Regardless of one's political affiliation, most people are getting tired of the continuing chaos coming out of the White House. This is not what the American voters wanted, but it is what they voted for, and to some, the results are not surprising.
There are basically two groups of people who voted for the president. The first includes the die-hard "Trumpies" who, regardless of literally anything the president may or may not do or say, will continue to support him.
The second group are those who are true Republicans, who couldn't bring themselves to vote for most any Democrat, and those independents and a few Democrats who, for whatever reason, could not vote for Hillary Clinton.
Given that it is fruitless to have any discussion with the "Trumpies," many in the second group tell me that while they don't like the president's negative actions, such as the tweets, his name calling, his proven lies or his innuendos relative to women and minorities in general, they do like his policies and that is why they support him.
Of course, when you vote for someone, you don't get to peel off the bad parts. You get the whole ball of wax, demeanor and policies alike.
So, rather than dwelling on the president's negatives, let's address those policies that many Trump voters support to see just how beneficial they really are.
Do these Trump supporters favor his new health care policy, his environmental policies that improve air and water quality or policies that would make our streets safer? Given that these don't really exist in any form, I doubt it.
The president cites the overall economy as his crowning achievement that will help everyone and in turn, the country. In light of the fact that the economy has been improving for the last 10 years, and that today's economic indicators are an extension of what started under President Obama, lets take a more in-depth look.
The president has said the centerpiece of his economic plan is the tax cut that was billed as tax cuts for everyone. While most wage earners do get a cut in their taxes, the real effects are much different.
To begin with, there is no income category from zero to over $100,000 per year that will receive a tax cut of more than $1,000.
This is not to say that the average cut of about $750 per year is not important to low- to middle-income earners. It is. But, in addition to this personal tax cut being only temporary, it is also offset by several items that make matters even worse for these income earners.
For example, gasoline is about 65 cents per gallon higher now than when Mr. Trump took office. For those driving about 300 miles on a tank of gas and filling up 50 times a year, that equates to an increase of $550 per year.
If a person takes out a loan on a $32,000 car, that loan will cost about $25 dollars more a month now as opposed to January 2017. That is a total of $300 more per year. The Prime Interest Rate, currently at 5 percent, has increased a full percentage point since January 2017, thus increasing payments on any general consumer loan or mortgages, as well.
The recent tariffs imposed by the president on a variety of foreign imports will also have a significant impact on all consumers.
Anyone who buys electronics, appliances, agricultural products - most anything made of steel, aluminum or even plastic - will pay more. It is estimated that the average imported car that currently cost about $35,000 could increase by upwards of $5,000 under Trump's trade policies. Keep that in mind when you buy that Honda, Toyota, Kia or Mazda. That is obviously going to increase that monthly car payment, as well.
On this point, I understand the need to have level trade policies, but starting a trade war with multiple nations is not the answer. Never has been, never will be.
Most significantly, real wage growth has not only remained stagnant for the past two years but actually decreased last year. The average person is making just about the same as he or she did two years ago.
The tax cuts did help big businesses, however. They are enjoying greater profits than ever before, which drives the stock market upward. That is great for individuals with substantial portfolios, but that does not include most average and lower-income individuals.
Businesses that have benefited from these tax cuts have not used their profits to increase worker wages or hire new employees, but rather to buy back their stock from stockholders and to provide resources that allow them to buy smaller companies.
One other aspect of the Trump tax law is the effect it is having and will have down the road on what is the biggest problem this country face: the national debt. This tax law will increase annual deficits every year from $665 billion in 2017 to $986 billion in 2020.
It is estimated by the president's own Office of Management and Budget that the tax law itself will increase our debt by $1 trillion dollars over 10 years. This is from the political party that says it wants to reduce the debt and balance the budget.
The economy may be working, but it is clear that it not working for those whose needs are greater.
Given these facts, the question must again be asked. What is the basis for the support given to President Trump?