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Trump racks up significant political victories in his 1st year

Trump racks up significant political victories in his 1st year
From CBC - January 3, 2018

It may come as no surprise that U.S. President Donald Trump, who has a certain gift for self-promotion,wouldcharacterizehis first year in office by claiminghis administrationbroke records inpolitical successes and achievements.

"So many things accomplished by the Trump Administration, perhaps more than any other President in first year," the president recently tweeted.

By Trump's own account, hisWhite Househas "signed morelegislationthan anybody" and"broke the record of Harry Truman."

However, some contend that Trump's list of accomplishments is relatively thin. They also point to his major legislative losses, which include failing to builda wall along the Mexican border, failure to repealObamacare and failure to move oninfrastructure projects.

But some observers say it's a mistake to suggest Trump has done little.

"It's a ridiculous narrative, always way off-base," said presidential historian Allan Lichtman, known for predicting the winner of every presidential election since 1984. "Trump has done a lot. Everyone has this completely backwards."

Other presidents have accomplished far more, but Trump has accomplished a lot, much of it byexecutive action, Lichtman said.

"The issue is not whether he's done a lot, the issue is whether what he has done is good for the country and good for the world."

And on that scorecard, Lichtman saysTrump's action of "throttling back the effort to combat catastrophic climate change" now "threatens our survival on this planet."

Indeed, New York magazine published its not-so-complimentarylist of55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017,lamenting that his administration has made "drasticstructural changes on education, immigration, environmental protections ...among other issues."

But for many Republicans and conservatives,the president has racked upsome impressive victories, manyof which includeattemptsto undosome of Barack Obama's legacy.

"The Trumpadministration has compiled asolid record ofaccomplishmentsin its firstyear,one that compares well with therecordof many of itspredecessors," wroteRameshPonnuru, of the conservative publication National Review.

Fewest bills

Trump may tout his passage of bills, but accordingto GovTrack Insider, a website that tracks legislation passed, the presidenthas signed the fewest bills (96) in any recentpresident's first year. George W. Bushsigned 109 and Bill Clinton 209,while Trumansigned at least 126 laws in his first 100 days.

But counting bills, as the website notes,is not necessarilya valuable measurement of productivity, as not all are equally important.

Certainly Trump's major legislative achievement was the passage of the tax bill,which ushered in the largest change to U.S. tax laws since 1986 bycuttingthe U.S.corporate income tax rate to 21 per cent from 35 andreducingindividual tax rates. The billalso delivered a severe blow to Obamacare by repealing its individual health-care mandate.

But Evan Siegfried, a Republican strategist andfrequent critic of Trump,said two non-legislative achievements stand out most,No. 1being his appointment of judges.

Record-breaking court appointments

Along with his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump appointed 12 appeals court judges,(in comparison,Obama appointed only three)a feat Trump can accurately claim is record-breaking.

"The judges are a signature accomplishment because that will be his real and true lasting legacy," Siegfried said. "This is locking up one branch of government and protecting conservative ideals."

Empowering agencies

Credit for ISIS defeat?

'Trump's success,such as it is,is less attributable to sudden mastery of the issues than to staying out of the way.' Jonah Goldberg,NationalReview

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