The First 500 Days of Trump: A Matter of Perspective

As of June 4, 2018, Donald Trump has been in office for more than 500 days. He has signed 180 bills into law, and Congress has introduced over 10,000 bills. Trump claims credit not only for numerous executive actions, but also for a number of aspects of the current state of our country, such as the economy.

On June 4, 2018, Trump tweeted, “This is my 500th. Day in Office and we have accomplished a lot – many believe more than any President in his first 500 days. Massive Tax & Regulation Cuts, Military & Vets, Lower Crime & Illegal Immigration, Stronger Borders, Judgeships, Best Economy & Jobs EVER, and much more…”

Though many of Trump’s staunch supporters point to Trump’s set of accomplishments, others view the same list as an array of unfortunate setbacks for the U.S. Here are some highlights of Trump’s first 500 days in office.

 Massive Tax and Regulation Cuts

One of Donald Trump’s proudest achievements in his first 500 days has been the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduces tax rates for businesses and individuals, increases the standard deduction and family tax credits, eliminates personal exemptions, and limits deductions for property taxes and state and local income taxes. The bill also repeals the individual mandate that was part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In his first 500 days, Trump has also cut numerous regulations on business and industry. The Trump Administration has mandated that for every new regulation, two must be eliminated. Trump has exceeded this goal, however; in reality, 22 regulations have been eliminated for every new regulation.

Included in Trump’s list of deregulating triumphs (as perceived by his supporters and Trump, himself) are the rollback of the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Water/Waters of the United States Rule, and numerous other environmental protections. The Trump administration has also withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Lower Crime and Illegal Immigration; Stronger Borders

One of Trump’s first actions in office was to issue travel bans on those coming into the U.S. from a select group of countries. The countries were all predominantly Muslim countries, labeled by the Trump administration as “embroiled in terrorist atrocities.”

Between January 20, 2017 and September 30, 2017, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) reported an significant  increase in arrests of undocumented immigrants, up 42 percent from the same period in 2016. Most of the immigrants arrested were already convicted of crimes, were facing charges, were about to be deported from the U.S., or were considered fugitives from ICE. In addition, approximately 61,000 other undocumented immigrants were deported during that time.

“Best Economy and Jobs EVER”

In Trump’s first 500 days, the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.8 percent, which is the lowest it’s been since early 2000. Trump takes credit for this, but the current low unemployment rate is, in reality, part of the continuing trend that started before Trump was in office.

Trump also praises himself for the increasing rate of U.S. job creation. In reality, this is the seventh consecutive year that jobs have steadily increased. More than 2 million jobs were created or added in 2017, and the number has continued to increase every month – for 92 months. This means that the trend began during the Obama administration.

Trump’s supporters also credit him with taking significant actions to reduce big government, and one of the areas Trump has gone after in this regard is federal jobs. On his first day in office, Trump placed a hiring freeze on Federal employees. Various members of the Trump administration have also helped with the effort to shrink government. Scott Pruitt has replaced, reassigned, or demoted numerous top scientists and officials at the Environmental Protection Agency. Mick Mulvaney fired all 25 members of the Consumer Advisory Board, a part of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Other achievements

Here are some other achievements Trump has managed in his first 500 days in office:

Golf outings: Trump has visited the golf course more than 102 times in his first 500 days as president, according to ABC News.

Tweets: Trump’s tweets are tracked by several websites, who report that Trump has tweeted 3496 times as of his first 500 days. Averaging seven tweets a day, he has called the Russia investigation a “witch hunt” 57 times, and used the term “fake news” 224 times while tweeting.

Phone calls to Putin: Donald Trump has had at least eight phone calls with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, in his first 500 days.

Trump White House senior staff who no longer work there: The Trump administration has set a record for White House staff departures in its first 500 days. At least 30 senior officials resigned from the White House staff during that period, and at least 12 additional senior staff members were terminated.

Trump’s fans tout what the president has done so far as proud victories. Many others, however, cringe to think of another 500 days that resemble anything near those that have just passed. One can only wonder what another 500 days of the Trump presidency will bring – or inflict – depending on one’s perspective.

President Donald Trump’s First 500 Days And The State Of His Legislative Agenda | CNBC  [2018-06-04]

First 500 days: Trump’s accomplishments | Fox News  [2018-06-04]