When President Donald Trump took office two years ago, he promised to drain the D.C. swamp, much to the chagrin of the Washington establishment. The president’s detractors attacked him for it, saying that Trump wouldn’t be willing or able to drain it. Some said he would succumb to the pressure, while others believed he never had any intention of following through.
We’re now exactly midway through Trump’s term, so what is the verdict? Has the president held up his end of the bargain? Let’s take a look at his progress so far.
Halfway through his term, Trump has serious results under his belt as he continues to clean up corruption and reduce the influence of the Washington establishment. The president has slashed several regulations that hurt free enterprise and empowered intrusive bureaucrats. America’s economic prosperity is aided by these decisions.
One of the first things Trump did when he assumed office was to issue an executive order that tackled the nefarious influence of special interests within the White House. The order mandated tougher ethics rules for those serving in the White House, such as a pledge to avoid lobbying within five years of departure from the administration and a refusal to work for foreign governments. This order contrasts with the Obama administration’s laxer rules that allowed many of its former staffers to go straight to lobbying after their White House departure.
These rules are made with the purpose of eliminating the corrupt “revolving door” between White House officials and juicy lobbying contracts, a practice that helps the out-of-touch establishment and harms the interests of the American people.
Trump has taken aim at putting an end to that monument of crony capitalism known as Dodd-Frank. The Dodd-Frank law has been a boon to big bankers who hate fair competition and love corporate welfare. Thankfully, the president is working to rectify the errors of this bloated law. Last May, Trump signed into law a measure that will ease regulations of small and medium-sized banks, giving them a chance to compete with larger institutions and give Americans more freedom when it comes to banking.
Dodd-Frank has clearly not worked in reforming America’s banking system. Trump and his administration know this, and that’s why they’re charting a different course from the crony capitalism of the Obama era.
The budget proposal the Trump administration has pushed since its first months in office would do wonders to clean up America’s inefficient and bloated bureaucracy. The plan would cut many of the political pet projects within the Department of Energy. This is not a partisan endeavor as many of the programs targeted for elimination were favored by Republicans. It is simply a non-partisan initiative to make the government work better for the average taxpayer.
The proposal also targets superfluous subsidies doled out by the Energy Department. These subsidies are driven by the desire to satisfy special interests, not to serve the interests of the American people.
Trump is no longer playing best friend to the billionaires who’ve benefited immensely from corporate welfare. One of those billionaires is Elon Musk, a man who raked in a fortune thanks to the bad policies of the Obama administration. Those days are over.
The Trump administration is curtailing the electric vehicle tax credit, which has propped up businesses like Musk’s Tesla on the taxpayer’s dime. It’s also a credit that has primarily benefited the elite, as nearly two-thirds of the credits went to luxury car buyers in 2018.
The government is also no longer providing a helping hand to Musk’s other business SpaceX. SpaceX depends on government contracts and subsidies to survive, but the Air Force is no longer awarding the company with its largesse until Musk’s operation can demonstrate its reusable rockets can actually work. This new policy benefits the American people due to SpaceX’s security issues and its failure to live up to past promises.
The record is clear: Trump is making significant progress on draining the swamp, contrary to what the mainstream media claims. Slashing crony capitalism benefits the American people and strips power away from incompetent bureaucrats. The good news is that the president shows no sign of retreat from his mission, and we can expect even more progress in the next two years.
Bay Buchanan is a former treasurer of the United States and political commentator.
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