Almost all of the American presidents have faced a crisis while in office, whether it’s a natural disaster, political scandal, terrorism, or economic calamity. But not all of them have the misfortune of having to deal with epidemics and pandemics.
Donald Trump was a very different kind of presidential candidate and from the moment he was inaugurated three years ago, it was clear that he was going to be a very different kind of president. Plus, he is the oldest person ever to be elected to the Oval Office. If ever he wins a second term, he will be nearly 80 years old when he steps down.
His speech after being sworn into office was dark, some would even say angry. He highlighted the failures of past leadership and detailed a long list of problems that the country is facing.
A day later, Donald Trump’s new way of doing things was shown once more . In his first major clash with the press as president, his spokesperson Sean Spicer disputed media reports about the dimensions of the crowds that clothed on Inauguration Day .
The two Supreme Court nominees are safely installed on the bench. The tax reform. The bonfire of federal regulations. The travel ban. The Criminal justice reform. The annual wage growth is at a nine-year high. The legislative action aimed at ameliorating the opioid crisis. Nato members ponying up more cash. 2018 was the simplest year for job creation since 2015. Many of his campaign pledges, such as the renegotiation of the Nafta free-trade agreement and the relocation of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, have been kept. A promise made, promise kept is one of his boasts that regularly rings true.
Aside from the controversies, supporters would argue that he has delivered on many of his campaign promises. He has pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord, he has attempted to introduce his Muslim travel ban, he has delivered tax cuts and started renegotiating trade deals. All of this against the background of a strong economy.
It says no American president in history averaged above 224,000 jobs in one month. When the United States and other countries went into lockdown in order to control the spread of COVID-19, the job market plummeted when businesses laid off and furloughed employees.
According to Department of Labor statistics, the United States lost 1.4 million jobs in March and a record of 20.8 million more in April. As lockdowns began to lift, the Department of Labor reported 2.5 million jobs were added in May and another 4.8 million jobs were added in June.
The unemployment rate now is11.1 percent. In April, it was 14.7 percent, dropping in May to 13.3 percent. To put that in perspective, the percentage spiked at 10 percent during the good Recession and 10.8 percent in June 1983. And despite jobs regained, the country remains down nearly 15 million jobs compared to February.
Here are the other accomplishments of Trump’s administration under his leadership for having now three years in the service. It has taken significant action on issues of concern to social conservatives such as life, family, and religious liberty.
Reshaping the Federal Judiciary
Trump’s most lasting impact on the country will be the reshaping of the federal judiciary.
Thus far, Trump has installed two Supreme Court justices and 187 judges to the federal bench, all for lifetime appointments.
Trump nominees now make up roughly 25 percent of all US circuit court judges, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. He had appointed 50 judges on the 13 US circuit courts and still has roughly a year left in his first term. To put this into perspective, former President Barack Obama appointed 55 circuit judges in his two terms in the White House.
The courts get the final say in US politics, setting precedents that can shape the country for years to come. Even if Trump is not reelected in 2020, his presidency will continue to have an impact on the direction of the US due to the sheer number of conservative federal judges he’s installed.
In signing a $738 billion defense spending bill just a few days before Christmas, Trump officially established the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces , which is the Space Force.
The Space Force is the first new military service since the US Air Force was created in 1947. Despite its name, the new branch has not been established to protect the planet from potential extraterrestrial threats but is tasked with protecting the US military’s assets in space.
“This is not a farce. This is nationally critical,” Gen. John Raymond, who Trump tapped to lead the Space Force, told reporters earlier in January. He said that they are elevating space proportionately with its significance to the national security and therefore the security of other allies and partners.
Many of the details surrounding the Space Force must still be ironed out. In many ways, the new branch is simply a more centralized version of military missions in space that already existed from the Air Force, Army, and Navy.
The director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies,Todd Harrison had recently told NPR that it will create a centralized, unified chain of command that is responsible for space, because ultimately when responsibility is fragmented, no one’s taking responsibility.
ISIS shocked the world in 2014 when it took over a large swath of territory across Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate.
The terrorist group’s territorial holdings were the basis for its so-called caliphate and provided it will be a major base of operations to conduct attacks across the world.
After five years of effort led by the United States, ISIS’s caliphate was finally defeated in March 2019.
Trump has at times falsely claimed that ISIS is defeated, embellishing the extent of the US military’s success against the terrorist organization during his presidency. Though the terrorist group has lost its territory, it is so-called caliphate, it is still estimated to have up to 18,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria.
In late October, a United States raid led to the death of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Baghdadi was the world’s most wanted terrorist up to that point and his death represented a major blow to the terrorist group.
Trump had said at that time, “Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.” “Capturing or killing him has been the highest national security priority of my administration,” he added.
Three years into his presidency, Trump’s signature legislative achievement remains a Republican tax bill that made sweeping changes to the tax code — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
As Business Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig recently reported:
-The law was the most important overhaul to the nation’s tax code in the three decades, and therefore the president pitched it as “rocket fuel” for the American economy.
– It now permanently slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent while also providing temporary benefits for individuals and their families.
– Critics argued it was a windfall for massive corporations at the expense of the middle class. Meanwhile, supporters of the tax cuts contended it might unleash an economic bonanza. Businesses would invest in their operations, they said, leading to improved worker productivity and better wages.
-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others, said the law would juice the nation’s gross domestic product to 3 percent or more, as Trump said 6 percent and soon pay for itself and spread prosperity.
– But the law has achieved none of the ambitious goals that Republicans put forward and there are scant signs they ever will
First Step Act
Trump signed the primary Step Act into law in December 2018, marking the primary legislative victory in years for advocates seeking to reform the criminal justice system.
The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. It offers relatively modest changes to the federal prison system but was praised as a crucial breakthrough by groups and activists seeking to finish mass incarceration.
Business Insider’s Michelle Mark summarized the key aspects of the legislation after it passed in the Senate last year:
-The passage of the bill marked the first major legislative win in decades to address mass incarceration at the federal level.
– The bill overhauls certain federal sentencing laws, expanding early-release programs, and reducing mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies.
– The bill also makes retroactive a 2010 federal sentencing law reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses.
– The bill also aims to lower recidivism by offering more rehabilitation and job-training opportunities, and it includes provisions intended to treat prisoners humanely — banning the shackling of pregnant inmates, halting the use of solitary confinement for most juvenile inmates, and mandating that prisoners be placed in facilities within 500 miles from their families.