategy, that he has initiated. When he did the speech, one of the things that he did was reverse the open-door policy with Cuba that had been initiated in the previous administration as well as a commitment to America First. And, by the way, he redefined that for everyone in his security policy, which was, “I am not saying America selfishly but, America First, I was elected to look out for America’s interest. And, by the way, in our negotiations with other nations, I fully expect those elected officials to come to the bargaining table on our various discussions looking out for their nation first.”

7. NET NEUTRALITY REPEAL

TOM LAMPRECHT: In another blow to regulations enacted under Obama, recently, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal its landmark Net Neutrality rules.

DR. REEDER: And I like the way you have explained it on your own program, Tom, of this being a socialism comes to the internet. What happened was, with what President Obama did in basically level the playing field in the internet research and advancement, it makes everything that someone does available to others.

Well, what happened is what always happens in socialism: It’s a loss of initiative and so people quit doing research on internet improvement and expansion and enhancement because they knew they either had to give it away or they knew that they could get what other people did without having to spend money on it.

He has rolled that back and I think what that means is you’re going to see some amazing advancements in the internet capabilities for our nation and for the world.

8. ISIS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, the final accomplishment I want to talk about today is something that has just sort of disappeared from the headlines of the national news and that is the degrading of Isis.

DR. REEDER: He said he was going to do it – amazingly, it’s been done with a great deal of reliance on Iraq. Their military capabilities on the ground have been fundamentally degraded and removed. That’s another accomplishment.

9. DRAIN THE SWAMP EFFORTS

Now, his drain the swamp promise – this deep-state bureaucracy and the opposition has come up in terms of the FBI and the State Department and other places – he has not made the advancement that he has promised, but it seems to have now been unearthed and exposed. And that may be something that will be dealt with in the coming year in terms of removals and putting people in place that would be serving the country and not serving themselves as if they are a State within the State.

Given the hiring and firing policies in the government and the protections that are put there, it is very difficult to unearth and remove bureaucrats, but I think he’s going to do that and he says that he’s going to do that in an effort to reduce the budget in that there’s going to be a lot of positions that are just going to disappear.

10. OBAMACARE

Finally, we would have to say that his promise to remove Obamacare did not meet with success, the repeal and replace promise, but there was an effort to do it.

And there has been some success in that there has been the reestablishment of the religious freedoms protection in that the requirement to participate in funding of abortions and abortifacients is no longer placed upon individuals and privately held companies that have religious convictions against the destruction of unborn life.

And, secondly, now, the tax package, there was the removal of the mandate for Obamacare, which would be the undoing of Obamacare unless the government decides to fully fund it. The cost of Obamacare is going to come full-force to next year’s Congress.

TRUMP’S PROMISE-KEEPING IS ADMIRABLE

Tom, can I, before we leave, just say one final thing from a Christian world and life view about today’s program? Again, with no evaluation upon the policies and programs, themselves, I do want to speak of one thing that’s commendable in this that I would put before all of our listeners: We ought to be people who, when we make promises, we attempt to fulfill our promises and not to make promises to manipulate people but, “When we make a promise, this is what we’re going to do. Our yes is yes and our no is no.” And that is always admirable in someone.

I would like to commend that, “way of life” that, when we say we’re going to do something, let’s make a commitment to do it. And, as I approach this new year, I rejoice in the fact that the God of glory and grace has made certain promises and definite promises and clear promises for the redemption of His people. And then we have just rejoiced in the coming of Christ in the Christmas season and that Christ would come and all of the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen” in Him.

May our lives reflect that trustworthiness and that consistency and that integrity. We say what we will do, we do what we will say and, by God’s grace, we are never mean when we say or do what we say.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

11 hours ago

Are you afraid to answer the phone?

Millions of Americans fear answering their phone due to a plague of billions of robocalls. These calls have made a mockery of the national Do Not Call Registry and touch on several public policy questions.

We had seemingly ended the problem of unwanted telemarketing calls. Congress authorized the Do Not Call Registry in 2003 after more than a decade of calls disrupting the peace and quiet of our homes. Fines of $11,000 per violation largely put telemarketing companies, with hundreds of thousands of employees, out of business.

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Why have unwanted calls returned? VOIP technology (voice over internet protocol) allowed anyone with a computer and an internet connection to make thousands of calls. A handful of responses can make thousands of calls worthwhile when the cost is almost zero. Furthermore, technology makes robocallers mobile and elusive.

By contrast, telemarketing firms employed hundreds of people at call centers. The authorities could find and fine telemarketers. Firms had to comply with the Do Not Call registry, even if forced out of business.

Technology further frustrates the control of robocalls. Spoofing makes a call appear to be from a different number. Spoofing a local number increases the chance of someone answering, defeats caller ID, and makes identifying the calls’ source difficult.

By contrast, technology allowed the elimination of spam email. It’s easy to forget that fifteen years ago spam threatened the viability of email. Email providers connected accounts to IP addresses and eventually identified and blocked spammers. Google estimates that spam is less than 0.1 percent of Gmail users’ emails.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned almost all robocalls in 2009 (political campaigns and schools were excepted). Yet the volume of calls and complaints from the public rise every year. And the “quality” of the solicitations is lower: legitimate businesses employed telemarketers, while most robocalls seem to be scams.

Telephone companies and entrepreneurs are deploying apps and services to block robocalls. The robocallers then respond, producing a technological arms race. The technology of this arms race, however, is beyond me.

I’d rather consider some issues robocalls raise. The root of the problem is some people’s willingness to swindle others. Although we all know there are some bad people in the world, free market economists typically emphasize the costs and consequences of government regulations over the cheats and frauds who create the public’s demand for regulation. People can disagree whether a level of fraud warrants regulation, but free marketers should not dismiss the fear of swindlers.

Robocalls also highlight the enormous inefficiency of theft. Thieves typically get 25 cents on the dollar (or less) when selling stolen goods. Getting $1,000 via theft requires stealing goods worth $4,000 or more. In addition, thieves invest time and effort planning and carrying out crimes, while we invest millions in locks, safes, burglar alarms, and police departments to protect our property. America would be much richer if we did not have to protect against thieves or robocallers.

Finally, having the government declare something illegal does not necessarily solve a problem. Our politicians like to pass a law or regulation and announce, “problem solved.” Identifying and punishing robocallers is difficult; the FTC had only brought 33 cases in nearly ten years. And less than ten percent of the over $300 million in fines and relief for consumers levied against robocallers had been collected. Government has no pixie dust which magically solves hard problems.

The difficulty of enforcing a law or regulation does not necessarily imply we should not act. The Federal Communications Commission, for instance, recently approved letting phone companies block unwanted calls by default, and perhaps this will prove effective. We should weigh the costs of laws and regulations against a realistic projection of benefits and laws failing to solve problems as promised should be revised or repealed.
Still, a law that accomplishes little can have value. Cursing robocalls accomplishes little yet can be cathartic. A law that costs little might provide us satisfaction until technology solves the problem.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

12 hours ago

VIDEO: Culverhouse vs. UA, Trump and Biden battle in Iowa, the Bentley saga could be over and more on Guerrilla Politics

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Why did the media get the story with Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. and Alabama so wrong?

— Is the Iowa slap-fight between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden a 2020 preview?

— Now that former ALEA head Spencer Collier has settled his case with the state over his firing, is the sordid Bentley saga over?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by State Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) to discuss medical marijuana, the prison special session and the lottery.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” that calls out Joe Biden for lying about the lack of lies and scandals in the Obama administration.

VIDEO: Culverhouse/UA, Trump and Biden battle in Iowa, the Bentley saga could be over and more on Guerrilla Politics

Posted by Yellowhammer News on Sunday, June 16, 2019

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

13 hours ago

Alabama team targets international connections at SelectUSA Investment Summit

Alabama is home to a diverse lineup of international companies, and the state’s business recruiters are looking to expand those ranks.

The economic development team is in Washington D.C. at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit, which starts today and is the premier foreign direct investment (FDI) event in the U.S.

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FDI is a significant part of Alabama’s economy. Last year alone, it came from 16 different countries, for a total of $4.2 billion in investment and 7,520 new and future jobs.

Since 2013, the state has attracted $12.8 billion in FDI, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce. It’s spread across a variety of sectors, including automotive, aerospace and bioscience.

“Team Alabama is looking to capitalize on a record-breaking year for FDI in the state, by continuing to build partnerships with world-class international companies looking to grow in the U.S.,” said Vince Perez, a project manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

SHOWCASING ALABAMA

SelectUSA is led by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and its annual summit regularly attracts top industry leaders and investors from around the globe. This year’s event is expected to draw more than 2,800 attendees from more than 70 international markets and 49 U.S. states and territories.

Participants of the past five summits have announced $103.6 billion in greenfield FDI in the U.S. within five years of attending, supporting more than 167,000 U.S. jobs.

“We are excited to have another opportunity to showcase Alabama’s vibrant business climate that’s been cultivated over the years through business-friendly policies,” Perez said.

“This year’s Investment Summit is very timely as we will be armed with the recently passed Incentives Modernization Act, which upgraded our already-strong incentive tool kit, making us more marketable than ever.”

The measure targets counties that have had slower economic growth. In particular, it expands the number of rural counties that qualify for investment and tax credit incentives. It also enhances incentives for technology companies.

Joining the Commerce Department at the SelectUSA Summit are PowerSouth, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Alabama Power Co., and Spire.

Speakers at the summit will include key government and industry leaders who will discuss opportunities in a broad range of areas and industries, such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture and technology.

FDI supports nearly 14 million American jobs, and it is responsible for $370 billion in U.S. goods exports. The U.S. has more FDI than any other country, topping $4 trillion.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

A ‘Story Worth Sharing’: Yellowhammer News and Serquest partner to award monthly grants to Alabama nonprofits

Christmas is the season of giving, helping others and finding magic moments among seemingly ordinary (and occasionally dreary) days. What better way to welcome this season than to share what Alabamians are doing to help others?

Yellowhammer News and Serquest are partnering to bring you, “A Story Worth Sharing,” a monthly award given to an Alabama based nonprofit actively making an impact through their mission. Each month, the winning organization will receive a $1,000 grant from Serquest and promotion across the Yellowhammer Multimedia platforms.

Yellowhammer and Serquest are looking for nonprofits that go above and beyond to change lives and make a difference in their communities.

Already have a nonprofit in mind to nominate? Great!

Get started here with contest guidelines and a link to submit your nomination:

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Nominations are now open and applicants only need to be nominated once. All non-winning nominations will automatically be eligible for selection in subsequent months. Monthly winners will be announced via a feature story that will be shared and promoted on Yellowhammer’s website, email and social media platforms.

Submit your nomination here.

Our organizations look forward to sharing these heartwarming and positive stories with you over the next few months as we highlight the good works of nonprofits throughout our state.

Serquest is an Alabama based software company founded by Hammond Cobb, IV of Montgomery. The organization sees itself as, “Digital road and bridge builders in the nonprofit sector to help people get where they want to go faster, life’s purpose can’t wait.”

Learn more about Serquest here.

15 hours ago

Alabama Power wins Electric Edison Institute awards for power restoration efforts following Hurricane Michael

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) awarded Alabama Power with the EEI “Emergency Assistance Award” and the  “Emergency Recovery Award” for its outstanding power restoration efforts after Hurricane Michael hit Alabama, Georgia, and Florida in October 2018.
The Emergency Assistance Award and Emergency Recovery Award are given to EEI member companies to recognize their efforts to assist other electric companies’ power restoration efforts, and for their own extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process.

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Alabama Power received the awards during the EEI 2019 annual conference.

Alabama Power’s extraordinary efforts were instrumental to restoring service for customers across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida quickly and safely,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “We are pleased to recognize the dedicated crews from Alabama Power for their work to restore service in hazardous conditions and to assist neighboring electric companies in their times of need.”

Hurricane Michael, the strongest storm to make landfall during the 2018 hurricane season, was a Category 5 hurricane with peak winds of 160 mph. The storm hit Mexico Beach, Fla., on October 10 before being downgraded to a tropical storm and traveling northeast through Georgia and several Mid-Atlantic states. Alabama Power sent more than 1,400 lineworkers and 700 trucks to help restore service to customers over the course of two and a half months.

Hurricane Michael also resulted in 89,438 service outages in Alabama Power’s territory. Due to their tireless work, Alabama Power’s crews restored power to 100 percent of customers within four days after the storm, dedicating more than 124-thousand hours to the recovery.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)