All Things Political: Unintended effects of Trump policies

All Things Political: Unintended effects of Trump policies

During the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Donald Trump made a series of campaign promises, many of them with a nationalistic flair, which brought conservative Americans to the polls in overwhelming numbers.

And while these pledges may have been effective in rallying his supporters, hindsight has shown they were poorly thought through.

Some of these problematic promises include: Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, impose tariffs on imports to balance the trade deficit, institute a Muslim ban to stop terrorism, repeal and replace Obamacare, and create massive tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

It’s time to take a stark look at the unintended consequences of these policies.

Build a wall and making Mexico pay for it — The United States may end up building a wall, but Mexico is certainly not going to pay for it.

Americans will pay for it, in more ways than one. The projected cost of the wall could be as high as $20 billion and that doesn’t include the estimated yearly cost of $750 million to maintain it, or the additional cost of adding to border patrol’s current operating budget of $1.4 billion.

And that’s not the biggest consequence.

Mexico has a staggeringly large amount of millionaires, roughly numbering 150,000.

Thanks to Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric, these millionaires are vacationing elsewhere.

For example, the busiest ski area in the country, Vail Colo., counts on 10 percent of its revenue from Mexicans.

Ski season was substantially slower this year, even though it is estimated that as much as 40 percent of private real estate in Vail is owned by Mexican nationals.

According to a March 22, 2017 article in the Denver Post, Canada saw a 70 percent spike in tourism from Mexicans, in part because of Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric.

This tourism revenue comes directly out of American pockets. It’s not a stretch to think Mexican residents will also shy away from purchasing American made goods and services, further hurting our economy.

Trump’s Tariffs on Imports — One of Trump’s solutions to “Make America Great Again” is to impose a tariff on goods from other countries to balance the trade deficit.

A tariff is nothing more than a tax on imported goods whose cost is borne by the final consumer.

For example President Trump slapped a 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber from Canada, the type of lumber widely used in new home construction.  This policy wasn’t thoroughly vetted by the Trump administration, as many Canadian lumber companies have U.S. subsidiaries, and the tariff will enable them to raise prices in the U.S., ultimately raising the price of a new home for Americans.

With any tariff, Americans will pay higher prices for imported goods, while the U.S. government pockets the tariff, or tax revenue.

The Muslim Ban — Banning immigration in the name of national security makes it difficult for Americans to conduct business with the seven predominantly Muslim foreign nations named in the ban, and it’s keeping top professionals, including science and technology experts, from entering our country.

Many large companies are already having a tough time filling job openings with qualified applicants.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and leadership at Ford Motor Company have come out against the ban, because they say it is bad for business.

Trump’s xenophobia has also caused international travellers to vacation elsewhere. Look no further than New York City, which is expecting 300,000 fewer tourists in 2017.

Nationally, tourism is expected to decrease by 6.5 percent this year, the first drop since the recession in 2008.

Repealing and Replacing Obamacare – As of February 2017 there were roughly 12.7 million Americans who had health insurance plans through Obamacare (otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act) and about 20 million Americans if you include the expansion of Medicaid and young adults staying on their parent’s health plans.

Since Obamacare was first introduced, the number of people uninsured dropped from 15.7 percent to 8.9 percent.

President Trump recently tried to repeal and replace Obamacare and failed miserably.

Repealing Obamacare because of the immense dislike many political conservatives have for the former President doesn’t make for good policy because taking away health insurance, without a viable alternative, would be a death sentence for many who need affordable health insurance to survive.  Obamacare certainly isn’t perfect, however replacing it without a viable alternative makes little sense.

Tax Plan to Make America Great Again (just not Long Island) — A brief outline of the Trump tax plan was released last Wednesday.

Unfortunately, it looks like this plan will make Trump much richer and Long Islanders much poorer.

Trump’s tax plan calls for slashing corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 15 percent, lowering the top tax bracket from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, getting rid of the 3.8 percednt tax to fund Obamacare, and eliminating the Estate Tax. Long Islanders will help fund this windfall for the wealthy because we will no longer be able to deduct local and state taxes from our Federal tax burden.

According to the Long Island Association, a business advocacy group for our community, in “Nassau and Suffolk counties alone, outlawing the deduction would result in a $2.5 billion annual hit to the economy.”

One can only guess how large the budget deficit will grow because of this insanely irresponsible tax proposal.

We don’t live in a vacuum, and all new policies have unintended consequences.

However, Trump’s policies have been more poorly thought through than initiatives from any other administration in recent history.

Let’s hope going forward that President Trump improves on his current woeful record of ill-conceived schemes, which have resulted in outsized negative consequences for American citizens.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here