By former USDA Secretary John R. Block
Today, I’m going to talk about President Donald Trump – policies, issues, tweets and all. Yes, I think he tweets too much or, at least, he should limit his tweets to policies and avoid personal attacks. I understand why he would want to get even. The mainstream media has never gotten over the fact that he won the election and they will do what they can to destroy his Presidency. They detested his priorities that he announced as he ran against Hillary Clinton. And now that he is President, he is doing what he said he would do.
You could argue that Trump’s biggest victory to date is that we have a new, solid Conservative on the Supreme Court – Neil Gorsuch. Just last week, a court’s ruling has revived part of the President’s travel ban. President Obama’s “regulatory assault is over.” President Trump began repealing Executive Orders the day he walked into the White House. From agriculture’s point of view, the move to ditch “Waters of the U.S.” was our number one objective.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been able to undo, delay, or block more than 30 environmental rules. He has pushed to expand our sources of energy. “Drill baby drill.” The Keystone pipeline and the North Dakota pipeline are back. The “U.S. is now the world’s energy superpower” (from the Wall Street Journal).
We haven’t even built a wall to halt illegal immigration, and the numbers showing up on the border have dropped by 40%.
After being called to task by Trump to do their part in national defense, the European countries have agreed to increase their defense spending and help more in the Middle East to eradicate ISIS.
Although President Trump has been able to follow through on many of his campaign promises, the Congress sits in deadlock. What will happen with “Repeal and Replace Obamacare”? I have no idea. Tax reform, infrastructure, roads, bridges, locks and dams – without legislation, nothing will get done. We don’t have a budget at this point either. No one can expect to get everything they want. We need some compromise.
There is some talk (not much) that maybe the Congress should stay in town and work and not take the whole month of August off. That might not be a bad idea.
In closing, in spite of the frustration, I am excited that ag and rural America has a powerful seat at the table. It would not be wise to ignore the small town deplorables with a gun and a Bible who elected Donald Trump.
John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill. If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, visit johnblockreports.com.