While corrupt media outlets such as CNN promote their “White House in crisis” narratives 24/7, basking in the Mueller “investigation”, cheering Jared Kushner’s reduced security clearance status and Hope Hicks’ resignation, and staging town halls to exploit grieving and angry high school students from Parkland, Fla., Heritage Foundation staffers have been following an undeniable trend.
Working with Congress when possible (on tax cuts, principally), or through regulatory guidance, the Trump administration “had an extraordinarily successful first year.” That is the assessment of the Foundation’s Thomas Binion, director of congressional and executive branch relations.
The Heritage Foundation, a public policy think tank with a well-deserved reputation for holding politicians accountable, sets a high bar for incoming Presidents. It is known as the “Mandate for Leadership”, and it debuted in 1981 when Ronald Reagan launched his two-term presidency.
At this stage of his presidency, Reagan had completed 49 percent of the Heritage policy recommendations. “We’re blown away,” Binion said in an interview. Trump, he said, “is very active, very conservative, and very effective.”
While not all of the adopted policies received the fanfare of across-the-board tax cuts, or the successful nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States, they are squarely on Heritage Foundation’s radar. These are the major achievements, according to the Foundation:
- Leaving the Paris Climate Accord: In August 2017, Trump announced the U.S. was ending its funding and membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
- Repealing Net Neutrality: In December 2017, Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chairman proposed ending the 2015 network neutrality rules.
- Reshaping National Monuments: Heritage’s recommendation to prohibit Land Acquisition (Cap and Reduce the Size of the Federal Estate) was adopted by Trump when he issued two executive orders effectively shrinking the size of national monuments in Utah.
- Reinstating the Mexico City Policy: This executive order prevents taxpayer money from funding international groups involved in abortion and ending funding to the United Nations Population fund. On Jan. 23, 2017, in his first pro-life action, Trump signed an executive order today reinstating the Mexico City Policy.
- Increasing Military Spending: Trump’s budget calls for a $54 billion increase in military spending to improve capacity, capability, and readiness of America’s armed forces.
- Reforming Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF):The Trump administration adopted and is in favor of strengthening existing work requirements in order to receive benefits.
- Allowing Development of Natural Resources: The Trump administration opened off-shore drilling and on federal lands. Executive Order 13783 directed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to commence federal land coal leasing activities.
- Reforming Government Agencies: Trump tasked each of his Cabinet secretaries to prepare detailed plans on how they propose to reduce the scope and size of their respective departments while streamlining services and ensuring each department runs more efficiently and handles tax dollars appropriately.
- Withdrawing from UNESCO: In October 2017, Trump announced he was putting an end to U.S. membership in the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
These are but a few examples of what former Trump deputy assistant and strategist Sebastian Gorka characterizes as the Trump “revolution” playing out before our eyes. If Republicans will continue to embrace Trump’s ambitions to steamroll reform through Congress and deliver for his supporters, Gorka forecasts a dismal November 2018 for Democrats in the mid-term elections. Writing for The Hill, Gorka opines:
If Republicans understand just how revolutionary and system-smashing an event like the election of Trump was, and they hitch their future to his brand of anti-establishment leadership, there will be no hope for the Democrats come November.
Donald Trump has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to learn at the wheel. Now the question is, have the professional politicians learned and internalized just how revolutionary the times we are living in actually are?