President Trump Keeping Campaign Promises: A Timeline
Posted On January 14, 2020
This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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This series intends to provide a format for anyone to evaluate each campaign promise logically. The Trump Train is traveling along well and on schedule.
New Developments and Progress
As 2019 came to a close President Trump was busy keeping promises. He made 98 of them while on the campaign trail. To give you a point of reference, over the past 16 years prior to POTUS – 45 not one campaign promise was kept by either George W. Bush or Barry Soetoro. The following are promises that have now been KEPT. We explain how we came to that conclusion and provide the source of the information, where applicable.
Save the Carrier Plant Trump statement: “So here’s what’s going to happen: within 24 hours, I’ll get a call – the head of Carrier – and he’ll say, ‘Mr. President’, we’ve decided to stay in the United States. That’s what’s going to happen. 100 percent.” Trump was right and the plant stayed, but that is only part of this story as they did have layoffs. Just as important is the fact that these new policies are now creating the environment for companies and manufacturing to return to the US.
Get Out of the Paris Climate Accord Trump Statement: “We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement…”
Get out of the TPP Trump Statement: “I’m going to issue notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” Accomplished by an Executive Order.
Bring Off-Shore Money Back. Trump Statement: “The Trump Tax Plan will provide a deemed repatriation of corporate profits held offshore at a one-time tax rate of 10 percent.” It not only happened, but when it did it totaled $1 Trillion so far. It also added an entire point to America’s Gross Domestic Product, also known as GDP.
Lower the Business Tax Trump Statement: “The Trump Plan will lower the business tax rate from 35 percent…” Included in the Job and Tax Act.
Tax Cuts Trump Statement: “Everybody is getting a tax cut, especially the middle class.” This tax cut ended up being the largest for Americans even if a mixed bag for the wealthy losing the State and Local income tax deduction. This tax break has benefited the average American household by $10,000 annually. When you add in the savings from taxes, food, gasoline, etc.
Tariffs Trump Statement: “Any country that devalues their currency to take unfair advantage of the United States and all of its companies that can’t compete will face tariffs and taxes to stop the cheating.”
Increase the Gross Domestic Product Trump Statement: “We’re bringing the GDP from 1 percent up to 4 percent, and I actually we can go higher than 4 percent. I think you can go to 5 percent or 6 percent.” Marking this as kept because the Trump Administration’s policies have brought the GDP to 4.2 in Quarter 4 of 2019 as reported by the White House.
Bring Back Manufacturing Trump Statement: “My plan includes a pledge to restore manufacturing in the United States.” According to the White House, manufacturing jobs are growing at the fastest rate in more than three decades and 95% of manufacturers are optimistic about the future – the highest ever.
Eliminate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Trump Statement: “The 3.8% Obamacare tax on investment income will be repealed as will the Alternative Minimum Tax.”
Create Child Tax Credits Trump Statement: “The Trump Plan will rewrite the tax code to allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents.”
Hire Americans first Trump Statement: “Establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.”
NAFTA Trump Statement: “A Trump administration will renegotiate NAFTA and if we don’t get the deal we want we will terminate NAFTA and get a much better deal for our workers and our companies. 100 percent.” Passed the U.S. House of Representatives in Dec 2019.
Currency Manipulation Trump Statement: “Instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.” Not necessary any more as a new trade deal eliminates the effect.
Reduction of regulations Trump Statement: “A requirement for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.”
Defense Sequester Trump Statement: “As soon as I take office, I will ask Congress to fully eliminate the defense sequester.” The Defense Sequester ended with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, also known as the NDAA, in 2017 adding over $700 billion to the Department of Defense. It’s passage officially ended the financial draw-down of our Military.
NATOPayments Trump Statement: “I think NATO’s great, but it’s got to be modernized, and countries that we’re protecting have to pay what they’re supposed to be paying.” NATO Allies will increase their defense spending to $130 billion by the end of 2020.
U.S. Army Rebuild Trump Statement: “We will build an active army around 540,000 as the army’s Chief of Staff has said he needs desperately and really must have to protect our country.” Current level of Active Duty Army personnel as of Nov 12, 2019 the latest report: 471,990. Only 68,000 short but it clearly shows intent and after all someone could be impeached for less.
US Marine Corps. Rebuild Trump Statement: “We will build a Marine Corps based on 36 battalions, which the Heritage Foundation notes is the minimum needed to deal with major contingencies – we have 23 now.” In 2015 after this promise the level rose to 24, where it remains at in early 2020.
US Air Force Rebuild Trump Statement: “We will build an Air Force of at least 1,200 fighter aircraft, which the Heritage Foundation again has shown to be needed to execute current missions.” Currently, they have 1,377 fighters.
US Navy Rebuild Trump Statement: “We will build a Navy of 350 surface ships and submarines as recommended by the bipartisan National Defense Panel.” Currently they have 423.
Supreme Court Trump Statement: “I am looking to appoint judges (Supreme Court) very much in the mold of Justice Scalia.” That he has done twice with Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. On a side note President Trump has nominated and the Senate approved 187 Federal Judges. In comparison Obama appointed 55 circuit court judges in his eight years in office so far Trump has appointed 50 in less than three.
Guantanamo Bay Prison Trump Statement: “We’re going to keep, as you know GITMO, we’re keeping that open.” GITMO is open for business and has received some remodeling.
No Lobbying for Potential Enemies Trump Statement: “I’m going to issue a lifetime ban against senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government”
Voluntary Service Trump Statement: “If I’m elected President, I’m accepting no salary” President Trump has donated every penny to a worth-while cause and kept the donation within the Federal Government. This includes the National Park Service, the Opioid Crisis, Department of Homeland Security, Surgeon General, Veterans Affairs, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, and the Small Business Administration.
Less Vacations Trump Statement: “I would not be a President who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.” Trump has only taken trips to Mar-a-Lago or to one of his golf courses, unlike the last occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Five year Ban on WH Officials Lobbying for US Interests Enacted by Executive Order.
FEDERAL Employee Hiring Freeze Enacted by Executive Memorandum
ELIMINATE WASTEFUL SPENDING Trump Statement: “Ask every department head and government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate” in his first 100 days. Here is one of the best examples out there, as the U.S. Department of Education is removing 39 programs that either do not meet the national objectives or are redundant. Saving taxpayers $6.5 billion.
ELIMINATE ESTATE TAX Was part of a Tax Reform passed in 2017. It allowed no estate tax for those inheriting less than $11.2M. Other parts of a tax plan passed as well.
Putting America First Trump Statement: “We’re going to put America first. That includes canceling billions in climate change spending for the United Nations.” This has actually been fun to watch as once again the U.S. is leading by example as several nations have followed suit and have not paid a dime to the UN.
Reform the EPA Trump Statement: “We are going to get rid of it in almost every form. We are going to have little tidbits left, but we’re going to take a tremendous amount out.” This promise is being kept by first reducing its budget and letting the States pick up the slack. Interesting that EPA’s budget is about the same amount as that cut by the Department of Education listed in #28 above.
EPA’s FY 2020 Annual Performance Plan and Budget1 of $6.068 billion represents a $2.76 billion, or 31 percent reduction from the Agency’s FY 2019 Annualized Continuing Resolution (ACR)level. This resource level, including the Agency’s requested 12,414.6 Full-Time Employees, will enable EPA to support our highest priorities and fulfill our critical mission for the American people.
EPA Budget Report, FY 2020
INFRASTRUCTURE & TECHNOLOGY
USE US STEEL Trump Statement: “A Trump Administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for America infrastructure.” From the very beginning of building Trump’s new border wall using American steel was a directive.
Let’s take a minute and address some together as their funding is bundled. Decrease in cost is consistent with reforms to eliminate waste and improve efficiency at the same time.
“I’m not going to cut…Medicare…”
“I’m not going to cut…Medicaid…”
Trump Statement: “I’m not going to cut Social Security…” This program has not been cut. Either it has higher Full-time equivalents than 2018 but lower than 2019.
4.Paid Maternity Leave Trump Statement: “We can provide six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit.” This may be a compromise in that he signed legislation that covers Federal workers for 12 weeks. That may be the first step in getting a foothold into the private sector though.
REMOVE CRIMINAL UNDOCUMENTED ILLEGALS This promise is well documented, as this Administration has deported thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal records. It has been so effective that the rate of illegals entering is 25% of what it was last year.
Terminate BHO’s Immigration EO Trump Statement: “Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). All immigration laws will be enforced — we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.” We need to list it as a partially kept promise, as the Trump Administration only successfully revoked a deportation-reprieve program for parents.
Suspend Immigration from Hostile Countries Trump Statement: “Countries in which immigration will be suspended would include places like Syria and Libya.” This promise was kept by an Executive Order 13769.
Less Replacement Workers Trump Statement: “We will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, the forgotten people. Workers, we are going to take care of our workers.” This is one of the pivotal ways to have a priority in hiring Americans. By stemming the tide of foreigners being sought after first to fill vacancies.
Cancel Visas to Countries That won’t take back undocumented immigrants. Trump Statement: “Cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back.”
Move the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem Trump Statement: “We will move the American Embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.” Mission Accomplished on May 14, 2018.
Veto Gun BHO’s 2016 Gun EO Trump Statement: “I will veto, I will un-sign that BHO’s gun executive order so fast.” He did.
Building a Southern Border Wall Trump Statement: “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”
Negate the Iran Nuclear Deal Trump Statement: “This (Iran) deal if I win will be a totally different deal” Well, that’s true as in Trump withdrew us from the deal completely and has enacted the strongest sanctions against this member of the only two remaining nations in the “Axis of Evil”. North Korea being the second member reference the SOU speech in 2002 by George W. Bush.
ISIS Destruction Trump Statement: “We are going to convene my top generals and give them simple instructions. They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS. We have no choice.” This was carried out and simply ended the ISIS Caliphate. They really became OBE (overcome by events), but they did meet and they did defeat the caliphate.
Cuba Trump Statement: “The President’s (44) one-sided deal for Cuba and with Cuba only benefits the Castro regime but all the concessions…<were> through an Executive Order, which means they can be undone. That is what I intend to do…”
Create an International Coalition to defeat ISIS Was accomplished.
APPROVE KEYSTONE Trump Statement: “I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits.” One of if not the first action he took as POTUS45. “At the urging of President Donald Trump, the State Department has issued a Presidential Permit for Trans-Canada’s Keystone XL. An important step forward for construction of the pipeline and a complete reversal of a decision made under former President Barack Obama.” – Politifact March 24, 2017
Starting Back Up Coal Production Trump Statement: “We’re going to put our (coal) miners back to work.” Increased coal exports by 60 percent. – White House December, 2019
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE Trump Statement: “Under my presidency, we will accomplish a complete American energy independence, complete, complete.” Notice how the price of gas remains at one of the lowest points in recent memory? According to several Energy experts we are now a swing producer in crude oil, meaning we set the price and not OPEC. U.S. oil production in late 2019 reached an all-time high. The US is now a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957. – White House December 2019.
Whitehouse Hotline for VA Issues Trump Statement: “I will create a private White House hotline…for Veterans” This was enacted in December of 2017, it provides a real life operator that answers the Veterans questions or transfers the to another live operator at the Veteran’s Administration where the Vet can get an update on his/her file. The number is (888) 948-2311. “We are going to make sure every veteran in America has the choice to seek care at the Veterans Administration or to seek private medical care paid for by our government.”
The Return of Being Able to Say “Merry Christmas” Trump Statement: “If I become President, we’re going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ at every store. You can leave (happy holidays) at the corner…other religions can do what they want.”
Summary: President Trump has kept far more promises than any President in recent memory. After only three years. One can only hope he gets four more come November! Don’t stay at home!
COL Mike FitzGerald (Ret)
COL Mike FitzGerald (retired) is a writer for NRN. He\'s a graduate of the US Army War College. Now retired after 39 years of service, he earned the Bronze Star Medal and Combat Action Badge in two combat tours. His expertise includes logistics, readiness, and linguist operations. He sees his patriotic duty to educate Americans about the truth, help "drain the swamp" and hold all politicians past, present, and future accountable.