Trump Set To Unleash Executive Orders: The Breakdown

According to sources within the new administration and according to Axios who quotes “one of the best-wired Republican lobbyists in town”, President Trump is set to hit the ground running hard with a flurry of immediate executive orders. Of course last Friday he issued one on Obamacare which is still vague in the details. Below is a list of what we should expect to see coming next:

* Instruct the Defense Secretary to come up with a plan to destroy and eliminate ISIS.
In 2014 a former CIA agent who had served on the front lines in Iraq fighting al Qaeda told me, “we can eliminate ISIS in two to three years if we commit ourselves 100% to doing it”. It appears we are about to find out if he was right. We are also about to find out if ISIS is the JV basketball team which former President Obama told us they were and if having a positive strategic relationship with Russia is such a bad thing after all. The one thing the American people do not want of course is another war which seems to drag on with no concrete end in site.

* Five year lobbying ban on transition and administration officials.
During his Inauguration speech President Trump said the day marked a peaceful transfer of power not only from one president to another but also from the Washington elite to the American people. Corporate media (especially ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and NBC’s Lester Holt) were outraged saying or implying that the new President was a dangerous populist. A five year ban on lobbying of transition and administration officials is consistent with Trump’s message that for too long those in Washington have served themselves at the expense of the American people. It will go over well with his supporters and the American people in general.

* Border / immigration: Something on sanctuary cities, expand E-Verify, an extreme vetting proposal.
Get ready for the you-know-what to hit the fan. The top 10 Sanctuary cities in America according to Politico.com are: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, Newark, Denver, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and San Francisco. It’s safe to say that Mayors De Blasio of New York, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Ed Lee of San Francisco are going politicize and oppose whatever is drawn up no matter how tame and watered down the executive order may be. Not to suggest that it will be. It’s a polarizing political issue and President Trump’s opponents are going to do their best to pounce and paint him as racist. The media too will be all over this with lead stories. Meanwhile it will be interesting to see if his staunchest supporters feel he goes far enough.

Two other actions President Trump is expected to take immediately are:

* Report on readiness, and something cyber security related
Not much I can say here other than #MAGA and it’s safe to say that there shouldn’t be any administration officials “pulling a Hillary” and maintaining their government business on a private email server. Or at least we hope not.

* Mexico City policy, which prevents foreign NGOs (non-governmental organizations independent from states and international governmental organizations) from getting U.S. family planning money if they provide abortions with non-U.S. funds.
It looks like those who protested in the funny looking pink hats at the Women’s March over the weekend will have something to vent their anger at immediately (although it was unclear what exactly they were protesting other than Trump’s election victory). Remember for all their talk about tolerance and ‘power to the woman’, pro-life women were not welcome at their ‘Women’s Day’ protest. It would appear this executive order will be welcome news by pro-life supporters which by default makes it opposed by the “hands off my body” crowd.

This was just a quick down and dirty overview of what to expect immediately from the new administration in terms of executive orders as events and news items are quickly moving. I will update you and have commentary on anything of significance which happens as it occurs.

A New Day In America

 

(image via wikimedia)

The day is finally here. For nearly two years or so the corporate media, Democrats and many Republicans thought this would be the day that another Clinton was sworn into the office of the presidency. I suppose there were some within the Republican establishment who thought today would be a day of celebration for yet another member of the Bush family. Instead of course they were all wrong. But why?

Today’s swearing in of President Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th President has its roots in a pivotal event which occurred on February 19th, 2009. That was the day CNBC TV commentator Rick Santelli took took to the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and gave an epic on air rant against government bailouts of risky undeserving behavior. Santelli’s speech was the impetus which led to the creation of the Tea Party movement.
A grassroots movement which swept across America and attracted scores of people who previously had never been involved in American politics. These “everyday” Americans got involved because they understood their best interests – for decades- were not being represented by Washington’s politicians and now for once they had an outlet to express their frustration. But whether or not the movement had the ability to achieve the change which its supporters sought was still a big unknown. The Tea Party movement, however, became the impetus which made possible the unlikely victory of a political outsider named Donald J. Trump to the highest office in the land. I suppose there is something fitting about a reality TV celebrity becoming President only after the winds of change were sewn into place by the words of a live TV commentator.

Today should be viewed as a day of victory celebration for right-of-center grassroots, anti-establishment politics made possible by the the Tea (acronym for “taxed enough already”) Party movement. Those millions of working class Americans who supported the Tea Party in various forms over the past seven years should take great pride in their in accomplishment on this Inauguration Day.

While I never expected this day to arrive I suppose in one sense we should have seen it coming all along. Corporate media, Democrats and the establishment in the Republican party did all they could to destroy the Tea Party, a sign they viewed it as a genuine threat. The media lied and branded it as being racist and made it the butt of jokes among Democrat followers. The Obama administration used the IRS as a political weapon and targeted various chapters for crippling audits all but shutting down operations. Several Republicans (see John Boehner) despised the Tea Party and did all they could to ignore or minimize the acknowledgment of its existence. But it survived. At least in the minds and hearts of its supporters.

None of this would have mattered of course if Donald Trump had not come along. Trump for all the lack of his political experience somehow had the political savvy to understand the political opportunity- but more importantly- how to tap into the energy and pent up frustration of the millions of Americans who felt disconnected from their elected officials. What is remarkable is not only that he understood that political landscape, but a man of his age and financial place in life was willing to take on the high risk – low probability of success, long term task of becoming America’s next President. A lesser person would have failed or quit long ago. Trump must have wanted it badly.

As I have written previously in time we will learn if the Trump administration will be a success or whether or not corporate media will gleefully tell us ‘I told you so’. But on this day at least, Rick Santelli along with millions of grassroots Americans should take pride and know that if it were not for their efforts another Clinton or Bush would be scheduled to be sworn in as America’s next President. We deserve better.

Message To Left: Be Careful Of What You Wish For!

(image via wikimedia)
If history is any indication- and it usually is- then Democrats better be careful of what they wish for because they just might get it. I’m referring to the latest strategy on the Left which has democrat operatives and their allies in the media gloating and indeed embracing what are expected to be massive Inauguration Day protests and sporadic cases of civil disobedience.

At a time when most Americans still feel profoundly proud of their nation, Democrats are doing all they can to try and make sure this year that feeling is erased. For starters you have the Left’s narrative of branding President Elect Trump as an “illegitimate” president. This has long been their political strategy from day one when Trump emerged from the GOP primary to face Hillary in the general election. But now instead of taking the high road, as they always claim, Democrat politicians are doubling down on claims of an illegitimate presidency. Ironically, leaked email revealed that it was the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign which conspired together to “rig” the democrat primary to defeat Bernie Sanders. Talk about illegitimate. All of this of course is being orchestrated against the backdrop of tens of thousands of planned protests anticipated to descend upon our nation’s capitol on Inauguration Day.

To help one stay informed and up to date with their protesting options, this past week the Washington Post published an article titled, ‘Your Guide To Inauguration Day Demonstrations, Marches and Protests’. Protests are expected to range from everything including the ‘Women’s March’ featuring Hollywood celebrities such as Cher, Amy Schumer and Katy Perry, groups protesting Trump on the basis of racism, LGBT rights, income inequality, nuclear proliferation and so on and so forth. Meanwhile a growing number of Democrat lawmakers have announced they are boycotting Inauguration Day because of Trump’s taking exception to Congressman John Lewis calling him “illegitimate”. While Democrats may not be directly calling for protests outright they are doing all they can to fan the flames and undermine the credibility of the institution.

Unfortunately for our nation- and for the Democrat party itself- the Left has a history when it comes to such things. In the mid- 60’s with the tremendously unpopular Vietnam war raging on, anarchists and violent protestors took to the nation’s streets and college campuses to condemn U.S. involvement. Flag burnings, molotov cocktails and rocks hurled at police officers became common visions broadcast into American living rooms on a nightly basis.

While the majority of Americans disagreed with the Vietnam War they rejected the trashing of their nation and its’ institutions by extreme protestors even more so. Seeking an alternative to the violent, anti-American messaging voters in 1968 elected Republican Richard Nixon as their president. In 1972 despite the war still dragging on and with protests and anti-American messages getting even uglier voters re-elected Richard Nixon to a second term. He won 49 states. The point is most Americans quietly go about their lives. Most are center, left-of-center or right-of-center in their political views and most reject the trashing of our nation and its institutions. Something the Left fails to comprehend.

In more recent years we have seen violent nationwide protests organized by the Black Lives Matter movement, the demonization of our nation’s police officers and an American president who questions the existence of American exceptionalism. In that seven year period Democrat politicians have paid a heavy price at the voting booth as they have lost a staggering 1,042 seats at the Senate, Congress, Governor and state legislature levels. It’s something they can’t blame that on the Russians.

Obviously there is plenty of unknown when it comes to the upcoming Trump presidency given that he has never previously held political office, but he appears to have the support of the American people. When you remove California from the equation he won the majority vote. He won the electoral college by a large margin. American voters want their presidents to be successful and are willing to be patient. That is why so many U.S. Presidents get re-elected to second terms despite lackluster first terms. What they won’t tolerate are individuals and groups whose extreme actions undermine the nation, its’ institutions and leader. Something which Democrats are now once again engaging in at their own peril.

Boom! U.S. Small Business Optimism Surges, Media Silent!

 

(image via Pixabay)

Optimism among U.S. small businesses surged in December by the most amount not seen since Ronald Reagan was the American president.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) conducts a monthly survey among its’ members and compiles the data to come up with the ‘Optimism Index’.  December’s index score marked the biggest one month gain since 1980 and the highest overall score since 2004.  Meanwhile that silence you hear is the U.S. media coverage of this story.

The results are consistent with the recent presidential election in that virtually every pre-election poll showed voters preferring Trump over Clinton on the economy by a wide margin. What is impressive is that all of this comes against the backdrop of daily, non-stop negative “reporting” and attacking of Donald Trump by the mainstream media on everything from his cabinet picks to his unconventional use of twitter.  Just this week for example we have seen hair raising, unsubstantiated reports by CNN and buzzfeed accusing Trump of  embarrassing romps with Russian prostitutes.  CNN has since tried to distance itself from buzzfeed (which CNN’s reporting was based on) while buzzfeed continues to embrace their unproven story.  The wretched media environment and its’ constant anti-Trump drumbeat appears to be having little or no affect at all on the minds and attitudes of business owners.  That’s a reason for all of us to be optimistic.

There are two important reasons why all of this matters.  First, it’s psychological. Or as economist Jim O’Sullivan puts it, “Rising confidence adds to the economy’s upward momentum.”  “Rising confidence” and upward momentum”.   Two characteristics you want in any economy.  Secondly, small businesses are America’s largest employer representing 99% of all U.S. employers. In the survey a growing number of small businesses (defined as 500 or less employees) said they plan to increase both hiring and investment in their company.  Trump’s plan for igniting the economy through deregulation, tax reform and infrastructure spending were listed as the key reasons.  How is that not an important newsworthy story deserving of being broadly reported to audiences?  It wasn’t.

The transition period for the new incoming Trump administration has been an interesting one to say the least.  During this time we’ve witnessed a number of American companies announce they will not move their manufacturing plants overseas as originally planned but instead will stay put here in the U.S.  We have seen foreign based companies announce plans to move assets here and create new American jobs in the process.  And now despite the media’s best efforts to create a negative narrative we have this news of the highest jump in optimism among American small business owners since 1980.  It seems we can all learn a valuable lesson from America’s business owners.  Ignore the elite media and stay focused on that which really matters.

Trump Promises To Double Economic Growth

(image via flickr/Federal Reserve)

Last week the media focused its narrative du juor on branding Donald Trump as un-presidential, confrontational and ignorantly living in the past after he warned GM and Toyota through a series of tweets not to move their manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to Mexico.

After all what person of great sophistication and intelligence could ever imagine manufacturing as a growth engine of the future and that the marketplace itself as not being global? How white, under-educated, blue collar worker of him.

But lost in all the media noise and barely reported was a subtle but important speech given by Federal Reserve, Fed Governor Jerome Powell. Speaking at an economic conference in Chicago – and while not mentioning Trump by name- Powell told the audience there is now a more business friendly mood in Washington one which could improve America’s economy and make it less dependent upon the Federal Reserve for success. He said the new mood and talk of less business regulation was welcome news by the Federal Reserve and the nation’s central bankers. Powell, by the way, has been serving the Federal Reserve since 2012 after being nominated to it by President Barack Obama.

There are several reasons why his comments are important. The first of which is unlike the media itself Federal Reserve, Fed Governor Jerome Powell is a person of economic depth and expertise. His words carry weight.

Secondly, the U.S. stock markets have spent the past seven years or so artificially propped up by low interest rates engineered by the Fed. In other words, instead of stock prices moving higher because of a company’s earnings- as it should be- they have moved higher because of interest rates kept low by the Fed.

For example, if an investor has a choice between investing his or her retirement savings in a bank CD earning only 1 or 2 per cent, or take a chance by investing in the U.S. stock market in hopes they will earn 7,8 or 10% they will and have been opting for the stock market. More money invested in the stock market equals higher prices. Meanwhile what this means is that America’s CEO’s are being rewarded with higher stock prices even though they may have never improved their company’s earnings, or in some case even operated at a profit! And it is improved earnings and profits which ultimately leads to companies creating new jobs and hiring more people to work.

Donald Trump has promised to double the pace of economic growth in America. To accomplish this he has hinted at less taxes, less regulation and more incentives to keep companies from moving jobs outside of America. He faces many hurdles. But if he can get the U.S. stock market back to rewarding CEO’s with higher stock prices based only upon the company’s earnings and future growth instead of something artificial like lower interest rates, then he just may achieve his goal. Even if the media decides not to report on it.

If Obamacare Is So Great Why Do Democrats Keep Losing Elections?

(image via flickr by Cubosh)

This week Republicans and to some degree the Trump administration itself sent conflicting signals as to what its’ plans are for repealing Obamacare. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said congress will move swiftly to repeal and replace Obamacare this year (though he was short on specifics), Vice President Elect Mike Pence said “the first order of business” will be to repeal Obamacare, while President Elect Trump warned his fellow Republicans in a tweet:

“Massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight — be careful!”

Trump is right. Americans are already feeling the pain of increased premiums and those costs are only going to go higher in 2017. Underscoring Trump’s point, Democrats have already paid a steep price for Obamacare. As pointed out in my previous article over the past eight years since since Barack Obama’s election Democrats have lost a staggering 1,042 Congressional, Senate, Gubernatorial and state legislative seats. If the president’s signature healthcare law is so popular and so well liked by the American people- as the elite media would have us believe- why then do they keep losing elections?

It’s because it isn’t. Insurance premiums have risen a painful 40% on the Obamacare exchanges over the past two years. For example, a plan that cost $3600 in 2015 will now cost $5040 in 2017. That’s real money to a lot of American families.

Much of what is causing the rising costs is the Affordable Care Act’s so called ‘community rating’. ‘Community rating’ requires health insurance providers to offer health insurance policies within a given county at the same price to all persons without medical underwriting, regardless of their health status. So in other words, if someone’s health status is poor and they are being charged the same rate as someone within their county whose health status is good, then the rates on the healthy individuals must be increased in order to make up for the cost of insuring the unhealthy at the same rate.

Another way to look it is like auto insurance. It would be insane if Congress passed a law requiring everyone to pay the same premium for auto insurance- regardless of their driving record- then causing those with clean driving records to pay increased rates so that everyone could pay the same rate. The same concept applies to Obamacare under the ‘community rating’ provision.

Democrats are now mocking republicans daring them to try and come up with a better alternative. Paul Ryan has said republicans will move swiftly, Mike Pence has said it will be the first order of business. But Trump is right massive increases are coming and republicans should make them own it. In politics politicians often live and die by their policies. Just ask 1,042 democrats.

Welcome to 2017: How Trump Can MAGA

(image via pixabay)

As we head into 2017 and the beginning of the Trump era I am reminded of something which Art Laffer, the former economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan once told me, “If the economy is strong and people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed then all those political-social issues which tend to divide us become minimized”.  I couldn’t agree more.

In fact, it’s how I originally became a conservative.  Not long after graduating from college I found myself working as a financial advisor at the Wall Street firm Merrill Lynch.  I quickly learned that capitalism discriminates against one color:  green.  While not perfect name me another system in the world that cares not about your family’s status, your religion, skin color, gender, gender preference, political views, and on and on and on?  It doesn’t exist.

All of which gets me back to 2017, President-Elect Trump and today’s political environment.  President Obama has said he would have defeated Trump had he been able to run for a third term.  Yet all the numbers say otherwise.  Since President Obama’s election in 2008 Democrats have lost over 1,000 seats. 1042 to be exact.  During his eight years in office democrats have lost 9 U.S. Senate seats, 62 Congressional seats, 12 governerships, and a whopping 958 state legislative seats.  They hold state level majorities in only seven states- the lowest since the Civil War!

This despite that President Obama enjoys a high approval rating among Americans.  (57% according to a November CNN/ORC poll his highest level in seven years).  In other words, Americans approve of the man personally, but not of his record.

And who can blame them?  Currently there are a record number 93 million work eligible Americans who are unemployed and not even included in the government’s unemployment figures, health insurance costs are rising under Obamacare and according to a recent Harvard-Princeton University study 95% of all new jobs created the past eights years have been part-time or temporary jobs!  Ninety-five per cent!

On the other hand Trump’s record low likeability rating suggests Americans may not approve of the man personally but they are more interested in what kind of job he can do with the U.S. economy.

Somewhere along the line over the past eight years or so we’ve become hyper-polarized.  The elite media and the Left have mastered the art of diverting our attention from that which matters- jobs, job growth and individual opportunities regardless of one’s background- and focused our attention on our differences.

Donald Trump has an uphill battle as he enters office.  The aforementioned elite media and Left are committed to delegitimizing him.  Economic realities may force him to rethink his campaign pledges. But if he can deliver on the economy, create jobs- real jobs not part time or temporary ones- create an environment where all people and small to mid size businesses have a chance at success, then as Art Laffer once told me, our differences will become minimized.  And with that Trump will have made good on his campaign promise to make America great again.