Imagine on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 that the man taking the oath of office is Donald Trump. Before you ask yourself how in the world America let that happen, let’s take a while to think about what a Trump presidency could look like and what that would mean for America.
We’ll take a look at the positions he’s put forward as part of his campaign and take a look at how feasible it would be to accomplish these policies.
I’d imagine that one of the first things that Trump would want to tackle is immigration reform. His audacious plan to build a wall is controversial, but a lot of his supporters are in favor of such a project. His goal would be to somehow make Mexico pay for such a wall, but recently the Mexican Finance Minister said they would not pay for the wall that Trump is proposing.
The cost of building a wall across the southern border is estimated at $8 billion. That’s a large sum of money for just a wall over the southern border.
Furthermore, several analyses suggest that illegal immigrants actually contribute more to the public funding than they cost it by taking advantage of welfare benefits.
There’s no doubt Trump would be able to pass a legislative plan to improve border security, but what it would look like is unclear. It’s doubtful he’d get an $8 billion appropriation from Congress to build a wall. It’s far more likely they’d appropriate money for more border security guards. Furthermore, he’d work on deporting all known illegal immigrants.
However, the cost of doing so is estimated at $12,500 per immigrant. Based on the cost of deporting millions of illegal immigrants, it’s doubtful he’d be able to get this plan passed through Congress either.
His goal of increasing wages in the H1-B guest-worker program would likely find problems passing in Congress. Companies use H1-B visa programs to depress wages by importing cheaper labor from overseas and sponsoring a work visa for them.
By wanting to raise wages, it would be cutting into the savings these companies are realizing by outsourcing the source of labor. Based on the power of special interest groups, this reform would likely fail to pass Congress.
Trump’s healthcare plan would likely serve as his legacy as president. He would likely succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act based on the earlier attempts made by Republicans in Congress.
With a Republican in the White House, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is an eventuality, not a possibility. He would likely succeed in allowing health insurance premiums become tax deductible.
His plan also calls for encouraging the use of tax-deductible Health Savings Accounts (HSA) with high-deductible healthcare plans. He would presumably succeed on this part of his healthcare plan as well.
The biggest issue with his healthcare plan is that he doesn’t propose a comprehensive replacement for the Affordable Care Act. As a result, millions of Americans who were covered under expanded state Medicaid programs will lose their health insurance and once again be uninsured. Overall, we would end up with more uninsured Americans than before the Affordable Care Act was passed.
His tax reform plan would also likely pass and only serve to exacerbate wealth and income inequality in the country rather than work to fix it. Many experts have already spoken out that his tax plan will do nothing more than cutting taxes for the wealthy while reducing government revenue.
This would require a cut in spending or serious deficit spending. In addition to this, the elimination of the estate tax will exacerbate generational wealth and contribute to creating a more plutocratic America. While the estate tax is controversial, it would only serve to pass on family wealth at an even more startling rate.
His plan is likely to flourish because it represents a net cut in taxes. The Tax Policy Center did an analysis of his tax and found that it would reduce government revenues by $9.5 trillion over the next decade while increasing the national debt up to 80% of its current value unless his tax plan is accompanied by huge spending cuts.
If history teaches us one thing about Republican tax plans, it’s that they never get past the step of cutting taxes and end up blowing up the deficit to even higher levels than it already was.
Finally, on the topic of foreign policy, it’s unlikely he’d get much accomplished here. His rhetoric is too gruff for a head of state to seriously negotiate with over heads of state. His anti-Muslim stance would only serve to galvanize extremist groups and contribute to terrorism threats and continue a constant state of war against terrorism.
His desire to negotiate with China and “beat them” will likely fall flat. Overall, I think America loses standing in world with Trump acting as our head of state.
In the end, a Trump presidency would damage America, but he’s not the worst candidate who could be elected to the White House. Other Republicans who would trample on social freedoms and take more hawkish stances on military intervention would be worse for America. As it stands now, a Trump presidency is the least of all Republican candidate evils.