This Reuters article is both interesting and very scary. Trump is famous for his Twitter tirades, and with these in mind, it is easy to think Trump is nothing but a buffoon who is bumbling about not really having any effect – just see the Obamacare repeal debacle.
The problem is, he has a whole swamp churning in activity behind him and has, himself, also been busy beneath the radar.
Even without delivering on his biggest campaign promises, President Donald Trump has begun to reshape American life in ways big and small.
Over his first nine months, Trump has used an aggressive series of regulatory rollbacks, executive orders and changes in enforcement guidelines to rewrite the rules for industries from energy to airlines, and on issues from campus sexual assault to anti-discrimination protections for transgender students.
While his administration has been chaotic, and his decision-making impulsive and sometimes whimsical, Trump has made changes that could have far-reaching and lingering consequences for society and the economy. Some have grabbed headlines but many, no less consequential, have gone largely unnoticed amid the daily controversies and Twitter insults that have marked Trump’s early months in office.
And herein lies the problem. Whilst news media outlets fawn over such Twitter battles, they take the foot off the gas and are not seeing the huge amount of deconstruction that the Republicans are doing in the political background. All those good social projects, regulations and work that the Obama administration put in place is being stripped away.
Under Trump, oil is flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline. Arrests of immigrants living illegally in the United States are up. More federal lands are open for coal mining.
The administration has left its mark in smaller ways, as well. Trump has rolled back or delayed Obama-era rules and regulations that protected retirement savings from unscrupulous financial advisers, made it harder for companies that violated labor laws to land federal contracts and restricted what internet service providers could do with their customers’ personal data….
He has rolled back hundreds of rules and regulations, signed 47 executive orders and used a previously obscure legislative tool, the Congressional Review Act, 14 times to undo regulations passed in the final months of Obama’s presidency. The law had only been used once before, 16 years ago.
The Trump administration has withdrawn or delayed more than 800 Obama-era regulatory actions in its first six months. Proposals for new rules, including those to delay or rescind existing rules, dropped 32 percent from the same period in 2016 under Obama, and are down from similar six-month periods under presidents George W. Bush, a Republican, and Bill Clinton, a Democrat, according to the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute….
But Trump has found ways to make headway on some other stalled initiatives. While a repeal of Obamacare has faltered in Congress, his threats to cut the subsidy payments that help cover expenses for low-income consumers have created enough uncertainty that major insurers have pulled out of some state markets or asked much higher monthly premiums for 2018.
The administration has slashed advertising and cut grants to community groups that help people sign up, raising fears that many people will forgo coverage or forget to re-enroll in health plans for next year.
So on and so forth. The question still remains: what are the Democrats doing about making a serious bid to get back into power? In State elections, despite early promise, they have looked rather impotent.