Policies of Donald Trump
|A guide to|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”The root of the problem is the president's amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
|—Anonymous senior White House staffer|
“”The president, I think, makes statements [and] on other occasions contradicts himself. So we've learned to watch what the president does as opposed to what he says.
The policies of Donald Trump are the epitome of the logical extreme of a decades-long lurch to the right wing, starting from the Southern Strategy and the Nixon years, if not even earlier with the Red Scare and McCarthyism, or perhaps earlier than that with Andrew Jackson's xenophobia and authoritarianism, with several real parallels to fascist strongmen and policies identical to theirs. Either ironically, or appropriately, his aristocratic lifestyle, demeanor, Social Darwinism, and authoritarianism make him resemble an eighteenth-century European monarch, someone Americans fought not one but two wars of independence from.
While Trump may appear stupid and self-contradictory on the outside, he is a practiced con artist who has admitted that he revels in unpredictability and chaos, which fosters severe infighting from even within his own government. His claim to notoriety is his transparently abusive, narcissistic, and authoritarian nature.
Animal rights and welfare
He had the USDA remove information about Animal Welfare Act violations from their website. Puppy mills and experiment labs are also allowed to continue mistreating animals, and people looking to buy pets or to even eat animals knowing they aren't being abused will no longer have this luxury. During his 2016 campaigning, Trump expressed support for restraining the FDA's ability to regulate food, including dog food.
Climate change and environmental protection
The Trump administration has proposed a number of changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that make it easier to eliminate protection for any given species. Signed into law in 1973 by Richard Nixon, the ESA has proven instrumental in saving a multitude of creatures from extinction. Success stories include the bald eagle, America's national icon, and the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone National Park. Automatic protections for species deemed "threatened" or "endangered" by biologists would also be removed. Whether or not a given species deserves protection would be considered on a case-by-case basis. The proposed changes also get rid of the requirement that precludes biologists from considering the economic impact of protecting a threatened or endangered species. The original ESA justified this requirement by arguing that it is next to impossible to estimate the price of a living thing on the brink of extinction.
The Trump Administration reversed an Obama-era rule banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, known to be harmful to bees, and genetically modified food crops on natural reserves, where limited farming is allowed.
Trump sought to eliminate funding for NASA research on climate. His EPA Chief, Scott Pruitt, outlined a proposal that limits how often science can be used to make agency-wide decisions. This rule was ultimately struck down by a federal court, after being implemented in a manner violating federal law. Trump also removed an Obama policy protecting oceans; now even the Great Lakes can be polluted.
Trump is rescinding a great many orders which Obama made cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. There is strong opposition to this and there will be legal challenges.
“”Large majorities of Americans in red and blue states alike support strong action to reduce carbon pollution from the nation's power plants, and the clean power plan is supported by a broad and diverse coalition of states, municipalities, power companies, leading businesses, consumer advocates, faith organizations and many others. These supporters will turn out in force to oppose the administration's outrageous attack on the United States' only nationwide limits on carbon pollution from power plants – safeguards that are essential to protecting our public health, securing a clean energy economy and yielding a safer climate for our children.
|—Tomás Carbonell, director of regulatory policy and senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund|
In early June, Trump took the United States out of the Paris Agreement despite intense lobbying from people concerned about climate change. He followed that up by announcing he was going to repeal the Clean Power Plan as the first step to eliminating it altogether. The clean power plan was ultimately repealed by the Trump EPA in 2019. In spite of this, the U.S. in 2017 managed the greatest reduction in carbon emissions of any country. This is thanks in part to the phasing out of coal in favor of natural gas and renewable energy, and to a decline in energy demand. Furthermore, the U.S. remains one of the leading investors in green energy.
Disaster relief in Puerto Rico
On the eve of Category 4 Hurricane Harvey barreling towards Texas, Trump appointed deputy chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen to oversee Harvey. Nielsen is one of the same officials most responsible for the Bush administration's failure to prepare for Hurricane Katrina. True to form, he rescinded Obama's flood-risk rule weeks before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston.
After Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico, Trump's general silence and lack of action had been so deafening, even Bush's Katrina can't compare. Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens, faced four to six months without power, dangerous levels of flooding, increasingly impossible to pay costs in the middle of an economic depression pre-hurricane, dwindling food, water, and gas supplies lack of communication (and shoddy connection at best), a destroyed agricultural industry (which powers its economy), and a weak dam about to collapse near 70,000 people. People were living on their roofs to avoid flooding. 1,360 out of 1,600 cellphone towers on the island are out. Nursing homes had patients that are dehydrated and the elderly were especially vulnerable to death due to lack of refrigeration for insulin. Puerto Rico is an island of three million people, and all of them had no power, meaning they couldn't keep their food refrigerated and some ultimately died due to the lack of air conditioning. Most of its hospitals lacked electricity or fuel for generators in the middle of this humanitarian crisis. So what did he do instead? Criticize Puerto Ricans who had dared to point out he'd done nothing to help, including launching personal attacks against the mayor of San Juan.
Even after FEMA finally did its fucking job and sent emergency relief teams down there, there was nothing they could do beyond that without money, the kind of money Trump himself rescinded just before a previous hurricane (Harvey). He had no plan to rebuild Puerto Rico long-term. He gave it no time and he was not giving any drinking water to supply Puerto Rico's quickly-dwindling resource. Instead, he focused more on attacking the National Football League for some of its players criticizing him.
In fact, Trump chose to mock Puerto Rico for its "massive debt" and infrastructure woes, claiming, with no basis in reality, that the island was "doing fine" as it struggled to survive post-hurricane catastrophe. He followed that up by denying a request for shipping water to Puerto Rico, rationalizing that oil pipelines mattered more.
In his visit to Puerto Rico, he had FEMA delete facts and erase reports on how many people still lack drinking water or electricity in Puerto Rico, complained about the cost of relief efforts, said Puerto Ricans should feel lucky Maria wasn't a "real catastrophe" like Katrina, argued Puerto Rico's debt would have to be wiped out as a precondition for full relief, threw a bunch of paper towels at hurricane victims from a stage and told a victim to "have a good time," refused to promise he'd ever rebuild the island's infrastructure, denied food stamps to hurricane victims, and he continued to act very slowly in establishing any relief whatsoever.
The final death toll is 2,975, a mere two away from matching the total deaths from 9/11. Katrina's death toll in New Orleans was 1400. On the 17th anniversary of 9/11, Rachel Maddow and Senator Jeff Merkley revealed Trump cut FEMA's budget by nearly 10 million dollars and used those funds for ICE instead, including deportations and the concentration camps. He later denied that 3000 people died in the hurricane season, claimed he rebuilt Puerto Rico (and they recovered all power and electricity a year later), and blamed the deaths on Democrats.
It turns out that Trump deliberately told FEMA to withhold funds for emergency relief that were earmarked for Puerto Rico because he was enraged upon hearing that the Puerto Rican government was supposedly using disaster funds to solve its debt crisis (it should go without saying this turned out to be complete horseshit). In fact, he reportedly shouted, "I don't want a single damn cent going to that island!"
Environmental Protection Agency
Living up to his climate change denial, Trump is looking to completely destroy the EPA's ability to enforce regulations on climate change, effectively hollowing out the EPA and turning it into a virtual skeleton crew. This even includes gutting enforcement of anti-pollution laws, potentially signing a repeal of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, precipitating lead poisoning on a greater scale, and allowing corporations to pollute your air and your water. He also issued a directive forcing government agencies to stop reporting on climate change. All agencies, in fact, were forced to no longer report to the press, allowing only the White House any chance to air out information only Trump wants to hear. He also intends to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which set guidelines for how states should reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Trump and Republicans in Congress always wanted to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (after Nixon created it). He appointed Scott Pruitt, a man who filed lawsuits against the EPA, to be the head of the EPA. He later booted all scientists in favor of industry lobbyists, including Robert Phalen, who argued the air is "too clean" in America.
From there, things have taken a turn for the worse. The EPA has been severely curtailed, with much of its regulations and programs becoming rescinded or rolled back, and even removing all Obama era climate change programs in the government. This means he's removing protections from climate change, exacerbating the damage from storms due to his cuts, politicizing environmental issues, allowing pollution and food poisoning to occur more frequently. He even cut a "life-saving" program that helps children specifically because said program mentioned climate change, itself a word that he banned from being used in his administration.
After canceling Obama's Clean Power Plan, which regulated the amount of carbon generated by fossil fuel companies, the EPA did a study of the effects of the CPP's removal. It concluded an additional 1,400 people will die annually die to pollution-related preventable illnesses.
The EPA eliminated Obama-era rules on coal power production, giving states the power to regulate their own plants. Critics argue this will massively increase air pollution will pose a serious threat to public health. Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler countered that the EPA exceeded its authority with said rules and removing them would lower electricity prices. In any case, Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises to undo Obama's environmental protection legacy and to boost the coal industry.
Trump is looking to kneecap the solar industry by hiking prices higher and removing their competitive advantage against oil and gas, something that Putin did. Even the Heritage Foundation and ALEC think that's insane.
In 2018, as part of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, Trump imposed tariffs on solar power imports. Since many solar power companies operating in the U.S. are Chinese-owned, this will have a significant effect on the what is currently one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy, employing more than 250,000 people. Billions of dollars worth of installation projects have been shelved. There is, however, a glimpse of hope in this seemingly darkening picture. Many solar power companies are investing more and more in automation and as a result will become less dependent on imports, especially from China. This in turns will reduce prices without outsourcing American jobs. Thus, Trump's tariffs, as least in this particular instance, are actually beneficial to American industry.
On 31 January 2018, Trump's administration asked for 72% in cuts to renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in the Energy Department.
National parks and monuments
The natural wonders of the land are under attack from Trump and Zinke, who want to reduce the size of national monuments and prevent future presidents from protecting the environment like Obama did. Ryan Zinke wants to hike up entry fees to national parks and lease adjacent federal land to fossil fuel companies for mining and drilling, which will endanger the national parks.
In December 2017, he used his frankly unlimited power as president to reduce Utah's national monuments and reduce their public land by 2 million acres, the largest reduction in public land ever.
Civil rights and human rights
Trump thinks torture works and wants to bring it back.
He's already allowing ICE to abuse detainees to get them to drop their ACLU claims, including destroying records of sexual assault, deaths in custody, and physical abuse. Boca Raton's GEO Group, a powerful private prison, is running a facility on behalf of ICE, and according to the ACLU, tortures whistleblowers at its private immigration detention facility in Aurora, Colorado. ICE agents at GEO's 1,500-bed Colorado detention center are "retaliating against Iraqi nationals who have joined an ACLU class-action lawsuit to stop the U.S. from deporting them." Iraqi inmates have been "denied food, water, and access to the restroom," so they could "voluntarily" signal ICE to deport them.
Trump intends to, and in some ways already has, rolled back efforts to hold police officers accountable when they kill unarmed minorities. He is also looking to dismantle all civil rights agencies in the federal government, including the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (Labor Department), the Office of Civil Rights Division (Education Department), and the EPA's environmental justice program, which "offers aid to minority communities exposed to health hazards from pollution."
After his initial announcement on Twitter, Trump officially gave the order for the military to ban transgender Americans from military service. The order stops the military from funding gender reassignment surgery, bars any new entries from trans Americans, and allows the Defense Secretary to determine whether or not to purge all currently-serving trans soldiers from the armed forces. He also rescinded Obama era protections for trans workers, giving way for them to be fired for being trans.
On the same day as his trans ban, Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty for illegal racial profiling of Latinos in Maricopa County, Arizona. This was highly unusual because pardons usually happen after a conviction, which did not occur for Arpaio because they were still getting ready for the trial. This pardon, Trump's first, is seen as a signal to law enforcement that they can and will crackdown further on immigrants and minorities since they know the President has their back.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rolling back the civil rights division in the Justice Department, under-staffing it and shifting its focus away from civil rights in general. This includes making reducing consent decrees, which allows court-enforced reforms and oversight; these led to the country successfully desegregating school systems, reforming police departments, ensuring access for the disabled, and defending the religious. But Sessions says no, that's not a good thing, because of course. He is empowering political appointees to do the dirty work of Donald Trump, because the civil service doesn't want to follow his orders. Affirmative action in college admissions has been targeted for removal. This even means using the Justice Department to re-segregate schools.
Trump got Attorney General Jeff Sessions to issue a government-wide "legal guidance" allowing special rights for the religious under the banner of "religious liberty." This means anyone who has a religious or "moral" obligation can deny any service and freely discriminate on the basis of healthcare, gay rights, women's rights, and even disaster relief. This was in response to an executive order President Donald Trump signed in May 2017 declaring religious freedom to be a driving policy for his administration.
Trump does not care about the religious freedom on non-Christians. In fact, he banned people from several Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S. on his first week in office. When Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General, refused to comply, Trump immediately had her fired. In addition, when six different judges, some of whom were Republican-appointed, ruled against the Muslim travel ban, Trump simply ignored them and ordered his government to keep enforcing the ban anyway. Eventually, he had to back down, and is in the process of revising the Muslim ban.
Trump's empowering of homophobes had a chilling effect on LGBT rights and public perceptions. In one year, non-gay Americans are far less likely to be accepting or hold favorable views of the LGBT community during the Trump era. He refused to let a Pride flag fly on National Coming Out Day, fired his entire HIV/AIDS advisory council, he was the first president to attend an anti-LGBT summit, and he appointed homophobe Sam Brownback to be an ambassador-at-large for "religious freedom" in his administration. Not only has he appointed dozens of anti-gay judges to the courts, he stopped declaring June LGBT Pride Months, refused to mention gay and bisexual men or transgender women in his World AIDS Day declaration, removed LGBT as a population category on the 2020 Census, and rolled back the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data on surveys. He rescinded protections for transgender people.
At one point, some media outlets believed Trump was actually pro-LGBTQ because of statements in his book The America That We Deserve:
[I wish for a nation] unencumbered by bureaucratic ineptitude, government regulation, confiscatory tax policies, racism, discrimination against women, or discrimination against people based on sexual orientation
And in a CBN interview:
I know many, many gay people. Tremendous people. And to be honest with you, as far as civil unions are concerned, I haven't totally formed my opinion. But there can be no discrimination against gays. I'm against gay marriage; I took a lot of heat for that.
Trump has cut funding for large numbers of organizations worldwide that protect women from sexual violence, provide contraceptives and the like. Many organizations worldwide are appealing for funding and without alternative funding face closure. Tens of thousands of women are at risk. Trump's decision to cut said funding may or may not be due to the fact of him being a misogynist.
The abortion gag rule was expanded to unprecedented levels under Trump, broadening it to include global health funding provided by the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Defense Department, totaling $8.8 billion; even G. W. Bush only had affected 600 million in total funding. The expanded ban will "cause an increase in unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths."
In response to record-low teen pregnancies, Trump's administration set up new guidelines pushing for abstinence only education, which would cause teen pregnancies to skyrocket.
Amid a reported "epidemic" of sexual harassment on campus, which disproportionately affects women, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rolled back Obama's previous guidelines (which were implemented in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act) by narrowing the definition of sexual harassment. This allows schools to decide which "level of evidence to rely on when investigating misconduct," between the "clear and convincing" standard or "preponderance of the evidence" standard, and only be accountable for complaints which are formally filed. It also mandates that accused students have the ability to view evidence, have access to legal counsel, and conduct cross examination through a third party. Scholars at the forefront of sexual assault and rape law have actually voiced support, albeit cautious, at this development.
Conflict of interest and nepotism
“”Constitutional lawyers and White House ethics counsellors from Democratic and Republican administrations have warned Donald Trump his presidency might be blocked by the electoral college if he does not give up ownership of at least some of his business empire. … Yet much of what he has said and done since winning the election suggests that Trump comes to the presidency in the spirit of a tycoon making a new acquisition, overseeing the merger of Trump Inc and America Inc – a merger in which it is far from clear which would be the senior partner.
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is a key adviser despite complaints about nepotism. Kushner also lied extensively about his business connection to Russia on his security clearance form.
Documents show that Trump is still receiving benefits from his business interests.
Being a family member, a donor to his campaign, or a family member to a donor of his campaign is a guaranteed way to get a spot on in the Trump administration.
Deconstruction of the administrative state
Like something out of a Randroid's dream, Trump issued a series of executive orders weakening the government in nearly all aspects, starting with his federal worker hiring freeze (which is especially hurting soldiers' and veterans' families hard). A second executive order would force the executive branch to "reorganize" governmental functions and eliminate "unnecessary agencies", and he has already started by refusing to fill thousands of vacancies in his government. Given that he has had two climate change deniers at the head of the EPA (Scott Pruitt and acting administrator Andrew R. Wheeler), a creationist as Education Secretary (Betsy DeVos), a proposal to massively slash billions of dollars from Ben Carson's HUD agencies, and a propensity to fire people who disagree with him, Trump is already on track to utterly dismantle every single aspect of the government that isn't solely dependent on the President's word (like the military, whose budget he wants to increase by over $50 billion).
A budget provides the best peek into the mindset of a president, based on what he prioritizes and what he does not. Trump's budgets, as well as his healthcare policies, paint the image of a man who hates the poor and the weak, and demonstrably wants them to die.
Weakening the civil service
He signed executive orders that makes it easier to fire civil servants, public workers, and career government bureaucrats/technocrats.
Hollowing out the State Department
Despite nominating Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State, Trump has actually done more to de-fang the State Department, by firing the old Obama-era appointees, prompting several of the non-partisans to resign, and just not picking any replacements. The State Department is being sidelined from its mission to build alliances with diplomacy and negotiation. The State Department is shut out of meetings with foreign leaders, key State posts are left unfilled, department officials are afraid to speak out for fear of getting fired, and the White House not soliciting many department staffers for their policy advice. Furthermore, Trump declared that he wants to cut billions of dollars from the State Department's budget, effectively leaving it as a rudderless ghost ship. Incidentally, this is all in spite of Tillerson being a former ExxonMobil CEO, who had a 500 billion dollar oil deal with Russia that was canceled by Obama's post-Crimea sanctions. By insisting on defunding the State Department, Trump is de-fanging Tillerson's ability to conduct negotiations with other countries and preventing Tillerson from getting that oil deal restarted.
By now, every major expert sees Tillerson as a failure for presiding over the death of diplomacy by gutting the State Department and forcing out longtime employees without any replacements. He "eliminated entire segments of the department," like the tracking of war crimes. He imposed limits on transfers inside the organization and made it harder to replace people in the State Department. He cut off the department from vital recruiting sources, like the Presidential Management Fellow program, because he called it inefficient. He publicly defended a Trump administration proposal to cut his department's budget by 30%, and devised a plan to cut the permanent staff by 8%. Tillerson's goal was to eventually remove sanctions on Russia so his old company, ExxonMobil, could reap a 500 billion dollar oil deal with the oligarchs, but now, he can't even do that, and he is spending his time destroying diplomacy because Trump thinks negotiations are bad and war is better (does anyone remember Trump's ghost-written autobiography, a "nonfiction work of fiction", The Art of the Deal?). Skilled and patriotic diplomats are leaving like never before in an exodus that marginalizes America's diplomacy, once again in favor of the military.
Trump made it his life's work to effectively rule by decree, using executive order after executive order to weaken, overturn, or just not enforce regulations that protect people's water, air, food, and general public health in addition to the piecemeal protections given to them from Wall Street and other corporations in the Obama era.
His deregulation crusade is likely to be the single most successful in modern history, the effects of which will last for years after his reign ends. It will largely benefit industries like the telecoms, fossil fuels, Wall Street big banks, and media monopolies among others.
Among the 860 regulations he repealed by September 2017, many actively endanger the lives of American citizens. States no longer have limits on drug tests for those receiving unemployment benefits. Financial advisers will not have to act in the best interests of their clients. Employers no longer have to keep records of worker injuries, and the federal government will no longer publicize worker injuries. Government contractors no longer must disclose violations of labor laws. Judges no longer have discretion over handing out lenient criminal sentences. Private prisons will not be phased out. Law enforcement may seize assets of suspects not convicted of a crime.
Toxic waste dumps slated for cleanup will be ignored. More waterways will not have to meet federal environmental protection standards. Power plants have fewer restrictions on emissions of greenhouse gases. Regulations that require chemical companies to reveal what is in storage tanks (an issue in Hurricane Harvey) are disappearing. While Trump and his administration complain about wind farms killing birds, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) was quietly reinterpreted to make it so oil and gas, wind, and solar operators that accidentally kill birds will no longer be prosecuted. Federal standards to make natural-disaster-ravaged infrastructure more resistant to flooding when rebuilt have been revoked. Money to let Americans know how and when to sign up for affordable health care is being slashed. Efforts to stabilize Obamacare to preserve insurance for millions are being ended.
Local police departments once again can have access to excess military equipment such as tanks, bayonets and grenade launchers. Oil and gas companies no longer have to report payments (bribes) to foreign governments. The number of people eligible for overtime pay has been greatly decreased.
More people will die in bed because mattresses will no longer have to be as fire-retardant as they are now. Construction site workers will be more likely to be run over by vehicles. Hundreds of endangered species will no longer be on the list for protection. New safety regulations on how meat and poultry are processed, in the works since 2001, will not be pursued. A requirement that federal contracts be issued only to firms that comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws, including equal pay for women, has been dropped. States may no longer create retirement savings plans for private-sector workers. Large companies no longer have to spell out what they pay men and what they pay women or what they pay whites and what they pay blacks, a rule that had been aimed at promoting pay equity.
Wolf of Wall Street
Immediately after taking office, Trump issued an executive order removing the “fiduciary duty” rule, an Obama initiate that required retirement account professionals to manage their funds in their clients’ best interests. This allows retirement advisors to pick and choose investments based on the perks and money that the advisor gets for their corporation. He hiked up prices for mortgages, and appointed a guy to the SEC to revoke the power of the SEC’s enforcement division to issue subpoenas launching investigations.
With Trump's blessing and eventual signing, Congress voted to strip workers of their ability to conduct class-action lawsuits against big banks and credit card companies.
Destroying the safety net
He signed an executive order targeting recipients of Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance by making those benefits contingent on work requirements, which would wipe out huge swaths of federal welfare.
After giving 1 and a half trillion dollars to the rich in tax cuts, Trump canceled an Obama-era pay raise to federal workers. Trump had previously said during his campaign that wages are "too high."
Trump chose Betsy DeVos, heir-by-marriage to the Amway fortune, as Secretary of Education despite her lack of qualifications. Her own education was from private Christian schools. She favors a voucher system, although similar systems have failed; students using the vouchers in private schools attained poorer results than those in public schools.
Currently, the name ‘Betsy DeVos’ is synonymous with illiteracy, a reputation she acquired by (seemingly) failing to understand the difference between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, when asked whether she was a board member of her mother's anti-LGBTQ foundation. Some claim that she is, in fact, *NOT* illiterate—she was *LYING*, an allegation Ms. DeVos and her supporters deny; some, even bolder still, say she can even tie her own shoelaces—rest assured dear reader, we won’t go that far!
Shortly after passing her Senate confirmation, it was revealed that Ms. Devos appeared to have plagiarized her answers to a questionnaire as part of her confirmation. In keeping with the Trump Klan's efforts to be as blatantly immoral and hypocritical as possible, at least one of her answers was lifted from an Obama administration official, Vanita Gupta. That makes her smart.
Under Trump, DeVos sought to revoke former President Obama's 2011 and 2014 guidelines for schools investigating campus sexual misconduct; legal scholars actually express support, albeit cautious, at this development.
Tom Price served as Trump's Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price resigned after multiple scandals involving his use of private planes (paid for by you) and military aircraft for government-related travel. Trump seems to be bedding down with the opponents of vaccination, and has previously tweeted on the subject on multiple occasions.
Organizations providing health care in the Third World that receive United States funding are forbidden from giving abortion advice regardless of how desperately a woman may need it. Other Republican presidents also did this.
Family planning help will also be made more difficult which will likely increase legal and illegal abortions. Trump took this further than other Republican presidents, extending the ban to all organizations that get US aid and even Bill Gates has expressed concern. Many European nations are providing funds to plug the gap the United States left.
During his election campaign, Trump said, "We're going to repeal and replace Obamacare, and it's going to be so easy." On 27 February 2017, having looked into the matter, he said, "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."
A new health bill was written which will likely cause an estimated 14 million now covered by Obamacare to lose insurance, rising to 24 million later, and those would be mostly poor and elderly. The bill was yanked on 24 March 2017 when it became clear that the House would not pass it. A similar bill proposed later failed to pass the Senate. Trump has not been able to replace Obamacare with a viable alternative.
One of his latest moves is to draft a rule aimed at eliminating a federal rule requiring employers to cover contraception in their insurance plans for women at no additional costs. Under Obamacare, contraception is considered an essential preventative health service. Affordable birth control has not only saved women a substantial amount of money but also caused abortions rates to plummet to levels that are the lowest since the procedure became legal in 1973.
But Trump still has the power of the executive, and used it to slash the advertising and promotional budget for the ACA by 90%. Enrollment programs meant to help people sign up also face a nearly 40% cut. This prevents any new sign-ups for the ACA and deprives millions of potential coverage since they could lose their jobs and thus become eligible for coverage under the ACA, but would never know they could sign up, leaving them to wither on the vine.
Trump and the Republicans allowed CHIP, a Clinton-era insurance program for lower-income children, to expire, meaning within a year, if it is not renewed, 9 million children will lose their insurance and be left to die.
On October 2017, he signed an executive order that removed Obamacare subsidies to the poor and lower class. This threatens to blow up the entire ACA, and it's flung the healthcare market into a semi-panic. Healthier people pay less while sicker people pay more, leading to less coverage overall.
Trump used the IRS as a cudgel against the poor, by having them declare they will not accept electronic tax returns, and will suspend paper returns that do not disclose whether the filer had health insurance coverage during the year. The penalty for not having some form of health coverage in 2017 is the higher of 2.5 percent of household income or $695 per adult.
Donald Trump is well aware of the fact that American patients are subsidizing the affordable healthcare enjoy by the citizens of many other countries, calling it "global freeloading". With this in mind, many Congressional representatives dared him to support their legislative proposal to cut prescription drug prices in the United States by (1) encouraging competition between generic drugs and brand-name drugs, (2) allowing Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, and (3) enabling patients to import drugs from Canada, where prices are lower. Prices are deemed "excessive" if they are higher than the median in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan. There has been no immediate response from the White House.
Regulations requiring schools to provide children with healthier food have been rolled back. Regulations requiring food manufacturers to tell customers what is in the food they buy have also been rolled back.
“”This is where you really have to look at motives, you know. You have to stop and think: why don't you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you? … We need to look our neighbours in the eye and kind of go: 'What is going on?' Because this just isn’t that complicated, you know. Just tell me what's in my food. Why is that a problem? So you have to ask yourself, what’s going on, because I don’t get it. I don’t understand it.
Trump's administration laid out a guideline that allows states to adopt work requirements for eligibility in Medicaid, which would purge at least several thousand people from coverage as they suffer through extreme poverty. Kentucky will immediately require people to fulfill at least 80 hours per month of work, job-preparation or other community engagement. In Indiana, the required hours will be phased in over 1½ years, eventually reaching 20 per week.
Immigrants and refugees
President Obama issued the DACA ruling, an executive order preventing young immigrants from facing deportation. Like everything else Obama has done, Trump does hate it instinctually, and in spite of businesses pleading him to do the opposite, he ended DACA. Dreamers trusted the government with their information so they could qualify for DACA; without it, the government under Trump will use DACA as a database for deportations. In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 opinion under Chief Justice John Roberts that the Trump administration's rationale for rescinding DACA was "arbitrary and capricious". Time will only tell if the Trump administration can come up with another reason to rescind it other than "Obamadidit" before election day.
Trump officials rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services saying refugees are good for the economy.
Texas-based judges sympathetic to Trump allowed the state to crackdown on immigration by forcing all municipalities to comply with ICE's detainment policies, allowing police officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop for any reason, and to even arrest local and state officials who refuse to comply.
One particularly dark example of how important rhetoric can affect a country, Trump threatened to remove refugee protections for Haitian refugees. Terrified, the creole-speaking Haitian refugees went to Canada, causing a refugee crisis in Quebec just from a throwaway anti-migrant threat from the President. Anti-refugee sentiment has grown in Quebec almost immediately.
In January 8, 2018, Trump stripped over 200,000 El Salvadorian immigrants of their legal protections and deported them back to a country ravaged by a drug war that's killed thousands. These were all home-owning, taxpaying members of society for nearly twenty years.
Part campaign stunt to influence the November 2018 election and part lowering the bar of reprehensible behavior, Trump decided to authorize tear gassing refugees at the US border with Mexico, including young children in diapers. This was apparently humane treatment by Trumpian standards because Trump also authorized the use of lethal force by border guards if they in any way felt threatened.
Stripping people of their citizenship
Trump's administration laid out a plan for Americans to identify all people who are suspected of "cheating" the naturalization process and strip them of their citizenship. Buoyed by Stephen Miller, the Trump administration is now considering barring immigrants living legally in the U.S. from receiving green cards/citizenship if anyone in their household, including native-born children with US citizenship, has ever used Obamacare, CHIP, food stamps or any other welfare program.
By late August 2018, the Trump administration began denying passports to American citizens, namely those with Hispanic heritage, at the Mexican border, simply because the Justice Department "does not believe" they are citizens despite evidence pointing otherwise. This is a callback to Trump's own birtherism regarding President Obama, and now he's accusing any Latino American near the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies. In some cases, "passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates" are "being jailed in immigration detention centers" and "entered into deportation proceedings." In others, "they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States."
This policy actually began during the George W. Bush administration and continued through the Obama administration. The policy was initiated due to a series of court cases where some Texas midwives admitted to fraudulently selling birth certificates, but the extent of this practice was never clarified. A 2009 lawsuit by the ACLU mostly put a stop to the practice of this type of citizenship denial during the Obama administration. but the Trump administration seems to have greatly increased the denials, possibly in violation of the State Department's agreement with the ACLU. Trump, essentially, is ignoring judicial precedent so he could put his old birtherism into policy.
So how far has Trump taken it? People who have birth certificates showing they were born in the United States are being actively targeted. “Hundreds, even thousands” of Latinos born near the US-Mexico border are being told that their birth certificates aren’t sufficient proof of US citizenship to get their passports approved or renewed.
This started influencing even the halls of Wall Street. Bank of America began freezing accounts of customers they suspect are not US citizens.
Trump suggested without evidence that Obama had ordered surveillance of Trump Tower. As the story lost credibility Trump claimed, again without evidence, that British intelligence was behind the imaginary surveillance. Trump has alienated an ally and damaged United States credibility.
He appointed Ajit Pai, an ardent ideological opponent of net neutrality, to be the chairman of the FCC. As Chairman, Pai has steadily taken steps towards removing all of the gains taken by his predecessor, Tom Wheeler, in anticipation of weakening and finally abolishing net neutrality. This includes halting broadband subsidies to the poor, delaying enactment of privacy laws, ending investigations on regulations violations, and allowing ISPs to bypass current net neutrality rules. Pai is accomplishing this by utilizing "delegated authority," a pseudo-executive claim of power to "act without public input, hearings, or votes by the full commission" to enact his anti-net neutrality agenda. In one case, they killed the FCC’s guidance to broadcasters on “shared service” agreements, allowing media companies to operate two or more stations in markets where there is supposed to be competition. In a second case, Pai pulled the FCC’s set-top-box proceeding, which would have brought competition to the cable market by enabling independent manufacturers to sell the set-top boxes that otherwise are provided by cable companies. This allowance of "cross-ownership" threatens to pave the way for ISPs to merge into even larger monopolies than ever before, effectively privatizing internet service, let alone the viewing of content within the internet. Pai also withdrew a requirement that helped the FCC monitor the diversity of media ownership, and he rescinded orders that made it easier for the FCC to sanction broadcasters that violate the agency’s political-advertising disclosure rules.
The FCC approved a plan to deregulate the $45 billion market for business-to-business broadband, the Business Data Services (BDS), by "eliminating price caps that make internet access more affordable for thousands of small businesses, schools, libraries and hospitals." The price caps, "which have been in place for years, are designed to protect small businesses and other community institutions from predatory behavior by monopoly broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon."
If you want an idea of what happens without net neutrality, look at Sinclair Broadcast Group. Trump's FCC allowed Sinclair to expand its reach to 72% of all US households, especially in the Rust Belt and Deep South. Critics have called Sinclair a TV version of Breitbart. This is cable, a fate that will befall the internet without net neutrality.
The FCC voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality, block states from passing net neutrality, allow ISPs to slow down sites they don't like for a fee, and prevent a future FCC from restoring net neutrality. Elections have consequences.
PZ Myers fears Trump plans to end the United States' role as a major researching nation. American scientists, along with others across the world, held protest marches against Trump cutting research funding. Budget cuts are harming universities and harming science.
Under Trump, scientific data must be vetted by politicians before publication. It is feared inconvenient scientific data, notably data showing global warming is real, may be suppressed. This applies as of late January and early February 2017 but the future is unclear.
- Fear, uncertainty and doubt
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