What Will Trump Do?

 

I did not vote for Donald Trump because of his often crude remarks and sleazy behavior. But I am now cautiously optimistic about the prospects for his presidency based on the quality of his nominees for important government posts.  Like many of his voters, I “take him seriously but not literally.”

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Here is what I think he will do:

  • Economic Policy. He will try to speed up economic growth, well above the average 2.1% annual GDP growth of the past 7½ years. This can be accomplished with tax reform (lowering tax rates paid for by shrinking deductions), regulatory reform (including paring back Dodd-Frank and the ACA), immigration reform and tougher trade policies. Faster growth benefits the whole country and especially the blue-collar workers who voted for him.
  • Improving life in the inner cities. K-12 education is a disaster in many inner cities and Betsy DeVos will be a reformer in the Education Department. Ben Carson grew up in public housing and is an excellent choice for HUD.
  • Foreign Policy. Mr. Trump wants changes from China on currency and trade practices. He also wants more cooperation from Russia in fighting terrorism. He wants our NATO partners to bear a bigger share of their own defense. His Secretary of State designee, Rex Tillerson, supports arming Ukraine against Russia and also supports the TPP trade agreement with Asia. This all sounds good to me.
  • Fiscal Policy. My biggest concern at this point is our national debt, now 76% of GDP (for the public part on which we pay interest) which is historically high and steadily getting worse. The House Republicans are serious about shrinking deficit spending and hopefully Mr. Trump will support their efforts.

Conclusion. Donald Trump has a highly unconventional (but very effective) style of communication. If it leads to progress in addressing our biggest problems as above, then he’ll have a very successful presidency.

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4 thoughts on “What Will Trump Do?

  1. You clearly know nothing about the education as it stands in the “inner cities”. They depend entirely on the public school system. Vouchers will privatize it, making school unaffordable for many if not all. In one interview with Democracy Now, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said, “In nominating Devos Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America.”

    Her little education experiment in Michigan blew up in her face. Devos designed a system with no oversight and her schools that did poorly continued to enroll students. Start doing some research on facts instead of pushing out this nonsense.

    • The point is that K-12 education is failing in many big inner cities and so radical reform is needed to turn things around. Hopefully Ms. DeVos can use a bully stick to move this process along.

      • There’s no disagreement that K-12 is seriously performing below standards in certain lower income cities. But it’s important to have a deeper look over why and how they are failing. Part of it is bias standardized testing while other factors include lack of funding from its counties and/or state to provide openings to more qualified teachers to reduce large teacher to student ratios.

        Decentralization and school choice mostly address the wrong problems with student academics – something that Betty Devos has experimented in Michigan with disastrous results. She continues to advocate them now.

        While there were many schools to choose from, none of those schools were of quality. Look up Hope Academy, Detroit Community or even Woodward – all of which have dragged near the bottom of school achievement in Michigan since ’98. All of which were also unregulated since charters bypass state and county regulations. That is not to say all charter schools are bad of course. Unfortunately, a majority of them are for-profit more than for-student. Despite the large number of underperforming students, her network of charters did one thing right – it made good money out of many well-intended parents.

        Those who advocate Devos’ programs don’t understand that with choice also comes marketing with school quality taking a backseat (not to mention funds that would otherwise be used more effectively). Teachers, staff and parents now having to do unnecessary PR on top of preparing curriculum is the stuff of legend.

        If Devos wants to help, she will need to drop the bully stick on the public school system, invest into it, learn its processes, see how it cultivates community, etc.

  2. No one is advocating the elimination of public K-12 schools. We need them and they’re here to stay. But where they are under performing change is needed. And throwing more money at them is not the answer. What they need is competition and this is what charter schools are all about. The best charter schools like KIPP are outstanding. Maybe what is needed is some kind of quality control for charter schools. Then we’ll see the public schools step up to meet the challenge.

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