Trump’s Triumphs: The Case for 45
This OZY original series examines the president’s overlooked successes so far.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because there are successes worth pondering.
It’s time to give the president his due. The nation has been on quite the roller coaster since January 2017, when a novice politician arrived in Washington on a mission to change the way this country does things. Not all of those changes have been warmly received.
But after a midterm election that cemented the president’s support in the Senate and emboldened his detractors in the House of Representatives, we at OZY feel more committed than ever to our multipartisan mission. That means bringing you all sides of the news, including taking stock of the aspects of Donald Trump’s wild ride that are worth celebrating. You won’t find these on the CNN ticker, and may not even hear them at Make America Great Again rallies. These are Trump’s Triumphs — read more on each story by clicking the headline.
For decades, successive U.S. presidents have followed a set of common principles as their lodestar in global diplomacy: long-term plans to further America’s strategic goals; an avowed — though selective — push for values like human rights and democracy; and a clear distinction between allies and enemies. Trump has shredded that playbook. Yet his rare transparency and frankness on the global stage are yielding surprising results that may not have been possible with the approach his predecessors followed, say many neutral analysts. Trump’s hard line on China, realpolitik in the Middle East and hot-and-cold approach with North Korea are yielding surprising results.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “support activities” for mining have risen about 37 percent since January 2017, with the creation of nearly 100,000 new jobs — the largest single turnaround by percentage of any sector in the economy. While the much-ballyhooed coal mining jobs have been mostly flat, America’s oil boom is driving all kinds of ancillary jobs and helping power the strong economy. How much longer will it last?
From Trump’s first days in office, when the National Mall was flooded with his supporters and then 3 million gathered for the women’s marches across the country, the president has inspired people to get off their couches and get engaged — whether in support or in opposition. News outlets are awash in readers eager to dive into the weeds of health care policy and special counsel investigations. Congressional representatives are flooded with mail. As all signs point to a huge midterm turnout with a highly engaged citizenry, Trump’s mastery of the spotlight has brought civic engagement to the fore.
Trump has followed through on his plans to tackle high drug prices, with activist enforcement from his administration on price gougers and swifter approval of generic drugs. It’s also exploring allowing drug reimportation from Canada, and recently announced an initiative to base Medicare drug prices on what other countries pay. This is in stark contrast to the Obama administration, which secretly agreed to not hit pharmaceuticals too hard in the Affordable Care Act so that the pharmaceutical industry wouldn’t lobby against the bill. But drug prices still aren’t falling … yet.
President Barack Obama famously promised before the passage of his health law that its reforms would reduce average premiums by thousands of dollars for a typical American family. It didn’t happen … at least under Obama. Instead, it’s the Trump administration that has introduced more market-based reforms to give states and employers more flexibility. It’s helping stabilize health insurance costs — and fulfill Obama’s pledge.