Other Opinions

Trump’s quick start bodes well for him and the nation

Editor’s note: The writer is addressing the question, “How would you rate President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office?”

Despite countless cries of outrage and shrieks of horror from left-wing activists, radical environmentalists and the mainstream media, President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office unquestionably should be judged a rousing success.

Let’s start with the economy. After eight years of sluggish economic growth, $10 trillion of additional national debt, and the imposition of crushing, incomprehensible regulatory schemes under the Obama administration, Trump has implemented a series of reforms that have reignited the American economic engine and set the nation back on the right course.

The number of workers employed full-time has risen by 1.3 million since Trump was elected in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the five months prior to Trump’s victory, the economy only added 958,000 full-time jobs.

Spurred by Trump’s commitment to reducing the toll taken on businesses by Obama-era regulations, investors seem more confident than they’ve been in well over a decade.

From October 2014 to October 2016, the Dow Jones industrial average increased by a meager 2.49 percent. Since October 2016, just prior to Election Day, the market has steadily risen more than 11 percent and has hit all-time highs, padding American retirement accounts along the way.

Consumer confidence has also increased dramatically under the Trump administration; it’s now at its highest level since December 2000.

Other major issues indirectly related to the economy have improved as well. For instance, the number of people crossing illegally into the United States has plummeted.

The number of immigrants caught crossing the border illegally in March, about 12,000, was 72 percent lower than the number reported in December, said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Trump has also called for cutting costs at bloated federal agencies, proposing in his budget to slash spending by at least 20 percent at the departments of Justice, Labor, Agriculture and State. He’s also called for a 31 percent reduction at the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency.

On the energy and infrastructure front, Trump has been just as active and effective.

In February, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management sold drilling rights on 278 parcels of federal land for $129.3 million, the largest lease sale in four years.

And, following executive orders from Trump to review and rescind unnecessary and unjustified limits on energy production on public lands, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ended the Interior’s moratorium on issuing new coal leases and directed Land Management to rescind regulations limiting hydraulic fracturing.

Trump also reversed Obama administration policies blocking the completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The result: The Dakota Access pipeline was swiftly completed, and oil now flows through it today. Work is expected to soon begin on the Keystone XL.

Keeping his promise to miners, Trump’s early energy actions have paid job dividends in coal country.

Economist Stephen Moore notes that since Trump’s election, the mining sector, which has been plagued for years with layoffs, has added 35,000 jobs.

Additionally, the two largest coal companies in the United States, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, which had previously been forced into bankruptcy in part by Obama’s climate policies, are once again viable.

Perhaps most importantly, Trump successfully filled the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat with one of the most highly qualified, well-respected federal judges considered for the nation’s highest court in recent decades, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Like any presidential administration, team Trump has faced multiple challenges and setbacks in its first 100 days. But considered in its entirety, Trump’s presidency thus far has been wildly successful and a substantial improvement over the largely ineffectual and reckless Obama administration.

Haskins is executive editor of publications and Burnett is a research fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute.

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