Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday April 25, 2017
Trump struggled to keep promises in his first 100 days — and it may not get easier
President Donald Trump declared last week that “no administration has accomplished more” in its first 90 days than his.
But Trump has a lot more work to do in just a few days if he wants to meet the goals he set out for his first 100 days in office. Day 100 is Saturday.
Trump stormed into office promising a quick overhaul of the American government: repealing and replacing Obamacare, reforming the tax system, refreshing U.S. infrastructure, cracking down on illegal immigration and ridding Washington of corruption. He promised to eradicate bad trade deals, roll back regulations and hit back at China for its lopsided trade policies.
Trump on Friday tweeted that the 100-days standard “ridiculous,” he has accomplished “a lot” during his short time as president. But the president himself set goals for that exact timeline before he took office.
Trump set out a “contract with the American voter” that included a “100-day action plan.”
Voters who wish to hold Trump to the contract would do well to read the fine print. Rather than achieving his promises, the contract calls for his administration “to immediately pursue” three, multipoint action items intended to “clean up corruption,” protect American workers and “restore security.”
The White House has proven effective in selling Trump’s executive orders — which are often largely symbolic or only direct agencies to review policies — as policy victories, said John Hudak, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. But he believes Trump will ultimately get judged on the “big-ticket” pledges that require congressional action — namely tax reform, health-care changes and infrastructure funding. The president promised those policies would help to boost economic growth and improve Americans’ well-being.
“What people are focused on are jobs — beyond the executive orders — health care, the broader economy, taxes,” Hudak said. “He can sell as many orders as he wants, but it’s still going to come back to these big, flashy policy failures. It’s hard to hang a presidential legacy on executive orders.” (Source: CNBC)