Opinion: Reasons to be optimistic about Donald Trump’s presidency

Friday marks the start of what may be the most fascinating few months in contemporary U.S. history. The Trump era promises a departure from the past eight years, but to where exactly? Depending on whose hyperbole you hear, we are headed toward either renaissance or holocaust.

Trump South Carolina

We shall find out soon, but as a Trump skeptic trying to be a Trump optimist I can imagine some ways the months to come could yield positive results.

Education: As a candidate, Donald Trump promised a large federal school-choice program. That would be great, but the sums of money currently spent on k-12 schooling aren’t enough to provide meaningful flexibility to very many families. Spending more federal money on a state and local responsibility isn’t the right answer, but the Trump administration could try letting current funds follow students from poor families or with special needs follow them to the school of their choice. And it could strengthen the voucher program for students in the District of Columbia.

Tax reform: Trump talked a lot about fixing the U.S. tax code, and the area most in need of reform is the corporate income tax. Our high headline rate of 35 percent and convoluted system of deductions and credits discourage business investment and have contributed to the practice of U.S. firms keeping profits offshore or moving their headquarters overseas in so-called corporate inversions. Lowering that rate while reducing the number of exemptions would make the tax code, and companies’ tax-conscious decisions, more efficient.

What’s more, creating a low, short-term rate for American businesses that repatriate overseas profits to the U.S. could spur a boom in their domestic investment. Some $2.4 trillion in corporate profits are estimated to be parked offshore. Bringing back even a quarter of that amount would provide a 3 percent jolt to our $18 trillion economy. The effect of that would be incredible: Consider that, unless the fourth quarter was exceedingly good, the economy did not grow 3 percent in any single year of Barack Obama’s presidency. It could also yield a big boost to government coffers. Speaking of which …

Infrastructure and debt reduction: Yes, you read that correctly. One of Trump’s big talking points was the need to update our infrastructure, from roads and rails to airports. Congress should tread carefully here, as infrastructure spending for the sake of job creation is vastly overrated. But it could be useful to devote a portion of the tax revenues from those repatriated profits to projects with strict, measurable criteria — think traffic-congestion relief via roads or transit, structural deficiencies in bridges, updates to the electrical grid, or expansions of ports that handle growing amounts of freight. Use the money to reward states and cities that are also putting their own money into such projects, and it’d go even farther.

Then direct the balance of the new revenue toward paying down national debt. Even if it were a small number relative to the total debt (and it would be), it would be both a symbolic and a concrete step. After all, Washington’s credibility on fiscal responsibility is also in desperate need of repair.

There will be other opportunities — repealing and replacing Obamacare is the most obvious one — but these items would be consistent with Trump’s vision, feasible, and sound.

Reader Comments 0

160 comments
Eye wonder
Eye wonder

"Fake news."  

The favorite new words of the cons and their conned!

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Eye wonder

Actually, it's the NYTimes favorite new words.

A pot to kettle thingy.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I would like to take this opportunity to point to the NYTimes fake news story regarding Rick Perry's lack of knowledge.

First off, the source of their "knowledge" has said he was misquoted in the Times piece.

Beyond THAT faux pas?

The programs described above represent a small selection of the many unnecessary programs embedded in the Department of Energy. The only way to guarantee the Department of Energy does not continue to grow, or allow a re-introduction of federal intervention in the energy market, is to fully abolish the department. However, within the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and other key nuclear programs must be preserved and re-located to the Department of Defense. Our nuclear technology and capability (both civilian and military) are essential to U.S. national security, and must be preserved.

http://documentslide.com/documents/rick-perry-political-program-doc-13-uproot-and-overhaul-washington.html

Perry is well aware that nuclear security falls within the parameters of the DoE.

When will the NYTimes learn? 

breckenridge
breckenridge

This is not just another Inauguration Day, not just another changing of the guard, not just another peaceful transfer of power. This day stands as one that will mark a rebirth of our nation.

Just yesterday, as I was patiently awaiting my takeout order at a rural eatery, I was treated to the raving buffoonery of a backwoods hick sporting a Trump tee-shirt.  He'd cornered one of the staff and was pontificating about how terribly unfairly the media has treated his champion. I thought about interceding and mentioning the months and months of free press Trump had been given early in the campaign, but I realized that there is no reasoning with a dedicated Trump-tard so I let it slide.  It also became quite apparent that the staff desperately wanted to rid themselves of this mental midget, this diseased specimen, and send him back to his single-wide, where he could waste the day away expressing righteous anger with the rest of the Fox News loyalists out there.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@breckenridge

Yesterday I saved a horse drowning in my swimming pool. The water was ice cold and I struggled to lift the large animal. Amazingly enough, he became light as a feather. Up...up...and away he went.

It was AWESOME!

Who knows? It might've been Pegasus. I was too distracted by my struggles to notice whether he had wings or not.

schnirt  

Falcaints
Falcaints

Little chance of any deb reduction, there will be no way to keep his promises and cut the debt.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Where I, too, am a skeptic of Trump's left-leaning tendencies, I'm open to the possibilities of economic policies with a conservative bent. 

Hopefully he can be bent without being broken.

GO TRUMP (r)! 

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

Busy day ahead for Trump:

"On Day 1, Mr. Trump has promised, he will redirect immigration enforcement, alter trade relations with China and other nations, relax restrictions on energy production, impose new rules on lobbyists, halt efforts to combat global warming, lift curbs on guns, push for congressional term limits and demand a new strategy for defeating the Islamic State. He may face some legal and procedural hurdles, but most of his Day 1 pledges involve issuing presidential directives, executive orders or memorandums that do not need legislative approval."

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

I cannot possibly express the words that are accorded of this day, a day that I thought would never come. You may not yet understand this, as I do, but this is one of the greatest days in all of our nation’s history. This is not just another Inauguration Day, not just another changing of the guard, not just another peaceful transfer of power. This day stands as one that will mark a rebirth of our nation. The United States has been reborn and an oppressive government has died. God has graced us, once again, leading us out of the desert, out of bondage. He did not do this on behalf of the rich and the privileged; He did this on behalf of the last, the least and the lost. It is now up to every American to ensure that all of the shackles are released and that none of the citizens of this great country are left behind.

And with that, I leave you with this, to convey the words I cannot express -


 <iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zYE3sISvbOQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Falcaints
Falcaints

@AndyManUSA#45 I on the other hand have enjoyed the last 8 years, I guess it is a matter of perspective.

TheCentrist
TheCentrist

Social conservatives have no clue what he will do, and nominating folks like "Go Fish" to head up Ag, and "Oops" for Energy/Nuclear doesn't help.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Tomorrow this nation will  no longer be governed by a narcissistic buffoon who has attempted to destroy every vestige of traditional America. Fortunately, the American people spoke and said no more to this failed presidents ideology.  

Doom classical lib
Doom classical lib

@SGTGrit


Obama's exit is paying dividends already. I was listening to the binness report and there was a poll that business optimism was at its highest in decades. Consumer optimism was really high as well. The American free enterprise system is about to be unshackled. 

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@SGTGrit Thank goodness - Paul Ryan is already working on a bill to include employer paid health care as taxable income to pay for Trump's health care system. Yay?

Doom classical lib
Doom classical lib

In a matter of hours Obama's assault on the country will be over. And anything is better than the only president in history to have never had a single year of 3% economic growth.  

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Times they are achanging folks. The Trump, presidency will be one we've not seen since our beginning and certainly not seen in the times those of us on here have witnessed. If he succeeds as his predecessor has failed it will be the end of the liberal left control of the Democrat party. The left that hinged their hope on control of a major party of our two party system will be shivering out in the cold with no home.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit "The Trump, presidency will be one we've not seen since our beginning and certainly not seen in the times those of us on here have witnessed."

That's what is so scary.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Trump has Robert Kraft in his private audience tonight and he has spoken to Tom Brady which means I am no longer a dirty bird fan, as announced last Sunday.


Go Patriots!

breckenridge
breckenridge

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised a large federal school-choice program.

School choice programs are fine just as long as taxpayer funds are not used to send kids to religious schools.  That is a violation of the US Constitution, an establishment of religion. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Tomorrow this nation will be governed by a narcissistic buffoon who openly bragged about sexually assaulting women. And that he got away with it because he is rich. That started a fake university. So Trump could enrich himself at the expense of hardworking Americans. A man so low that he felt it appropriate to make fun of the disabled.


A man who was born into extreme wealth and privilege. Who then used that advantage to only enrich himself.And now these rubes actually think that guy gives a shyte about them. Off the charts stupidity.


Dark days ahead.


We will survive this lunacy. Just as we survived the great depression.


But it wont be easy.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 They just killed the guy who masterminded 9/11


After the last Republican President got us in a quagmire in Iraq


AustinF
AustinF

I can't imagine Republicans ever lowering corporate taxes in a way that will generate more revenue. Lowering the nominal rate to be competitive with other similar countries is probably necessary, but can loopholes and deductions be eliminated to get essentially the same revenue? Otherwise that big windfall from repatriating offshored profits will just go to covering the reduced corporate tax revenue, not towards infrastructure and other new spending.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

That's the spirit, Kyle!


Don't forget cut the government.


To the bone.


MAGA #45

RidgecrestDawg
RidgecrestDawg

Optimistic points Kyle. We'll see!


Of course, if he starts up one of them shootin' wars over some sand in the water in the South Pacific, none of this will matter. I suspect that as a real estate huckster he's used to dealing with a different kind of chump than the people he'll be dealing with shortly. 


Loud and angry works with some stuff; not with other stuff. 

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

I will be optimistic that at some point it will end. If the GOP, who wouldn't spend on infrastructure when O was president all of a sudden gets civic minded, I will be very surprised. Now, if you tell me that money will be directed to connected construction firms and boondoggle defense projects, I could believe it.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@Ychromosome Republicans will get on board with infrastructure spending only if the private companies who do the building and repair work are allowed to, in effect, own the infrastructure and collect tolls and fees (read:  "taxes" by another name) over 50-year leases.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Lil_Barry_Bailout  Just going by her own words.  Was she lying?

Got proof?  And don't you think it is time to change your handle to "Big Don" or similar?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Not one latino in Trumps cabinet


Not one. In a country of 50 + million Hispanic people.


Shameful

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Hedley_Lammar Damn. Hedley So it is about Identity politics with you. Maybe Trump is saving a latino for something more important, say such as a Supreme Court Nominee.Federico Moreno, or perhaps Amal Thapar would either of these two satisfy the optics for your view of Trumps Government.

And by the way Hedley ,how diverse was President Obama's Cabinet, any Blacks any Asians and after Hil and Sebelius Resigned no women either. Very diverse cabinet especially during the second Obama administration.

Not my opinion Hedley ,but a article by what should be a favorite of yours DiversityINC.