According to a prominent conservative think tank, President Donald Trump has accomplished more in his first year in office — at least in one respect — than former President Ronald Reagan.
Near the end of the Obama administration’s tenure, the Heritage Foundation created a list of 334 policy recommendations, known as the “Mandate for Leadership,” that they hoped the next Republican president would follow.
One year into Trump’s presidency, an analysis conducted by the think tank determined that 64 percent of those prescriptions have been pursued by the new administration.
Meanwhile, during Reagan’s first year, just 49 percent of these ideas were followed or enacted.
“President Trump had an extraordinarily successful first year,” said Thomas Binion, the organization’s director of congressional and executive branch relations.
“He put a conservative on the Supreme Court and he enacted historic pro-growth tax reform. This analysis demonstrates the lesser-known policy success that his administration has been fighting hard to enact.”
In addition to appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and signing a historic tax reform bill into law, the Trump administration has followed many more of the group’s recommendations, which the group said are aimed at furthering the principles of “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”
For example, as noted by The New York Times, the president’s administration has taken the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, raised defense spending, reduced the size of the federal government and allowed natural resources to be developed both off-shore and on federal land.
The Heritage Foundation released its first “Mandate for Leadership” in 1981, and at his first Cabinet meeting, Reagan reportedly distributed the book to some of his top officials.
“As President Reagan did in the 1980s,” said Binion, “President Trump has embraced the comprehensive recommendations made in the ‘Mandate for Leadership.’ These achievements have led to economic growth, a stronger national defense, and a restoration of the rule of law.”
But after Reagan’s first year in office, the think tank criticized him for not living up to conservatives’ expectations.
Specifically, the group cited ”delayed appointments, unqualified or misqualified appointments, or the appointment of individuals who are not committed to the President’s goals and policies” as reasons that Reagan had not been able to accomplish what conservatives had hoped.
Not so with Trump.
“In some respects, Trump the non-politician has an incredible advantage, even over Ronald Reagan,” said Ed Feulner, the organization’s founder and former president. “Because Ronald Reagan knew there were certain things government couldn’t do.”
Heritage’s current president, Kay Cole James, echoed this sentiment.
“This administration is doing quite well in terms of advancing a conservative agenda — clearly, quite well,” James said.
Despite the seemingly constant controversy that surrounds Trump, she is happy with what he has accomplished, and thinks he has done a good job of keeping his promises.
“So say what you will, I think the other side of the aisle would be salivating to find their version of a Donald Trump — someone who came in, kept their promises and did what they said they were going to do,” she added.
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