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posted on 24 January 2018

Grading President Trump's First Year in Office: B!

Written by

President Trump has just passed the mark of one year in office. Everybody assessed his Presidency on its first anniverssary. Two extreme examples:

1) President Trump: A Year of Real Change.

2) CNN: Trump's First Year: Reign of Chaos.

Let me give you my balanced assessment, with an overall score of B for the President!

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Specifically, I will discuss in three big categories as follows:

1) Major accomplishments.

2) Major mistakes.

3) President Trump and China.

1. Major accomplishments

President Trump has clearly created a very pro-business environment at home, which is critical for America. In other words, without a strong economy at home, nothing else works or even matters.

Specifically, he has three major accomplishments:

1) Tax reforms.

2) Curtailing regulations.

3) Executive orders.

Let me elaborate on each ...

1.1 Tax reforms

Ideally, tax reforms should have been done in two separate bills, for corporate and personal, respectively. But since there is nothing ideal in American politics any more, the tax reform bill mixed them up, resulting in mixed reviews. Here is my take:

1) Corporate: It is very good, as it lowered the corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, making American business more competitive not only globally, but also at home.

2) Personal: It was too favorable to the rich!

Overall, it was a very good bill for America: no business, no America!

1.2 Curtailing regulations

Once again, no business, no America. As a businessman, President Trump gets it, as shown by the picture below.

1.3 Executive orders

President Trump is clearly a man of action by issuing many executive orders. Most of them are good (e.g. Trump signs '2-for-1' order to reduce regulations), although some are very questionable (e.g. the Muslim travel ban).

I prefer actions (and getting most of them right) to do-nothing (and getting everything, which is nothing, right).

2. Major mistakes

Below are his three major mistakes:

1) Getting re-elected ad nauseam.

2) Firing of FBI Director James Comey.

3) Personnel.

Let me elaborate on each ...

2.1 Getting re-elected ad nauseam

Like all his predecessors (in recent decades at least), President Trump has obviously fallen into the trap of getting re-elected ad nauseam, despite my explicit warning (President Trump Must Be One-Term, Voluntarily!). Three informative readings:

1) President Trump: Getting Re-Elected in 2020, via Tweeting?

2) Is the Trump Revolution Over?

3) President Trump: Governing vs. Campaigning for 2020.

2.2 Firing FBI Director James Comey

In this regard, President Trump was ignorant of American politics and history at best, reckless at worst, resulting in a special counsel named Robert Mueller, whose investigation may ultimately bring down the Trump Presidency.

Below is an excerpt from the current best-selling book Fire and Fury:

Steve Bannon was telling people he thought there was a 33.3 percent chance that the Mueller investigation would lead to the impeachment of the president, a 33.3 percent chance that Trump would resign, perhaps in the wake of a threat by the cabinet to act on the Twenty-Fifth Amendment (by which the cabinet can remove the president in the event of his incapacitation), and a 33.3 percent chance that he would limp to the end of his term. In any event, there would certainly not be a second term, or even an attempt at one.

For more, read: "Fire and Fury": A Book Review.

2.3 Personnel

The image below is worth more than 1,000 words. For more, read: Trump Administration 2.0.

3. President Trump and China

China was deeply worried about the Trump Presidency, thanks, chiefly, to his various anti-China campaign rhtorics. But that worry was totally gone, after President Trump remarked: "I do not blame China" - See the video below.

On top of that, President Trump did China a huge favor by dumping the TPP - Trans-Pacific Partnership.

4. Discussion

Has President Trump made America better? Yes, especially the economy!

Will President Trump truly make America great again? Increasingly unlikely! Two informative readings:

1) Make America Great Again, Really?

2) Remember when Trump Said He Saved 1,100 Jobs at a Carrier Plant? Well, globalization doesn't give a damn. Below is an interesting video.

Like many Americans, I voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 general election for one main reason: he was the lesser of two evils. If the election were held today, I would still vote for him, because he would still be the lesser of two evils, despite all the problems with the Trump presidency. This speaks loudly about the hopelessness of American democracy in general and the American Presidency in specific.

Unlike most Trump voters, I spelled out the path to historic greatness for President Trump: An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump. But he has yet to listen ...

5. Closing

The bar for measuring the greatness of an American President is very low (Let's Redefine the American Presidency, Now (Version 3)!). I have, therefore, very generously given President Trump "B" for his overall performance so far (vs. "D" for President Obama - Correctly Assessing President Obama).

Hopefully he will do much better from now on, but it's increasingly unlikely, although he received my handbook quite a few months ago ...

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