By former USDA Secretary John R. Block
I want to look back at 2017. In some respects, President Trump had a pretty rough year with his critics, including much of the mainstream media attacking him without relief.
However, I think the case can be made that he and the Republican Congress had an impressive year. Tax cuts with tax reform is a huge victory. Our current tax system is inefficient, outdated, and uncompetitive. We have been losing jobs and money to other countries because we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Besides making us more competitive with other countries, 91 percent of middle income workers will realize a tax cut of more than $1000. The President has been appointing conservative judges to our courts, including Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Turning to foreign policy, “Putting America First” is not a bad idea. Insisting that our European allies pay their fair share in protecting our freedom has already seen some countries stepping up. Don’t ignore the fact that the U.S. and allies have taken back almost all of the millions of acres that ISIS held as recently as 1 year ago.
How many government regulations that have been strangling our economy has President Trump withdrawn? There is still a lot more to do. Agriculture is sick of a government that wants to tell us what we can and can’t do on our own land. The objective is to cut the EPA staff by about 20%. We are cheering that plan.
Since last year’s election, we have seen the stock market post record gains. The S&P stock index is up 20% and the Dow industrial is up more than 25%. President Obama handed President Trump an economy growing at only 1.8%. Growth has surged to over 3% the last two quarters. Consumer confidence is near an all time record.
Other actions that are impressive – the President is moving to reduce the acres of government land regulated as national monuments. He lifted the restrictions on arctic drilling.
Finally, the President is still trying to get control of our immigration system. Choosing immigrants based on merit is a good idea.
Some people don’t like what the President is doing. I understand. But he was elected, and is doing what he said he would do.
John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill. If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, visit johnblockreports.com.