Saturday was the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.
Trump remains a controversial figure and will likely remain controversial through his next three, or seven, years in office.
Although crass, the President has put together a list of significant achievements over his first year in office.
The choice of Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia was, perhaps, Trump’s most significant achievement in his first year in office. Congressional Republicans took a serious gamble in refusing to confirm Merrick Garland after Scalia passed in the waning days of the Obama administration. If Hillary Clinton had beaten Trump as expected in 2016 then she may have chosen a more liberal justice than Garland.
The choice of the open Supreme Court seat played a significant role in Trump’s election.
In fact, during the campaign, Trump released two lists of potential replacements for Scalia.
A majority, 56%, of the 21% of people who said that the next Supreme Court justice nominee was their most important factor in their presidential ballot voted for Trump.
Gorsuch was an inspired choice and has been acclaimed by the centre and right of the political spectrum.
Trump also did have a major legislative accomplishment with the tax reform package.
Trump’s tax reform package is seen as a major victory that will appeal to the Never Trumpers, and the actual impact of the bill cannot be overstated. For example, a released earlier this month by the Canadian Press warned that the Tax reform could have a larger impact on the Canadian economy than a removal of NAFTA.
As the tax reform package is the most significant tax cut since Ronald Reagan was in office.
If the package shows continued economic growth as a result of the package he could continue to shore up his support with the parts of the Republican base that were leery of him through the general election.
This large-scale tax break has also seen some returns to workers as a number of U.S. companies have given their employees $1,000 bonuses in response to the tax package. The tax package is not the only Trump achievement on the economy.
The stock market has reacted favorably to Trump’s first year in office. The gains on the stock market are due to Trump’s reduction in government regulations, the tax cuts and general investor confidence in a more business-friendly and pro-American administration.
The strength of the market creates more consumer confidence which drives demand and further bolsters the economy.
Trump also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The move starts the process of moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This move is symbolic of Trump’s commitment to strengthening American ties to Israel.
The Year Ahead
Trump’s second year in office begins with a government shutdown. The Democrats have decided that they were unwilling to continue to fund the government unless the children of illegal immigrants were guaranteed amnesty from prosecution and could be ensured to be allowed to stay in the country.
DACA is an interesting battleground as although this is an important issue to Democrats, is also an important one for Republicans.
Trump was willing to sign a deal that allowed for DACA if he got an agreement on funding a border wall.
The government shut down is the start of the race for the midterm elections in the fall.
The Democrats may have misread public sentiment on DACA. While DACA is favored by most Americans, it is doubtful that a majority of Americans favor shutting down the government in the name of illegal aliens, and therefore this could drastically harm the Democrats in the midterm.