President Trump: The Path Forward
When Congressman Eric Cantor, newly minted House minority whip for the Republican Party, trekked up to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama in January 2009 pitching the concept of bipartisan policy-making, the President, in no uncertain terms, told him that elections had consequences. “Eric,” he said, “I won!”
Elections indeed do have consequences. And the consequences of a Trump Presidency will have historic implications as significant as those of the presidencies of FDR and Ronald Reagan.
With the vitriol of the campaign now a month behind us and with President-elect Trump not apparently concerned about staying consistent with his campaign promises, it is now worth pausing to note calmly what positive opportunities are available, particularly with Republican majorities in the Senate and Congress, for meaningful change in the key pivot points for the nation on jobs and international security.
There is little doubt for anyone from both Parties, regardless of social or economic status, that the U.S. Income Tax Code is arcane and badly in need of a massive rewrite. There has been little opportunity to make any meaningful contribution to reform under the prior political morass, with its continuous political rhetoric about the “rich paying their fair share.” However, with President-elect Trump identifying himself as a beneficiary of tax loopholes and recognizing that complexity does not lead to clarity, for the first time, in a long time, significant tax reform is a probability by the end of 2017.
Corporate Income Taxes
So long as a Democrat, and particularly the most recent Democrat, occupies the White House, the lens through which the corporate income tax rate is viewed appears to reflect concepts of fairness and corporate citizenship, not economics or markets. It is common knowledge that the U.S. Corporate tax rate is one of the highest of all developed nations. It’s small wonder why international corporations choose to remain domesticated elsewhere and why U.S. based corporations strive to create and support companies abroad. Both based on what the President-elect has espoused on the campaign trail, as well as what we all know is a fundamental tenet of the Republican platform spearheaded by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the lowering of the corporate income tax rate is finally a possibility, which will clearly leverage massive job growth and consumer spending.
Repatriation of Profits
The corpus of U.S. corporate profits sitting in foreign banks, unable to repatriate, is larger than the gross national product of all but the five major national economies in the world. The economic impact of incentivizing that repatriation with minimal taxation would nuclearize domestic job creation and growth. While the President-elect has not been kindly disposed to corporations exporting jobs, he has been clear as to an understanding that lower taxes in the future and repatriating corporate profits will preserve domestic jobs and channel domestic investment. The opportunity is ripe to clear the slate and start over with a comprehensive new corporate IRC which provides for repatriation.
Headline noise during the campaign centered on building a wall on our southern border, deporting illegal aliens and banning Muslims who come from terrorist countries. Even for a President-elect who has shown himself indefatigable in pursuing his intentions, those represent hyperbolic campaign positions not likely to see the light of day, even with his hand-selected cabinet nominees. There is no question, however, that immigration reform is a bipartisan issue. In fact, it is the President-elect’s own Party which has continued to be an obstacle to it in the past. With Trump as President and the Democratic Party already favorable, meaningful (and rational) immigration reform is finally in reach.
When President Obama came to office, he felt a mandate, after eight years of George W., to apologize to the Mideast, as well as to Europe, for America’s history of imperialism. At that time, we were mired in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eight years later, under President Obama, the entire Arab continent sits atop a flaming inferno while millions of migrants have poured across borders after years of bloodshed and warfare. While solutions are far harder to identify than problems, what is clear is that President-elect Trump will approach foreign relations far differently: don’t get involved unless we have to, but, if we do, speak loudly, carry a very big stick and use it forcefully when needed.
Universal Health Care
ObamaCare and universal health are not the same. The problems with ObamaCare, which recently became obvious with major premium spikes, are plentiful. That does not mean, however, that the concept of universal health care is not within the country’s psyche at this juncture. Our opportunity is to replace ObamaCare with a market-driven program for universal health care, particularly after recent pronouncements by the President-elect, coupled by the Republican Plan, already drafted and supported by the Republican Party.
Much has and will be written about the Trump Presidency and the national cauldron that has boiled across America for the disaffected, disenchanted, and disillusioned to erupt with a cry to take back the country. At the end of the day, the Jacksonian barbarians did recapture the White House, and are about to occupy it. The only issue now is whether this President can make good on his promise to Make America Great Again from within it.