A look at is­sues fol­low­ing the elec­tion and their im­pact on peo­ple

Malta Independent - - US ELECTIONS -

It all starts with the wall. Don­ald Trump’s vow to build a wall along the bor­der with Mex­ico, to make Mex­ico pay for it and to achieve iron-fisted con­trol over il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion stands as his lead­ing prom­ise, one that rang from the rafters count­less times. But he owes his sup­port­ers — and now the coun­try — much more than that.

While a lot of his agenda will be a hard sell, he won’t have the ex­cuse used by many pres­i­dents whose prom­ises have fallen short — a Congress in the hands of the op­pos­ing party. Trump will take of­fice with a uni­fied gov­ern­ment, both the Se­nate and House un­der Repub­li­can con­trol.

A look at some of his IOUs:

CHILD CARE

Trump prom­ises six weeks of leave for new mothers, with the gov­ern­ment pay­ing wages equiv­a­lent to un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits. His plan also pro­vides for a new in­come tax de­duc­tion for child care ex­penses, other tax ben­e­fits and a new re­bate or tax credit for low-in­come fam­i­lies.

ED­U­CA­TION

Trump prom­ises to spend $20 bil­lion dur­ing his first year to help states ex­pand school choice pro­grams. He wants states to di­vert an ad­di­tional $110 bil­lion of their own ed­u­ca­tion money to help par­ents who want their chil­dren to go to other schools.

And he owes col­lege stu­dents a big, and ex­pen­sive, leg up. He says he will cap stu­dent loan pay­ments at 12.5 per­cent of a bor­rower’s in­come, with loan for­give­ness if they make pay­ments for 15 years.

EN­ERGY

Trump vows to cut reg­u­la­tions as part of his ef­fort to “un­leash Amer­i­can en­ergy.” This means al­low­ing un­fet­tered pro­duc­tion of oil, clean coal, nat­u­ral gas and other sources to push the US to­ward en­ergy in­de­pen­dence and cre­ate jobs. In par­tic­u­lar, he owes coal min­ers a re­vival of their liveli­hood, even though the in­dus­try’s de­cline is in large mea­sure due to the rise of nat­u­ral gas, which he also sup­ports. He pledges to re­scind the Clean Power Plan, a key el­e­ment of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s strat­egy to fight cli­mate change.

FOR­EIGN POL­ICY

Trump’s “Amer­ica first” ethos means al­liances and coali­tions will not pass muster with him un­less they pro­duce a net ben­e­fit to the US He speaks of a less in­ter­ven­tion­ist ap­proach to crises abroad — with the ex­cep­tion of his vow to crush the Is­lamic State group. Yet he also prom­ises to spend much more to re­store what he sees as de­pleted armed forces.

HEALTH CARE

He’s vowed to re­peal Obama’s health care law and re­place it with some­thing more af­ford­able. With a Repub­li­can Congress, the pres­sure will be on to do so. It re­mains to be seen how far law­mak­ers and the pres­i­dent will ac­tu­ally go to un­tan­gle a law that has sunk some roots, and Democrats won’t be voice­less on this or other is­sues.

IM­MI­GRA­TION

One para­dox of the cam­paign is the lack of clar­ity about Trump’s in­ten­tions on an is­sue that de­fined him out of the gate. He clearly prom­ises to stop the in­flux of Syr­ian refugees into the US, and some­how to help them over­seas. He vows to de­port peo­ple con­victed of se­ri­ous crimes who are in the US il­le­gally. And there’s that wall, which Mex­i­cans in­sist they won’t pay for. But the fate of mil­lions of peo­ple who are in the coun­try il­le­gally is a gray area — he’s not promis­ing to de­port them but also not say­ing he would give them le­gal sta­tus. He’d ban im­mi­gra­tion of peo­ple from ar­eas prone to ex­trem­ism, but how that would be de­fined is un­clear.

IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE

Trump vowed to dou­ble ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pro­posed spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture. Tak­ing him lit­er­ally, that means a stag­ger­ing $500 bil­lion over five years.

IRAN

Trump prom­ises to rene­go­ti­ate or with­draw from the mul­ti­lat­eral deal that eased sanc­tions on Iran in re­turn for con­trols on its nu­clear pro­gram.

MIN­I­MUM WAGE

He ex­pressed sup­port for $10 an hour, while say­ing states should “re­ally call the shots.” It’s $7.25 now.

SO­CIAL SE­CU­RITY

Trump has promised not to cut So­cial Se­cu­rity.

SUPREME COURT

Trump promised to nom­i­nate jus­tices who are open to over­turn­ing the con­sti­tu­tional right to abor­tion and who sup­port Sec­ond Amend­ment gun rights.

TAXES

He owes Amer­i­cans big tax cuts. He says he’ll col­lapse the cur­rent seven in­come tax brack­ets, which peak at 39.6 per­cent, into just three tiers with a top rate of 33 per­cent, slice the cor­po­rate in­come tax and elim­i­nate the es­tate tax. Although an­a­lysts said the wealthy would ben­e­fit dis­pro­por­tion­ately, mid­dle in­come peo­ple are promised a hefty re­duc­tion.

TRADE

Trump prom­ises to rene­go­ti­ate or with­draw from the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment. He also vows to op­pose the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship trade deal and to slap sting­ing tar­iffs on coun­tries that the US judges to be trad­ing un­fairly. China faces the risk of steep penal­ties — and US con­sumers would pay higher prices as a re­sult — if his vow is car­ried through.

VET­ER­ANS

Trump prom­ises to ex­pand pro­grams that al­low vet­er­ans to choose their doc­tor — re­gard­less of whether they’re af­fil­i­ated with the VA — and still re­ceive gov­ern­ment-paid med­i­cal care. He’s pledged to fire or dis­ci­pline VA em­ploy­ees who fail vet­er­ans or breach the pub­lic trust.

He also would increase men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als and cre­ate a “White House hot­line” ded­i­cated to vet­er­ans. If a valid com­plaint is not ad­dressed, “I will pick up the phone and fix it my­self if I have to,” Trump pledged.

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