This Thanksgiving, Americans in general — and free-market conservatives in particular — have plenty for which to be grateful. And much of it would be absent had the White House’s current occupant not become president on November 8, 2016.
The day after Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Princeton University economist Paul Krugman called Trump’s victory “the mother of all adverse effects.” He predicted “very probably . . . a global recession, with no end in sight.”
• Atop the second quarter’s 3.1 percent increase in real GDP, and 3.0 in 3Q, the New York Federal Reserve Bank predicts that 4Q output will expand by 3.8 percent. This far outpaces the feeble average-annual GDP growth rate of 1.5 percent on President Obama’s watch. Meanwhile, the IMF expects global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year. So much for a Trump-inspired “global recession.”
• Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. New unemployment claims in September were at their most modest since 1974. Goldman Sachs on November 20 “lowered our unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and 3.5 percent by end-2019.” According to the Wall Street powerhouse’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, “Such a scenario would take the U.S. labor market into territory almost never seen outside of a major wartime mobilization.”
• Foreign firms have been unveiling facilities and creating jobs in America. Insourcing is now a thing. Taiwan’s Foxconn will spend $10 billion on a new Wisconsin electronics plant with 3,000 new employees. During Trump’s recent visit to China, Beijing agreed to invest $84 billion in new energy projects in West Virginia.
• If the Senate cooperates, Santa Claus will deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, including a dream-come-true 43 percent reduction in corporate taxes, from a 35 percent rate to 20 percent, well below the global average of 22.5 percent. This major blow for international competitiveness should turbocharge the economy even further.
• Obamacare remains alive, alas, largely due to the flaccid leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R., Ky.) and his inability to control a handful of Republican prima donnas. (As of November 2, the House had passed 394 bills; 308 of them — 78 percent — are moldering in McConnell’s inbox.) However, the GOP may make Obamacare voluntary. Junking the individual mandate will emancipate Americans from this unprecedented attack on our freedom and, as an added bonus, make $318 billion available for deeper tax cuts.
• U.S. energy production is on the upswing. After languishing under Obama, the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines are under construction. Jobs to be created: 42,000.
• Obama’s War on Coal is gone with the wind.
• Trump wisely extricated America from the bogus Paris “global-warming” deal.
• Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” a $993 billion act of economic self-sabotage, now rots — with Communism — atop the ash heap of history.
• For every new regulation that Trump has imposed, 16 have been erased.
• The FCC has begun to dismantle Obama’s “Net Neutrality” takeover of the Internet, which functioned marvelously, thank you, before his needless e-power-grab.
• Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is on the bench, along with 13 constitutionalist lower-court judges. At this stage in Obama’s presidency, the Senate had confirmed just seven of his district- and circuit-court nominees.
• President Trump signed legislation to ease the firing of incompetent and corrupt officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs. So far, according to the White House, the VA has sacked more than 500 such undesirables, suspended 200, and demoted 33. Trump also has endorsed bills that give embattled vets greater choice in health care beyond the largely ruinous, highly toxic, single-payer VA medical system.
• Trump has revitalized ties with America’s NATO allies, who finally have begun to pay their fair share for collective security — as their heretofore disregarded commitments require.
• The president of the United States movingly and eloquently defended Western Civilization in a stirring speech in Warsaw, arguably his best in office.
• Trump urged Arab and Muslim leaders to “drive out” militant Islam in a milestone address in Riyadh.
• To that end, U.S.-assisted forces have driven ISIS from an expansive caliphate with many square miles of land to a horrid idea with a shrinking grasp on a few sand dunes, soon to be pried from their filthy fingers.
• With Trump aboard, Air Force One flew the first direct flight ever between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
• Trump stood steadfastly by Israel at the Western Wall and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama’s cold-shoulder policy toward Israel is finished.
• Asian heads of state were impressed with Trump last week. Soon after he left China, the Chinese government agreed to Trump’s request and released three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting and destined, most likely, to long prison sentences.
• Just after Trump returned to America, China sent a delegation to talk some sense into North Korean madman Kim Jong-un.
• Pyongyang is as strongly sanctioned as it has been in ages, in part thanks to the U.N. Security Council’s U.S.-led unanimous votes to that effect.
• The State Department this week returned North Korea to the official list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. George W. Bush excused North Korea from that deadly distinction, to little positive effect.
• The disastrous Iran nuclear deal soon may be shredded — as it should be. For now, Trump has declared Iran no longer in compliance with the agreement, flimsy as it is.
• Guantanamo Bay remains open for business, and Obama’s “catch and release” policy toward its militant-Islamic detainees ist kaput.
• Under this president, illegal-alien border crossings are down 41 percent on the southern frontier, versus January through October 2016, under Obama.
• ICE has arrested 97,482 illegal aliens under President Trump, as of October 27, up 43 percent year-on-year. Of these 52,169 (53.5 percent) have been expelled — up 30 percent. Among those arrested, the White House reports, 70 percent were convicted criminals.
• Rather than ridicule vote fraud, as Democrats routinely do, President Trump appointed a commission to investigate shenanigans at the polls and how America’s entire system of casting ballots can be made tamper-proof. Vice President Mike Pence chairs this panel. Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R., Kan.) co-chairs.
• The Education Department’s due-process-crushing Title IX “guidance letter” on sexual harassment on college campuses is null and void.
• The Trump administration is giving green lights to school-choice efforts across America.
• The Justice Department is investigating Harvard University for possibly violating the civil rights of Americans of Asian descent who argue that they are being rejected in favor of less qualified applicants of other ethnicities.
Ideas that center-Right activists have demanded for decades are becoming public policy, one after another.
• Obama’s execrable war on the Little Sisters on the Poor, who literally work for $0.00 per year, mercifully has ended. These powerless women no longer must lose sleep because a nearly omnipotent guy in Washington ordered them to provide contraceptives through their health-care plan, their religious convictions be damned. Anyone covered by that order of Catholic nuns, who wants birth control, can go out and buy such products with her own money.
• Obama’s federal transgender-bathroom patrol has been disbanded. State and local school officials now will decide whether or not to abide by the centuries-old, commonsense rule that humans with male anatomy use men’s rooms and those with female anatomy use women’s rooms.
• President Trump’s re-embrace of the so-called Mexico City Policy once again bars federal funding of abortions overseas.
And much more.
The Never Trump faction still claims that the president of the United States “is no conservative.” And yet, with rare deviations (such as free trade), he spends nearly every day implementing the conservative agenda. Ideas that center-Right activists have demanded for decades are becoming public policy, one after another — to the pleasant surprise of even some of Donald J. Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters.
Ten months down. Thirty-eight to go. The best is yet to come.
Thank you, Mr. President!
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online.