“We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.”
~ President Donald Trump
Here are the President’s three most important accomplishments in the first 70 days of his administration.
1. Promoting a Human Civilization
Donald J. Trump has spent his career developing, owning and managing real estate and leasing the related brand.
Real estate is a business in which one detail within thousands can destroy all of your equity value. Crime is one of the greatest destroyers of real estate value. Crime occurring in or around your property can wipe out your rental or sales income, drive up your expenses, and lower or wipe out your brand and equity value.
As a result, developers and owners of high-end real estate are typically sensitive to the importance of their tenants’ safety – both real and perceived. They can be quite dictatorial and emotional about achieving and maintaining “no crime” zones around their assets.
Moreover, they associate safety with profitability, unlike the industries that work with digital or abstract assets which are not place-based: Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.
Consequently, it is not surprising that President Trump places a premium on personal safety and associates it with a successful economy. You could say that he is focused on achieving a 100% Popsicle Index and understands its importance to the success of our local and national economy.
This impulse translates into a deep and abiding concern about lawlessness that impacts personal and property health and safety. On numerous occasions, he acts like a property owner who is treating America as if he were responsible for it as his “building.”
We have seen this instinct on numerous occasions:
- Concern about child and human trafficking;
- Fury about violent crime – note his outbursts about the crime rates in Chicago or the impact of drug cartels;
- Support for people who are responsible to protect our physical safety such as police and veterans;
- The safety aspects of immigration and the process of ensuring that people in America are authorized to be here and that they add value to the country;
- Note that Ben Carson’s agenda for HUD focuses on health and physical safety: “Every American Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home.”
The President has a reputation for bullying, blunt talk, sharp dealing, and competitive behavior that crosses an ethical line. His detractors would say that this is inhuman behavior. However, if you observe his focus on ensuring that all Americans enjoy a safe environment and have the economic opportunity (including regulatory relief) necessary to contribute to a safe environment, his impulses are directly contradictory to the forces pushing for an inhuman society.
I would include the President’s frustration with the lack of integrity of our communications and digital systems. His anger at not being able to use phones without being illegally monitored and enduring illegal leaks reflects an appreciation for the inhumanity of the out-of-control surveillance and telco systems in the United States.
Due to my concerns regarding the effort to promote an inhuman society, the President’s success at using the visibility of office to promote the importance of safety and conditions precedent for providing the basic necessities of life is a significant achievement. Time will tell if he is effective at integrating his concerns in this area into successfully implemented policies and actions.
2. Insisting on Reality
To be a successful society, we need to face the challenges before us and work together to create and implement a common vision. Consequently, transparency and open discussion are of critical importance.
A. Busting Fake News
America’s corporate media is a global operation that manufactures an “official reality” designed to support corrupt leadership, a bloated national security state, and operations of US government finances outside the Constitution and laws related to financial management. Corporate media operations depend on significant material omissions and lies. This deviation from reality is so great that many of the people in the corporate media no longer remember what reality actually is.
President Trump, both in the campaign and since the election, has done a remarkable job of punching a hole in the dam of corporate media control. Excellent examples during the campaign included his comments regarding Common Core and vaccines and his suggestion that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted as a criminal.
This has encouraged millions of Americans to talk about real needs and issues in a manner that was not possible before the President’s arrival on the national stage. We may not agree with the President, but he has us thinking and talking. He is helping to make “reality” socially acceptable again.
One of the ways in which the President has achieved this is by refusing to be “gaslighted” by fake news. For example, he has recently endured several weeks of press reports stating that he had lied about being monitored by the intelligence agencies prior to the inauguration. After standing his ground in the face of a significant barrage of media coverage asserting that this was not true, hard evidence began to flow into the independent media and the House intelligence committee. The President is now being proven correct – but it took several weeks of immersive attacks and a resulting drop in his approval ratings to be proven right.
Busting up fake news and illegal surveillance networks is an accomplishment that could literally save the country. It would reduce the influence of the unproductive and corrupt portions of the military-industrial complex and the special interests that feed at the Washington trough without contributing to wider productivity.
Since the election, the President’s team has built a communications operation that facilitates direct communication with citizens. Every weekday morning, I get an e-mail from the White House that provides me with important actions and events of the day. This message includes the President’s schedule, whom he is calling, and who is joining him for lunch or dinner.
The White House website documents Presidential actions, including executive orders and Presidential memoranda. If I want to know what the President thinks, I check his Twitter feed or his weekly video. Also, I can check out C-Span or search for specific videos of Congressional testimony. When I wanted to understand the proposed Affordable Health Care for America Act, I watched Paul Ryan’s detailed video presentation.
Other than Peggy Noonan’s insightful column in the WSJ, there is rarely a reason to access the White House press corps news coverage. When I do, I am often surprised to see how confusing it makes matters. It’s easier to get my news “straight from the horse’s mouth.”
One of the President’s most powerful mechanisms for communicating has been his rallies around the country, which are videotaped and re-broadcast on television and the Internet. These show two-way communication, as the President seems to appreciate being with an audience that shares the desire to MAGA and to move away from the profound conflicts of interest to be found inside the Washington Beltway.
B. Introducing Cost of Capital and Price
Since World War II, we have solved our political problems by printing money to resolve political differences. This has been financed by the bounty provided by globalizing and debasing the dollar — the global reserve currency — and by issuing trillions in Treasury notes and other federal debt. However, we have reached the limits of growth in these funding mechanisms. Consequently, we must now re-engineer our role and our national strategy as we decide how we will deal with missing money and unfunded liabilities.
One of the problems in doing so is that we have engendered an understanding of the governmental budget process that is limited to a relatively small group of people. Citizens are not provided with annual financial reporting contiguous to the areas in which they vote or for their political jurisdiction. We can play SimCity on our phones. Why is it that we cannot play SimFederal Budget despite the fact that our taxes and credit are on the line?
We have promoted lawyers and bureaucrats who manage government via increasingly complex rules-based systems. The concepts of optimizing dollars or the return-on-investment to taxpayers using price or capital asset pricing models is alien to Washington. President Trump is committed to introducing the concept of price to the Washington world. This is one of the “clashes of civilization” underway as the insiders have been used to keeping the money on the Washington side of the equation to themselves.
A perfect example was the President’s reaction upon discovering what Boeing was about to be paid for the new Air Force One: “We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.”
Additional examples were the President’s efforts to use both “carrots and sticks” to encourage companies to increase operations and employment in the United States. When he does this, he consistently addresses the benefits that US companies will derive from America versus what they give back. This is the first President in my lifetime that eats, sleeps and breathes price and the manner in which it relates to both government and overall economic performance.
This is a shocking transition for a town that manufactures rules and leaves pricing issues quietly to the insiders. It is a change that has the potential to reshuffle the balance of power dramatically between–
- Citizens who want the budget to support a rising Popsicle Index;
- Corporate contractors and interests who want the budget to support a rising S&P Index;
- Policy makers, such as the President himself, who appreciate that we can and should do both.
3. Reinvigorating Faith in The Law
Regarding operations or laws, the US government has governed and managed with increasing disregard for the law. Indeed, this is one of the reasons I believe that there is a dangerous effort to change the US Constitution. The logic being: it would be better to tear up the Constitution before US citizens learned that their pensions and health care benefits were not fully funded and then decided to enforce the Constitution.
President Trump has forcefully asked why we are not acting in conformance with the law in a number of areas, starting with immigration. Immigration is an example of where he has attempted to close the gap between the law, what is economically sound, and what we are actually doing. As painful as this process is, a society cannot tolerate the growing disassociation between law and practice that we have experienced in recent decades, including in our immigration practices.
Nowhere has President Trump’s efforts to reinvigorate faith in the law had greater impact than in regulatory relief. The Solari Report recently published a review of Patrick Wood’s latest book, Technocracy Rising, about the intentional effort to centralize control through the emergence of a highly complex rules-based system.
Many of these rules are implemented in the form of federal regulations and federal mandates on state and local governments, backed up by an expensive and oppressive system of whistleblowers and “for profit” enforcement. The result will create a near impossible operating environment for small businesses and farms. It is fair to say that this legal and regulatory system is in the process of outlawing the economy and forcing many people into the underground economy or to simply shut down. This oppressive blanket of uneconomic rules is one of the reasons the general population’s dependency on government subsidies is skyrocketing.
This has resulted in a growing exhaustion with government and disrespect for the law. Regulations that lack any sense of proportion or an economic pathway to achieving a desired result ultimately destroy both the economy and any respect for the rule of law.
Dr. Joseph Farrell recently told me about a thriving small hospital in Kansas that had to shut down as a result of Obamacare. As a result, the townspeople must now drive an hour to the nearest hospital. Think of the jobs destroyed and the lives lost to serve the arrogance of centralization and a 2,000+ page bill that no one had read before it was passed into law.
This is one of thousands of examples why the President has given the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare such a high priority.
The transgender bathroom policy is another example. I may believe that a given policy for bathroom use is desirable. However, local mayors, principals, and business proprietors can figure out what is optimal in their locations without receiving dictates from Washington. The cost of bathroom monitoring and enforcement from Washington DC is not economic in a society with urgent priorities that the US government must address. How could a large and highly diverse country afford to spend time and money on centralized bathroom enforcement? It can’t. The notion reflects a complete breakdown of the legal system and suggests a society that has lost its mind from decades of subsidized government capital.
When the new Attorney General rescinded the Obama administration initiative that directs schools regarding transgender bathroom use, a huge sigh of relief was felt throughout the heartland of America. The legal system was starting to move back towards the sensible and feasible.
Finally, if the law is to matter, the people who enforce the law must matter. The federal effort under the Obama administration to denigrate, target, and investigate local police and its poor treatment of veterans communicated both a disrespect for the law and an insidious effort to centralize control of all law enforcement.
President Trump has made a major effort to speak highly of veterans and local police officers. Indeed, we would not be surprised if his election owed an enormous debt of gratitude to the New York City Police Department.
The first 70 days is just a beginning. The President has used his powers – speeches, interviews, executive orders, and administrative actions – to promote human values on critical issues such as safety. This has begun to bring transparency to the economic challenges before us and to try to reign in legal and regulatory overreach and oppression.
This is a good start. The test is whether or not the President can continue these efforts and make meaningful progress through the re-engineering of the executive branch, the federal budget, and the implementation of legislative priorities, including tax reform and a new approach to health care.
- Cancelling the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- Reversing regulations to shut down the coal industry – let the market produce the same result in a more economic way.
- Renegotiating the Air Force One contract with Boeing.
- Reaching out and listening to the legitimate concerns of business people.
Privacy & The Law:
- Attacking the mainstream media on “fake news” issues.
- Publicizing the fact that our communication and digital systems have no integrity and are operating lawlessly.
- Reinvigorating the “special relationship” with May.
- Holding a successful meeting with Abe.
Immigration & The Law:
- Tightening up illegal immigration and aligning immigration policies with the law.
- Empowering veterans, police, sheriffs, and law enforcement officials who now believe that they will be supported in creating safety and stopping the flow of drugs.
- The President’s actions on illegal immigration have brought transparency to the human trafficking problem and triggered (directly or indirectly) an enormous wave of human trafficking arrests.
- Inspiring significant reductions in illegal immigration.
- Implementing an Executive Order on financial regulatory relief and working with Congress on a legislative package.
- Creating a deregulation task force within every federal agency.
- Cancelling the Obamacare tax “fine” that concerned so many Americans re: their April 15 tax filings.
- Demonstrating that regulatory relief is now “in the wind” in Washington. As a result, businesses (particularly small businesses) feel hopeful.
- Publishing a budget blueprint.
- Moving the Clintons and the Bushes out of the line of power: they are now quarantined.
- Holding listening sessions and rallies.