Donald Trump famously declared that ‘for every new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations [must] be identified for elimination’.

This was music to the ears of all those believing that governments around the world have become too bloated and too expensive and that they interfere too much. The necessary executive order – number 13771 – was signed on 30 January 2017, ten days after Mr Trump took office. His first general counsel said that ‘the ever-growing, unaccountable administrative state is a direct threat to individual liberty’. Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom Mr Trump appointed to the Supreme Court, had expressed concerns about the immense powers of the modern administrative state.

In the summer 2020 edition of Regulation, a review published by the Cato Institute, an article by Keith Belton and John Graham argued that no other post-World War II president, except perhaps Ronald Reagan, had exhibited such public commitment to the cause of deregulation as had Mr Trump. The two writers reported on a study they had conducted of the Trump administration’s deregulatory efforts at the end of his second year in office.

One finding was that the flow of all new regulations in the first two years under Mr Trump was ‘much smaller’ than under the first two years of the two previous administrations. George W Bush had issued 6 999 regulations and Barrack Obama 6 793, but Mr Trump only 4 310. This is a significant decrease.

Looking only at ‘major regulations’ issued during the first two years of the three presidents, Mr Bush’s count was 103, that of Mr Obama 176, and that of Mr Trump only 90 – again a significant decrease.      

However, reducing the flow of new regulations was much easier than cutting away the huge stock of regulations already in force. Mr Trump had undertaken 243 ‘deregulatory actions’ under his executive order, with 514 still in progress. These deregulatory actions were, however, ‘very small’ when measured against the total of almost 69 000 regulations adopted in the last 24 years.

Blocked or delayed

Although Mr Trump had instructed cabinet officers to find as many regulations as possible to eliminate, he had also left key administrative posts vacant. Another problem was that there were early signs that his deregulatory agenda was being blocked or delayed by the judiciary, which was still dominated by judges appointed by Democratic administrations. Moreover, an ‘unintended consequence’ of federal deregulation was that some state and local governments were becoming more ‘aggressive’ in their own regulatory policies.  

The two authors further noted that the Trump administration’s deregulatory policies on ‘climate change’ were vulnerable to the ‘increasingly bipartisan’ nature of congressional politics on this issue, which could lead to their reversal.    

The same issue of Regulation also reported on an analysis in an annual report entitled Ten Thousand Commandments. This showed that the two-to-one goal had been achieved during the first three years of the Trump administration, but that there had then been a loss of momentum, with more regulatory than deregulatory actions in the pipeline at the end of 2019.

Another analysis was based on the Federal Register, the daily repository of new regulations proposed or enacted by the federal government. This showed that in 2019, Mr Trump’s third year, 2 954 final rules were added, the lowest count since records began in the 1970s.

The author of this second Regulation article, Pierre Lemieux, also studied the Code of Federal Regulations, which codifies all federal regulations. This showed that such regulations had grown from around 163 000 pages in 2009 to 185 000 when Mr Trump took over, and that he capped them at a level slightly above that. The Trump administration had thus ‘stopped the growth of regulation’.

‘Restrictions’

A further measure featured in the article was the number of ‘restrictions’ in the code – as determined by the use of words such as ‘shall’, ‘must’, and ‘prohibited’. The number of such restrictions has risen from around 400 000 in 1970, to slightly more than 1 000 000 in 2016. Growth then stalled for the first two years under Mr Trump. In 2019, his third year, the number of restrictions decreased by 0.6%.

Commented Mr Lemieux: ‘Such decreases are rare.’ They had occurred only under Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, ‘and then only briefly before resuming an upward trend.’

However, despite his commitment to stopping and reversing the flow of regulations, Mr Trump introduced more regulation in foreign trade, inter alia by imposing tariffs. All tariffs on several thousand specific goods are listed in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. When Mr Trump took office, there were 3 707 pages in the schedule. By the end of 2019, he had added 248 pages, bringing the total to 3 955.

So although the United States was not a bastion of unfettered trade, Mr Trump’s protectionism – including his ‘Buy American’ orders – had made things worse.

Mr Lemieux noted that new tariffs on Chinese imports had prompted more than 4 500 US companies to ‘use spare time and scarce resources and legal help to file 52 700 requests for exemptions, most of which were rejected’.   

According to Mr Lemieux, both imports and exports increased faster under Mr Obama than under his successor. One econometric study suggested that Mr Trump’s ‘trade wars’ had reduced US GDP by 0.4% a year.

Wrote Mr Lemieux: ‘Trump’s trade wars increased prices for many American companies and American consumers. Just like any other restriction of economic freedom, these interventions constrained free exchanges in which Americans voluntarily participate. They thus reduced economic efficiency and income in the United States.’

Harmful protectionist policies

Totting regulations by number, or by the pages they take up in registers, is an inevitably crude way to measure them.

Given the vast number of regulations already in existence when he assumed office, Mr Trump faced an enormous challenge in carrying out his avowed commitments to cut red tape – commitments which he himself undermined by his undoubtedly harmful protectionist policies.     

[Image: Louis Velazquez on Unsplash]

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55 COMMENTS

  1. From the Roman emperor Diocletian to the present, more government not less is the poisonous drip that intends to heal but winds up killing the patient.
    The high point of any successful economy is when the regulators are few and the entrepreneurs are many.

    It really is as simple as that.

  2. Didn’t Trump also promise to “put America first” and take on China? For context, one should exclude the regulations aimed at achieving that. Seems that Trump kept his campaign promises on all three, including the one that this article is about.

    • Absolutely Anton. Not only that but 74 million people voted for him in the election only for it to be fraudulently stolen from him. That will come out soon. He did more for Americans than any other President ever under great adversity due to the Deep State trying to stop him in his efforts to clear out the corruption, human trafficking and other un-American activities taking place in the United States. The CCP having strategically placed operatives of the party all over America in corporations and the like to try and take control. He booted China so America could produce locally and support locally. He was the best President ever of that I am sure. I can’t wait for him to make a come-back.

    • May I add to that please.
      Under Trump America achieved many firsts, including the first President to achieve the highgeat unemplomyent and the biggest economic turnaround despite the marxist communist attempt of covid to halt that.
      He also was the first president to achieve energy indepence for America. No other President has done that.

    • If America had the same restrictions on its labour force as does China, ie, no unions allowed plus other restrictions no doubt, it would be interesting to see how competitive Chinese goods would be. For all that Trump is or isn’t, he did try to help American manufacturing.

    • Exactly. With unemployment up, I think it’s fair to say that Trump did a great job on the margin, even though on the aggregate the GDP may be lower. Who gets impacted by that? Why people in government with lower government revenue, people high up in cushy office jobs.

      This OP is a rare case of a valid criticism of Trump, though, mostly because it focuses on his actual policies instead of on how terrible his self-tan or double-combover is, or blatant falsehoods like Trump is some kind of ist or phobe. I don’t support protectionism, but it’s also a false dichotomy to suggest that on one hand you have Trump’s protectionism, and on the other hand, you don’t. Overbearing regulation is a given, even in the United States. The difference is that under Trump, the average worker benefitted, whereas under the Neoconservative Democrats, it’s the Nancy Pelosis of the world who publicly fills her fridges with gourmet ice cream and privately fills her water bottles with imported vodka.

  3. Trump kept all his promises.

    He did not appreciate the need to fire all those who were against his agenda, so his hiring policy was a major weakness.

    He also suffered from an obstructionist GOP before the Dems took the House, who then used every trick in the book to stop him.

    Given the internal resistance he faced, he did remarkably well.

    The protectionist policies were working. Local manufacturing was growing, unemployment was becoming a choice. Measure him up to the end of 2019 and he was the best president ever.

    he had his faults, but to see how good he was, just compare the return of the Swamp under Biden.

    Can anyone in their right minds think creatures like Biden are a better option?

  4. Maybe some regulation is necessary, such as “Do not separate young children from their parents when the latter are arrested for illegal entry into the USA,”

    • Graham
      Have you ever heard the saying “there is none as blind as those that refuse to see”.?

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being critical of Trump, if such criticism is based on facts as opposed to information only sourced from fake and one sided media.

      Unfortunately, when it gets to passing judgment on Trump and his 74 million supporters, it would seem that “herd mentality” are the driving force that turns people into critics of Trump and into sheeples (sheeple = a person that thinks and acts like a sheep).

      Trump was not perfect; however, based on facts and not emotion, one cannot but come to the conclusion that most Trump haters base their opinion on what they see, read and hear on the likes of biased media such as CNN and other liberal broadcasters and publications.

      As we all know, the easiest descriptors to slap on people with whose opinion one disagrees is to call them bigots, racists, homophobes, liars or narcissists – now some new labels have been added to describe those that don’t buy into the liberal, Democratic Party and hate Trump agenda , namely “deplorables” “fundamentalists” and “white supremists”.

      As difficult as it might be for people to set their emotions aside, sometimes it is worth looking at facts.
      The actual facts are as follows:-
      One of the key criticisms of Trump was his stance on illegal aliens entering the USA and that his stance was motivated by racism – well the facts speak for themselves.
      In Obama’s first three years in office, around 1.18 million illegals were deported, while around 800,000 deportations took place under Trump in the first three years of his presidency – does this then mean that Obama was more anti illegals than Trump and therefore a bigger racist?.

      It is an undeniable fact that the vast majority of people that enter countries illegally are not the cream of the crop and invariably become a drain on legal tax payers – as has been proven over and over again in all countries swamped by illegals (look at South Africa where even a party such as the ANC, which are nor very adept at governing and managing are now saying something needs to be done to curb illegal migration to South Africa as it is having a major negative impact on our education and health services).

      It is a criminal offence to enter the USA without the required documentation and permission in place and thus common sense dictates that if one enters the USA illegally, one is a committing a criminal offence and therefore one is a criminal – the illegals did break the law by entering the USA without the requisite permission and documentation – so unless one has no respect for law and order one will criticize Donald Trump for his stance on law breakers/illegal aliens.

      Also, the so called “holding cages” were constructed by the Obama administration and not Trump’s.
      In any event, parents that use their children as emotional bargaining chips to enter a country illegally are not fit to be parents and should be banned and prevented from future procreation.

      • Can you prove any of this to me John? You don’t quote sources. I am sick and tired of hearing that trump’s behaviour is all fake news from the liberal press. He was without any doubt the worst president America has ever had,(Certainly in the 20th century). He is a disgusting person who only looks out for himself. Even his own niece thinks so and calls him the most dangerous man in America. She is a university professor of psychology and is not a fool. She has intimate knowledge of the Trump family and what created Donald Trump. He was taught to never feel empathy for someone who is suffering. He
        did immense damage to America. You have only to look at footage of the fools involved in the January 6th fracas. Or do you think that was all fake too? Trump has encouraged the absolute worst emotional response in a large swarth of the people of America. You say people should put emotion aside and look at facts. That is not what Trump supporters are doing. They are doing the very opposite.

        • Graham
          No need to be so agro – from the tone of your writing I detect that you have some serious problems with people who don’t share your one-sided view of Donald Trump – one of the primary characteristics of “sheeples” is that they deem their opinions and viewpoints to be beyond reproach and the only opinions that matter.

          You seem to take umbrage with the Washington Post, New York Times and CNN being deemed fake news, so I suppose you won’t have a problem with the Washington Post being cited as a source.

          You asked for sources, so here it is:-

          1) With reference to deportations:
          “The Trump administration has deported fewer overall people than were deported under former President Obama despite the ongoing crackdown on immigrants without legal status, according to the Washington Post.
          While the Obama administration deported 1.18 million people in his first three years, the number of deportations has been a little under 800,000 so far under Trump, according to the Post.”

          2) With reference to which administration constructed the holding cages; the Obama or Trump administrations?
          Kids in cages’: “It’s true that Obama built the cages at the border”. – Washington Post
          In a 2019 interview with nonpartisan think tank The Aspen Institute, Jeh Johnson, Barack Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly that the “cages” predate the Trump administration. – USA TODAY

          3) With reference to the 6th of January incidents:
          Your mates in the Democratic Party tried to make their fake impeachment stick – to no avail.

          Below is the part of his speech which the Democrats and the fake media used to claim that Trump incited and called for the storming of the senate building.
          “We won this election and we won it by a landslide and we will never give up.
          We will never concede. It doesn’t happen.
          You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.
          You will have an illegitimate president. That is what you will have, and we can’t let that happen.
          I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

          A basic understanding of English, logic and common sense dictates that nothing in his speech calls for violence or storming of the senate – unless of course one’s interpretation of the speech is driven by blind hatred for Trump.

          During senate hearings for supreme court justice Brett Kavanagh, the senate was stormed and invaded by Democratic Party supporters who behaved like savages and who were anti the democratic process and not surprisingly, they were called “citizens who are merely exercising their democratic right” by the Democrats and liberal press – it boils down to one thing and one thing only – the Democratic Party, their hanger-on’s and liberals have two set of rules – one for themselves and their supporters and a different set of rules for their opponents.

          Compare the mayhem, destruction, violence, torching of buildings and looting of businesses that took place in the USA during the BLM marches the past year – did the Democrats and liberal media condemn it in the harshest terms, no they did not because the looters and the arsonists constitute a big part of the Democratic party support base and thus no negative labels were slapped on the looters and arsonists because it would have been detrimental to the liberal and Democratic party agenda and the image of the Democratic party in an election year.

          4) With reference to Trump’s niece:
          Mary Trump’s father, Fred Trump Jr, a full blown alcoholic was shunned out of the Trump family business by Fred Trump Snr upon which Donald became the heir apparent – poor Mary has never managed to come to grips with the fact that her uncle Donald is a roaring success whilst her father was an abject failure – in any event her book was never fact checked, so I would not attach to much value to her rantings and nor should you.

          5) Last but not least:
          Graham, any further proof/sources you might require, please feel free to ask and I will accommodate you with the greatest of pleasure as I think it is important to assist you to overcome your anger and lobsided view of Donald J Trump.

          I also purposely left out the dates when quoting sources as I think a bit of desk research should calm you down considerably.

          Ps. My name is Johan not John

          • Thank you for comprehensive reply Johan. However I remain convinced that Donald Trump was the worst president America has ever had.
            I do not have as much time on my hands as you do so I will be brief.
            My first sighting of the impendingTrump presidency happened during a campaign speech. A man with a severe spastic speech impediment asked him a question which he did not like. His reaction was to immitate the man’s spastic movements and speech and to laugh at him causing the audience to laugh as well.
            This was caught on camera and was not faked. It spoke volumes about his personality.
            His niece Mary Trump is a professor of psychology and specialises in the dysfunctional family with many highly regarded peer reviewed publications behind her. She describes her uncle as someone who has no empathy with those who suffer . She also has intimate knowledge of his family and said that his father taught him to never feel pity for anyone. He is also completely narcisisstic and only looks out for himself. In short she said he is the most dangerous man in America.
            With regard to Jan 6th even his own Mitch McConnell said he was to blame but then he hid behind his interpretation of the Constitution in saying not guilty at impeachment trial.
            Again with regard to Jan 6th, there is no coparison between that and any riot by the opposite side in protest of injustice in America. To threaten to kill the VP as well as the sheer scale of the attack is something that has not arisen since civil war times. In fact I believe that Trump has scratched open the wounds that were inflicted at that terrible time.
            With regard to your personal comments about me,no Johan, I do not have anger problems as you call it but I have great empathy with those who suffer and I feel incensed by those who cause such suffering or refuse to ameliorate their plight.

        • “You have only to look at footage of the fools involved in the January 6th fracas. Or do you think that was all fake too?” Yes Mate, it has ANTIFA written all over it! Wake Up jack!

          • This is a slippery slope into conspiracy theory. However, there is sworn testimony by one John Sullivan, who admitted and was caught on camera in his Trump hat, that he was a BLM supporter and Antifa fan, and that he was there to instigate violence on the side of the Trump fans.

            Naturally, he’s not a white supremacist or a Q-Anon supporter, so he was let go with a slap on the wrist. Didn’t fit the narrative, you see. Facts have an awkward tendency to not fit into the narrative. Bummer.

    • Firstly, that’s an Obama-era rule. Secondly, the reason for that is that gangsters kidnapped and trafficked children, and then pretended that they were the parents. So yes, children and ‘parents’ should be separated at the border until you can verify that they are in fact related. And preferably nobody should think that they can just show up at a border with nothing but agonistic buffering on their side and then get a free pass into another country. They can follow protocol just like those more pale in complexion have to.

    • Graham, do you have any reason to believe that Trump is the worst president the US has ever had? Or even a bad one? Seems obvious that the main ‘facts’ that may have bolstered such a view have been thoroughly debunked here already.

      Just an aside, if you take issue with Trump’s wall, note the Secure Fence Act of 2006. This is long before Trump. This is essentially the same thing as a wall. Note the signatures on that act. Plenty of Democrats who claim that Trump’s wall is racist signed that act in 2006. That’s what we’re dealing with here. Politicians lining their own pockets, and finding a scapegoat in Trump because he doesn’t want to play by their rules and tell everyone to eat stimulus cheques.

      • No Garg not much really has been debunked. Unfortunately I don’t have time to give you a list of the many undebunkable things which are fact. There’s no point in me wasting my time doing that and there’s no point in you wasting your tiime talking to me. Please consider this closed.

        • I would like to know of those things because there’s a grave concern that people are being mollycoddled along with echo chambers from Big Tech platforms and legacy media. For a good example of what I’m talking about, in lieu of concrete examples, see the C-SPAN feeds of Trump’s second impeachment. Before he got acquitted again. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the American system could have told you that this is a waste of everyone’s time, and a witch hunt not uncharacteristic of Joe Biden’s brand of political theatre. This is the first time that many have seen Trump explicitly condemning white supremacy, for example. That scratches the surface. There are many who believe – and not without good reason – that he has never done so. That good reason being outright big tech censorship and corporatist coordination from legacy media platforms. Fair enough if you choose not to take this matter further, I just think it’s worth noting that ‘fact checkers’ are partisan so they cannot be trusted, Big Tech is an echo chamber so it cannot be trusted, and legacy media well, they’re manufacturing consent the same as they always have. I for one prefer employing critical thinking skills and doing the deboonking, as oppose to proceeding in the bliss that is ignorance.

    • I am extremely confused about what you think the words pity and empathy mean.

      I can have empathy for your viewpoint regarding Donald Trump, but I do not pity (have sympathy with) your narrow minded insistence on vilifying the man.

      For a person who has no empathy or, apparently, pity, according to his niece, he sure acted quite against his character by reducing unemployment in the USA to the lowest on record at 3.5% and increasing wages with more than 3%.

      One has to remember to compare apples with apples when quoting statistics.

      • I have made up my mind about Trump based on an analysis of his behaviour over his four year term and before. I don’t have time to type in a whole littany of incredibly boorish and ill advised such behaviours.
        I am not going to change my mind no matter how personally insulting and condescending you might become. Please consider this correspondence closed.

        • Trump may be boorish. He has never been boorish enough to deliver a tearjerker eulogy at a known clansman’s funeral, like Biden has. He has never been Boorish enough to say racist things like ‘if you don’t vote for me you ain’t black’. He has never been boorish enough to say that his son is not a crackhead, he just has a drug problem. In fact, if your problem with Trump is an ad hominem like he’s boorish, then you’d be hard pressed to find a less boorish candidate that has opposed him, given that Hilary Clinton was laughing at her hearing on the Benghazi scandal, and stole White House cutlery. Really, if Trump’s worst crime is being boorish then even there his opposition is more so. And these are people from ivy league colleges who are trash.

    • You responses reveal classic traits of the Trump-hater faction. Emotion, intolerance of any contrary facts, weak arguments based on anecdotal evidence.
      Tear yourself away from CNN for 90 minutes and watch the documentary “The plot to overthrow the President”. Of interest too is that Biden and his cabal are relaunching the “cages” Obama built.

  5. The Trump administration always put America first and I believe he did exceptionally well given the continued ‘onslaught’ and opposition that he faced throughout his tenure. Biden and Harris are NWO and will comply with everything necessary to to keep their ‘Masters’ happy. Hopefully Harris will never become President! There are better options of ‘color’ in the USA. Think Nicky Haley or Candice Owens. The USA will again follow a path of slow decline over the next 4 years due to the undoing of many Trump policies and regulations by the Biden administrations.

    • Arno, I like what you have put forward. I am no economist or political fundi but the change in administrations every few years reinforces the idea of a ‘healthy’ state, and a thinking electorate, I think. The same can perhaps be said for the UK and some Euro countries, but not for SA (for the present at least). Constant change and adaption is therefore…..Good?

  6. Wish the Americans would get Trump back. He achieved so much all the while having to put up with so much antagonism.

    • He’s not going anywhere. I jokingly told my TDS suffering friends that if they dislike Trump, they better hope he gets his second term right now because then he will be gone in four years. Otherwise, it’s going to be 4 years of him with nothing to lose being the kingmaker in the Republican Party, establishing an alternative platform to the censorious and totalitarian Big Tech and legacy media platforms, and basically destroying the swamp from the outside on his own terms. Frankly, he can just sit and wait and not interrupt the Biden brigade because with the ‘circle back’ comments, they are already imploding without any assault from Trump or his allies. Biden can’t even shower his dog (no idea why anyone would want to do that.. but he did) without sustaining an injury.

      The second impeachment political theatre charade has already gone exactly the same as any other impeachment up to and including Bill Clinton’s sham impeachment: It boosted the popularity of the person being impeached, so it’s a massive own goal. Likewise, if you even marginally like Trump or think he’s the lesser of two evils, you are in luck because he won’t be gone in 4 years now. He’s going to be destabilising the establishment for longer than that, thanks to the Dems rigging their election.

  7. It is obvious that the American model of having a new president every four years happens to be contra effective. Almost every President recently opted to ask for a second term in office. Changing the regularized system is a long and slow process. The courts (legal setup) intensify the slowdown of deregulating procedures. It seems that Putin is succeeding in remaining in the hot seat to advantage of the Russian people.

    • It’s a 4 year term, but you can serve two terms. Nothing wrong with that. The main problem is that senators don’t have term limits, and they serve up to 6 years per term. Those are the so-called swamp creatures.

      • And there is no limit on how many times they can run for senate election, either.

        There are senators who have actually turned what should have been their willingness to do a public service for a limited period, into a lifelong career.

  8. I guess very few of us really have enough insight into American politics to critique every action of a US president meaningfully. We rely on what we hear and read, and try to make up our minds from the knowledge we gain in this way.
    Just based on this, any straight thinking person has to question the emotional and unrestrained outbursts against Mr. Trump which in many cases seemed to be founded on personal dislikes and/ or information obtained from extreme liberal sources. The snowflakes spent four years in a state of out of control madness trying to get to the guy.
    The high percentage of voters that voted for him in the recent elections speaks volumes. I have absolutely no doubt that, if Covid 19 did not happen (less than a year before the US elections, how is that for timing?) the Don would have won by a landslide. This is not because he handled the Covid crisis poorly, I just do not believe that any president would have survived an election if his enemies had the outbreak of a virus to use against the incumbent. One would be able to find fault with the best of the best given the circumstances.
    The USA is in for a long haul with the jokers elected to office in November. The so called Free World will also suffer the effects of an administration run by a stumbling geriatric, ably assisted by what really seems to be a bunch of village idiots.

    • Frankly if I see someone criticising Trump, with rare exception, I see someone who has undergone the legacy media’s Ludovico technique, so they are no longer capable of analytical thinking, or someone who is complicit in building the panopticon.

    • Yes, that’s much ado about nothing. He’s not even president any more. Must be a slow day at the white house like no real threat coming from Iran or Biden sending citizens to the breadlines or doing nothing to save Texas from green energy that doesn’t work in the snow.

  9. With due credit to Mark Twain:
    ‘Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.’
    Interesting that the Democrat supporters have not said a word in this commentary. Good and balanced article JKB.

  10. Sorry, but Donald Trump, for all his avowed pro-business policies, was and is a greedy, selfish, self-centered person who should never have become President of anything.
    If you know a little about his background you will realise that, apart from the thousands of lies he told while in office, he has been a manipulator throughout his life eg. many years ago he manipulated the facts to get the US District court to order NYC to grant one of his Trump Towers a rates free holiday in Manhattan, he tried a similar tactic the second time and lost; recently he lied about the 2020 Presidential election being “stolen” causing political polarisation, mayhem and even death of his own supporters including putting a target on the back of his own Vice-President; he has always bragged about the way he demeaned women; he lied about Pres. Obama not being born in the USA; he fired so many good people on his White-House staff (including honest Whistle-blowers), people who couldn’t tolerate his dictatorial fear-inducing attitude, like a third world dictator he sent a drone to kill an Iranian General oblivious not only to the reputational damage this did to his office but also raising the ire of Islamic fundamentalists against ordinary American citizens , he started a trade war with China which increased the prices of goods for American consumers and ended up with a pointless compromise which still doesn’t protect US intellectual property rights. He should have been found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours when he was impeached by the House of Reps. the first time for trying to blackmail (withholding an urgent US weapons delivery to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression) a new Ukrainian leader (Petro Poroschenko) into investigating Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, for alleged corruption relating to Hunter’s business dealings there (never proved), The American economy was recovering well under Obama with Ben Bernanke and then Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve Bank using quantitative easing to fuel the economy post the 2008 financial crisis- Trump was lucky to be President while the good US free market economy just continued on its merry way creating jobs despite him. If anything, as JKB points out, Trump’s irrational tariffs against China ( a war the US could never win against an astutely focused centrally controlled Communist State) reduced US GDP by an estimated 0,4% pa. I rate him the most useless and morally bankrupt President the US has had for over 50 years. My hope is that the appaling Donald and his ilk never come back to haunt the US and polarise the world again.

    • Brain – Some real facts and not just mere opinion and pie in the sky as “learned” liberals are so often prone to:

      Unemployment declined to record lows during Trump’s first 3 years. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in September 2020 that the increase in real median household income in 2019 was the largest one-year increase since 1967 (6.8%), and the the poverty rate plummeted to a 60-year low and income inequality declined. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Sept. 2020)

      Extract from an article by Danielle Kurtzleben published on 17 August;2015 -5 x months prior to Obama leaving office:
      “The most recent official count from the Census Bureau put the number of Americans in poverty at 45.3 million as of 2013 (the most recent year for which the census has measured poverty). So there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 million more people in poverty now than there were before Obama took office.”(Source: NPR Fact Check August 17;2015 Article by Danielle Kurtzleben)

      People that suffer from TDS, liberals and Democrats will continue to spew the narrative that Obama’s economy was better than Trump’s, and repetition may convince some. But they will have a hard time selling that to people with critical thinking skills and who were paying attention.

  11. The same people/voters who voted for Obama, (not once, but twice) voted for Trump. Who are we to criticize their ability to select and vote for the candidate of their choice? They got what they voted for and will now have to live with it. Under Obama x2, Trump, and now Biden. That is democrazy for you. An old antiquated system.
    Trump did a great job as POTUS. Running that country literally with one hand tied behind his back and delivering such positive results, takes somebody with the required testicular fortitude.

    • The joke is, really, that the USA doesn’t have a democracy or democratically elected government.

      They, like the UK, have a bi-party alliance who take turns at being the ruling party.

      The difference between them is the ruling party in the UK appoints their leader as Prime Minister after holding national elections. The USA holds various elections to appoint congressmen and senators, and a separate election for President, who could or not be the leader of the majority (ruling) party in either or both houses.

      Then you get a governing structure like South Africa, where we have too many parties and the one with the most votes wins, even if they have less than 40% of the total votes, as long as the rest are subdivided among a plethora of others.

    • Except they don’t have a democracy, they have a constitutional republic. We on the other hand have an unitary parliamentary republic. The Hilary Clintons and Occasional Cortexes (AOC) of the world are trying very hard to do away with eg the electoral college system, because it’s precisely the kind of checks and balances that keep them and their ilk away from supreme power. And people like that should not be anywhere near a power structure.

  12. Sorry , Graham et al Trump detractors , you really have no idea what you are talking about ! You are obviously of the school who believes the MSM and (also)thinks that the ANC is the best government that SA has ever had !!? I have family in the USA who know firsthand what went on there ( I think they are more qualified than you to pass judgement!! ) What the USA has now is akin to the ANC ….. so , I also wait , with bated breath , to hear your praises of Biden and his party after they’ve ruined all the good that Trump did ! For your information Obama left a rotting , sinking economy for Trump to sort out ! I wonder also how much you are going to praise China when you realise that they have taken over the complete economy of SA and we are a communist country belonging to them ?? Good luck to you! …..
    some people never learn( look at History )

  13. Big government with too many rules is never a good thing for a country. The able must be allowed to perform to the best of their ability and these are the entrepeneurs that grow an economy and employ people.
    Rule of law to be sacrosanct.
    Habitual criminals should be denied rights progressively as they commit more and more crime.
    Welfare systems need to reinvent themselves every few years, with regular changing of staff in key positions….there is too much corruption.
    Start up companies must be supported and nurtured by govt (low electricity prices, less land tax et al for a certain period).
    The degree of people paying taxes and those benefitting from those taxes without contributing should never have the latter approaching the levels they are now.
    The West should take a good look at the eastern economies and see the reasons for their rapid growth.

    • Exactly. Take a good hard look at all the so-called Tiger economies, even the Celtic Tiger. But no, we want to look at known failures like Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe – we want that! Because an obese moron like Michael Moore made a documentary that is riddled with inaccuracies and ineptitude, but impresses even bigger morons.

  14. Interesting article. But in the end the devil is in the detail. It was probably good that some regulations were repealed. But on the other hand it was wrong to repeal others. I thing particularly of some environmental regulations that were repealed. California had a clean air act which had done wonders for their air quality. There is a lookout point on the way in to Yellowstone National Park with a sign that says since the enactment of the clean air act, on a clear day, one was able to see about a mile further each year. But Trump administration was trying to force California to drop their standards. This is daft – so that business can make more money at the expense of people’s living conditions.

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