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100 days in, is America Great Again?

Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The first 100 days of an administration is an important benchmark – a benchmark that Mr. Trump set for himself in his Contract with the American Voter which begins, “What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.” So, has this administration achieved what it set out to? And how has it gone about doing that?

We all want our country and our President to be successful, because we all want the same things: economic prosperity, security, affordable healthcare, and an open, transparent government. Let’s take a quick look at four areas of importance to our nation and how this administration is doing 100 days in.

National Security

THE CLAIM: Banning all incoming travel from 7 majority Muslim countries in the Middle East will reduce the risk of another terrorist attack on American soil.

After 9/11 and with the rise of ISIS, national security has become a top priority for many Americans. President Trump tried to address this problem via a travel ban from seven, later six, Muslim majority countries. From 1975 to 2015, not a single terrorist attack on American soil has been carried out by a national originating from these countries. The travel bans haven’t kept Americans safer and they’ve cost Americans tax dollars to defend them in court.

We need to make sure that the actions we take in the name of national security work. Let’s invest in our intelligence agencies and continue to build international partnerships. These methods work to reduce the spread of hateful ideologies and unchecked aggression.

The Economy

THE CLAIM: We can improve the economy and create more jobs by eliminating regulations on coal and protecting our borders.

When President Trump was sworn there were still pockets of the country that desperately need jobs. One of those areas is coal. But, the truth is that coal’s decline has much to do with decreased demand than increased regulation. Most energy companies see natural gas as a cheaper alternative. Also, automation has greatly reduced the number of coal miners.

While President Trump can’t bring back demand for coal, he can take steps to ensure that union miners’ healthcare is covered. If the President and Congress don’t take action, the government will shut down, leaving miners without health coverage. As unemployed coal miners, the President can invest in retraining them for the energy sector’s fastest growing job: wind-turbine technician.

Healthcare

THE CLAIM: Obamacare is “exploding” and must be scraped for a new program.

The Affordable Care Act is not exploding. More people have health insurance now ever before; though, there is room for improvement. Hospitals are losing less money than they were before the ACA. Also, the uninsured rate should hold steady at around 10% for the next 10 years under the ACA. President Trump’s original proposed plan would have raised the number of uninsured to over 18% over the next 10 years.

President Trump has many options to improve our healthcare. First, consumers need more options when it comes to insurers. Some Americans have only one insurer available on the health exchanges. Second, insurance deductibles continue to rise. Lastly, our overall cost of medical care is higher than almost anywhere in the world. By improving the ACA, President Trump can accomplish his goal of “insurance for everyone”.

Drain the Swamp

THE CLAIM: The Trump Administration is getting rid of the influence of lobbyists and special interests.

Donald Trump made “draining the swamp” a central theme of his campaign and has taken executive action on it. The executive order barred officials from lobbying the agencies they worked in but removed some safeguards implemented by Obama. President Trump has removed the requirement to publicly disclose ethics waivers for officials, keeping Americans in the dark. President Trump has also reversed the Obama administration’s practice of making White House visitor logs public, instead vowing to keep them secret.

The Trump administration has failed to drain the swamp in any meaningful way. We all deserve to have a government that is free of insider influence, which is what candidate Trump promised. Let’s hope he reverses course and keeps his promise.

Reflecting on the first 100 days, we think that a sober, objective assessment is required to chart our way forward. Let’s continue to fight for the American values we all believe in, and let’s hold this administration responsible to uphold those values.

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