Donald Trump (R)

Keep America Great!

President Trump is the incumbent, real estate mogul, businessman, and former reality television host. Trump has pledged to “Restore America to its former glory,” and during his current term, he has reversed several Obama era policies to accomplish that.

He is determined to place America first when dealing with the international community, enforcing staunch immigration laws to curb illegal immigration and remove regulations that locked up America’s ability to innovate and profit. Trump has said that he is “totally flexible on very, very many issues.”

Trump’s signature issues

  • He aims to expand American fossil fuel production, sell American energy to other countries, and roll back environmental regulation because he doubts the science behind the phenomenon of climate change.
  • He is willing to assign significant budget from Earth science and climate research to “Space Force” deep space exploration, the pursuit of small satellites, and hypersonic technology.
  • He plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Issues That Matter

Individual and corporate tax cuts characterize the economic policy of the Trump administration, attempts to repeal the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, trade protectionism, immigration restriction, and deregulation focused on the energy and financial sectors. An essential part of President Trump’s economic strategy during his initial three years was to boost economic growth with tax cuts and additional spending. In his second term, he seeks to-

  • He wants to implement a $2 trillion reduction in healthcare spending, primarily from Medicaid, a program for lower-income persons,
  • He pledges a $1.5 trillion in non-defense discretionary spending cuts,
  • He promises about $1 trillion in corporate and income tax cuts,
  • He wants to achieve a net deficit reduction of $2.5 trillion.
  • Trump also seeks to enlist the aid of the U.S. Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy.
Health Care

Trump has stated multiple times that he supports repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), which the president refers to as a “complete disaster”, and replacing it with a “free-market system.” He released his health care plan, and it called for allowing health insurance companies to compete across state lines and for making Medicaid into a block grant system for the states.

  • Trump has cited the rising costs of premiums and deductibles as a motivation to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • The president called for the elimination of the individual mandate for health insurance, for allowing health insurance premiums to be deducted on tax returns, and for international competition in the drug market. 
  • He also emphasized the removal of market entry barriers for drug providers and improved access to imported medication corresponding to safety standards.

President Trump has locked horns with many large tech firms in the US, accusing them of conspiring to defeat him in 2020. While he has repeatedly washed over concerns about Russian interference in US elections, his administration has imposed sanctions against Russia and the intelligence assets deemed responsible.

  • He cites that the anti-conservative bias of Silicon Valley firms such as Google and Facebook are a bigger threat to US elections than Russia.  
  • In his second year in office, he issued classified guidance- giving US Cyber Command more flexibility in carrying out offensive cyber strikes, including against Russia and rogue nations.
  • In 2019, the president’s Justice Department announced a broad antitrust review of “market-leading online platforms.” No specific companies were named, but analysts are speculating that Amazon, Facebook, and Google will be in focus. 
  • Last year he issued an executive order to increase the workforce of federal employees dedicated to working on cybersecurity issues.
Criminal Justice

President Trump’s administration approaches law enforcement as a crackdown on violent crime, along with a refusal to regulate the police departments that fight it and overhauling the Obama era programs that were implemented to ease tensions between communities and the police.

  • The President reinstated the use of asset forfeiture-the practice of seizing the property of crime suspects who have not been charged with or convicted of a crime- making it so local authorities in the states that banned asset forfeiture could engage in the practice.
  • In 2018, President Trump signed the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that sought to rehabilitate prisoners and reduce recidivism, by expanding job training and early-release programs and lowering mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.
  • The President also reversed a 16-year old moratorium on federal capital punishment in 2019, with Attorney General Barr directing the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule five executions.

President Trump chose Republican financier Betsy DeVos, a notable Michigan charter school advocate, as Secretary of Education, it was a controversial nomination and VP Pence had to tie break the confirmation vote.

  • Trump has been very vocal in his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools. Trump has blasted the Common Core State Standards Initiative, calling it a “total disaster.”
  • He has also asserted that Common Core is “education through Washington, D.C..”
  • He has proposed redirecting $20 billion in existing federal spending to block grants to states so that they can give poor children vouchers to attend a school of their family’s choice, whether it be a charter school, private school, or online school.

Immigration policies follow economic nationalism. Trump’s “America First” program seeks to guard American workers and businesses. It’s a departure from decades of a U.S. immigration policy that centered on family reunification, asylum, and safe harbor of refugees. Most of what he’s done is through executive actions and laws, not through Congressionally-approved plans. Soon, he will pass a bill to send to Congress that would grant immigration status based on skill and merit.

Trump’s immigration policies are:

  • He aims to restrict legal immigration.
  • He plans to complete the border wall with Mexico.
  • He wants to reduce the number of asylum seekers.
  • He plans to stop undocumented immigrants from receiving privileges.
  • His policy includes the deportation of immigrants who arrived in the U.S as children. At present, they are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
  • He plans to Restrict travel and visas from certain countries.
  • He has already planned to reduce the number of refugees.
  • He aims to review the H-1B visa program.

Donald Trump is rebuilding the American military, defeating terrorist organizations, and confronting rogue nations to protect America and our allies.

His Policies are:

  • The Trump Administration has worked to reconstruct the U.S. Military and gave the Defense Department nearly $1.5 Trillion in the past two NDAAs.
  • He is modernizing the U.S military to meet the security needs of the 21st century.
  • He is putting maximum pressure on North Korea to denuclearize.
  • He is confronting Iran’s aggression.
  • He has cracked down on Chemical Weapons users.
  • He is supporting Democracy in Venezuela and cracking down on the Maduro regime.
  • The Trump Administration has reinforced allies in the region.
  • The Trump Administration has pursued an aggressive position against Russia for its destabilizing exercises.
Gun Control

Donald Trump generally opposed gun control, but supported the ban on assault weapons and supported a “more extended waiting period to purchase a gun. While campaigning for the presidency, Trump modified some of his positions on gun issues, calling for the extension of gun rights.

Foreign Policy

When it comes to the foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration, it includes a focus on security, by fighting terrorists overseas and strengthening border securities and immigration controls. The policies also include a plan for an expansion of the U.S. military; an “America First” approach to trade; and global diplomacy, which means ‘becoming friends with old enemies.’ As a presidential candidate, Trump emphasized the get-tough approach toward suspected terrorists. 

  • In many cases, Trump has given important foreign policy tasks to advisors within the White House, especially former chief political strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Jared Kushner.
  • He has proposed a replacement agreement for NAFTA, a travel ban from certain countries, extended sanctions on Iran and sought direct, bilateral relations with North Korea, among others, often one-sided decisions.

Last year, President Donald Trump was found defending the constitutional mechanism he once opposed and called a ‘disaster.’ He had won the electoral college in 2016 while losing the popular vote. Here are a few key points on his views about electoral politics:

  • Trump asserted that a popular vote election would further restrict campaigning, confining candidates to the biggest states.
  • In March 2019, Trump had also tweeted, “The Democrats are getting very “strange.” They now want to change the voting age to 16, abolish the Electoral College, and Increase significantly the number of Supreme Court Justices. Actually, you’ve got to win it at the Ballot Box!” 
Cannabis & Marijuana

Donald Trump has never gone out to support marijuana legalization. But, last year in September, he did say that he never had any objection to US states legalizing forms of marijuana. As a matter of fact, he stated his administration would leave legalization decisions up to the individual states. Trump was seen sharing some conflicting views on medical marijuana legalization. Let’s take a quick look.

Trump challenged Congress on medical marijuana

  • On December 21, Forbes explained Trump’s resistance to marijuana legalization. He said that if necessary, he would ignore Congress’s protection laws for marijuana in each state.
  • In the US, marijuana is federally illegal. However, the Trump administration has allowed legalization on a state level.
Climate and Energy

President Trump has questioned the science of climate change, repeatedly expressing doubts about the correlation between human activity and global warming. He has argued for expanding domestic fossil fuel production and has pushed environmental regulation rollbacks implemented by President Obama. 

  • Almost immediately after taking office, he announced the US withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate. The United States’ withdrawal took effect this year.
  • He has been determined to open nearly all US water bodies and protected lands to drilling, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • His Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rescinded the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, a regulation that required states to reduce the dependence on coal-based power plants.
  • He has repeatedly tried to slash EPA funding by nearly a third.
Trade Agriculture

President Trump had declared his new US-China trade agreement as a sure sign of victory for American farmers. A synopsis of the new agreement states that Beijing will now “strive” to purchase an additional $5bn (£3.8bn) of US agricultural products over the next two years. Throughout his term, Trump attempted to rescue segments of the economy he believed were neglected by politicians at home and battered by competitors abroad, like US manufacturing, trade, and agriculture.

  • The president started a trade war with China early last year, imposing tariffs on the world’s second-largest economic giant as well as friendly trading partners in a bid to shore up those sectors’ fortunes.
  • American manufacturing has slumped, and farmers have already suffered heavy losses, as the total value of agricultural exports to China has been more than halved since 2017.
  • The president announced he was also going to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina, dragging two of the largest South American economies into the dispute.
Social & Religious Issues

A recent survey shows that white evangelicals mostly see Trump as fighting for their beliefs and advancing their interests. They feel their side generally has been winning recently on political matters vital to them. However, when it comes to Trump’s personal qualities and conduct, many express mixed feelings. Here are a few highlights from the recent developments in this regard:

  • Trump stated last month that he had ended a government “war on religion” – raises questions about whether a long-standing bipartisan priority can stay that way amid the white-hot politics of an election year. 
  • On the other hand, religious progressives who have raised their voices to counter Trump’s appeals to his evangelical base challenged his administration’s focus on international religious freedom as advancing a restrictive definition of the term.

Donald Trump’s Tax radical Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on Dec. 22, 2017, slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% in 2018. The corporate cuts are here to stay, while the individual changes expire at the end of 2025 unless Congress acts to renew some or all of the provisions of the TCJA.

How Does It Affect Us

The TCJA is complicated, and its different terms affect each family differently based on their personal situations:

  • High-income earners: The Tax Foundation has shown that those who earn over 95% of the population will get a 2.2% increase in after-tax income. And those in the 20% to 80% range would receive a 1.7% increase.3
  • People with valuable estates: A greater exemption for the estate tax will help you if you leave an estate that’s worth a lot of money. As a matter of fact, the TCJA doubled the estate tax exemption from $5.49 million in 2017 to $11.18 million in 2018.