Rolling back every inch of progress in the last eight years? Not enough. Backed by a Republican Senate and Republican House, Trump is anxious to get more ambitious.
With complete GOP control of the executive and legislative branches, top Republican policy experts see a chance for enacting a sweeping conservative agenda, from tougher immigration laws to tax reform to a repeal of Obamacare, and they want to jump on the bandwagon.
The whole idea of the Republican #NeverTrump movement, or that “true conservatives” would distance themselves from Trump’s … whatever-will-rile-the-crowd-ism, has vanished with the morning sun. The Trump transition team is simply swimming in Republicans eager to join. The winning for Team Trump is just beginning.
Even when the Trump team contemplated victory, they thought they’d be facing a Democratic Senate.
They built a tentative war plan around the premise that Democrats would control the Senate and that a Trump White House would be locked in daily battles with the likes of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
But now that the field is clear, they plan to run, run, run and keep running over every Democratic legislative victory back to FDR. Trump plans to start on day one by sending refugees back into danger, destroying Obama’s legacy, and of course … that wall.
Things that Trump has said he would do on day one ...
Laying out the aims of his administration, Trump said he will “repeal and replace ‘Obamacare,’” “immediately suspend the admission of Syrian refugees,” “order a review of every single regulation issued over the last eight years,” “begin lifting all regulations that are hurting our workers and our businesses,” “terminate every single unconstitutional executive order signed by President Obama,” “restore the rule of law to our land,” “begin implementing plans for construction of a wall along our southern border” and “get rid of” international gangs of thugs and drug cartels — all on his first day.
If Trump was really going to stop at “unconstitutional executive orders,” he’d be done already, because the relatively few orders Obama has issued are not unconstitutional. But that’s obviously not what Trump means.
Obama has used these orders to forestall deportation of the minor children of illegal immigrants; mandate wage increases for government contractors, institute rules regulating greenhouse emissions from power plants, and apply the Family Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples.
Deportations of children will resume. Wages will go down. CO2 will go up. And gay couples will lose their medical leave. That’s all on day one.
President Obama used executive orders where he could to get around a do-nothing Congress, and the nation has benefited from his actions. But there’s no doubt they can be, and will be, undone in an instant.
“During the first 100 days, the presidency will likely become a vehicle for moving the Republican agenda forward,” Mr. Craig said. “Nothing with Obama’s name on it is safe. It will be: ‘Let’s pull out the list of Obama’s sacred cows and slaughter them, one by one.’ ”
One of those “cows” will certainly be the Affordable Care Act. Republicans can certainly be ready on day one with a bill that destroys the ACA and which substitutes the meaningless “allow insurance across state lines.” The secret? There’s no federal law to stop insurance companies from crossing state lines now. It’s just a talking point. For the short term, millions of Americans will simply be without health care and millions more will face an explosion in costs.
Longer term, the Republican “replacement” is likely to be a voucher system, like the one proposed in the Ryan Plan. This also matches Trump’s promised model for the VA.
Don’t expect either of these plans to stop with Obamacare. Ryan’s plan called for Americans born after 1957 to never see Medicare, and the existing program to be destroyed by 2022. What the Republicans put forward will likely be an Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid replacement, all in the vague form of “a voucher system.”
In theory, international treaties like the Iran deal and the Paris climate accords are harder for Trump to “tear up,” as he’s threatened to do, on day one. In practice, he can just as easily ignore them. Trump will support ramping up sanctions against Iran, throwing that agreement into chaos, and remove any limit on greenhouse gases, making the Paris accords moot. US bad faith is likely to then end with both agreements in tatters, even if there’s never an official withdrawal.
Reopening negotiations could also prompt Iran to restart its uranium centrifuges, putting the country back on a path to a nuclear weapon.
Safety and environmental regulations are an easy day one goal. The total dissolution of the EPA, OSHA, MSHA, and BLM will take a little longer. Expect public lands and public resources to be given away in massive blocks. And while the Republicans are destroying institutions, expect the Department of Education to go. Along with support for public libraries, which are singled out in the Ryan Plan. Who needs a library when you can always check Breitbart?
But the number one goal of the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress will be the same as it always is—taxes.
The centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s plans is a major overhaul of the federal tax code. Mr. Trump has proposed a sharp reduction in the taxation of businesses and a series of changes that would reduce income taxes for most American households. The wealthiest households would see by far the largest reductions in taxes.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that Mr. Trump’s plan would cut federal revenues by $6.2 trillion over the next decade — a significantly larger reduction than the last major round of cuts under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.
Corporations that are already the wealthiest and most profitable in history, are about to get a windfall. Billionaires and millionaires are about to see their taxes vastly reduced, and their wealth sheltered so it can be passed on without limit. Junior and Ivanka and the other one can rest knowing that the money will come their way without diminution.
Everyone else can expect the bill.