The spectacle of the government shutdown underscores the failure of the political class to grasp the depth of contempt with which working Americans view them. To understand the pure intensity of this contempt they need only look at the person America has sent to Washington to drain the swamp. With President Trump, the Washington establishment has nowhere to hide. Over the arch of President Trump’s business career, every sort of monster crawled out of the Washington swamp and up to New York to pitch businessman Donald Trump. He knows their game because he’s seen their PowerPoint.
Last year’s presidential campaign was a prime indicator of just how out of touch the Washington establishment — and the political elites who fund them — had become. Trump took on all comers in the GOP primary while Hilary Clinton coasted along with an insider’s confidence that the fix was in. As Trump crisscrossed the country shaking hands and holding rallies in America’s industrial and agricultural regions, Clinton shuttled from New York to Hollywood raising money preaching to the choir. To Clinton and the liberal elites who filled her coffers, the rest of America was just fly-over country. As Trump promised to restore American dominance, Clinton dismissed the idea of American greatness as quaint and jingoistic. Backed by a zombie media, she used Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” as a sharp knife to parse and divide America — fomenting economic and racial tension and conflict.
In the end, the ruling class was toppled but the carefully built political-industrial complex remains and is in a fight for its life.
As the political elites and the Washington establishment rage-on, the president has kept focused on the economic agenda he promised the American people.
The Trump administration has implemented top-down regulatory reform, demanding regulators follow the law, regulations be science-based and that regulators conduct real cost-benefit analysis to ensure the most efficient, effective means of enforcing the law. Congress has followed suit, using the Congressional Review Act to permanently repeal the worst examples of regulatory abuse.
Trade reform is another component of the Trump economic plan. Despite the hysteria of self-interested elites who sold-out America’s industrial base, trade reform is not protectionism. It’s been 25 years since NAFTA’s enactment. President Trump’s approach to trade is rooted in the simple fact that America must modernize trade policies and agreements to reflect current realities. This will create new opportunities for all Americans instead of only those with a sweet deal in the status quo.
Tax reform is at the core of President Trump’s economic plan. Despite the dishonest hysteria coming from political and social elites and the press zombies, the Trump tax cut provides desperately needed tax relief focused on working families and job-creating businesses. The standard deduction is doubled for both individuals and families — from $6,500 to $13,000 and from $12,000 to $24,000, respectively. The child tax credit is doubled. The highly regressive Obamacare tax that targeted working families and young people was eliminated. Both the small business and corporate tax rates have been substantially reduced, making America more competitive at home and abroad. For the next five years businesses can deduct 100 percent of their costs for new equipment and other investments. These new deductions combined with competitive business tax rates means American businesses now have incentive to invest and grow and the cash to do it. That means new jobs and higher wages as businesses compete for workers.
Yet the Washington establishment fights on. When considering the government shutdown three hurdles are important.
Jan. 19: The now-passed deadline for Congress to avert a government shutdown.
March 5: Nearly 6 weeks from now, which is the deadline for Congress to pass legislation protecting young people brought here illegally when their parents skipped the legal immigration process.
60 votes: Which are require under Senate rules to pass a spending bill. That means Democrats have to play ball for the country to win.
Instead Congressional Democrats chose to abandon compromise and shut down government over a problem Congress still has more than a month to solve. That’s the kind of thinking that can only come from someone completely detached from the reality. While Hilary Clinton’s delusions lead to her political demise, the Democrats and the Washington establishment fight on at the expense and detriment of the American people.
John T. McNabb is vice chairman of the American Leadership Council, co-founder of the Trump Leadership Council and former chairman and CEO of Willbros Group.