Smith: Among the hateful politics, America is winning – Chattanooga Times Free Press

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Robin Smith

Robin Smith

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

Scrutiny is good as long as it’s honest. As investigations continue into Russian cyberattacks that didn’t change any votes and the imagined collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign, let’s look at just a few domestic accomplishments over the last 20 weeks of the Trump presidency. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

One major accomplishment that’s affected job and wage growth with confidence shown in the stock market is the elimination of massive regulations from the Obama administration. In the Washington Examiner, a May 9 analysis chronicles the fiscal shackles that have been removed by eliminating just 13 regulations.

Using the Congressional Review Act — signed by President Bill Clinton allowing a window of 60 legislative days to review and possibly repeal legislation — Americans will see an immediate savings of $3.7 billion (and a projected savings of $86 billion to the U.S. budget once the regulatory impact is completely terminated).

One labor rule created outside the lawmaking process that’s been eliminated will save $1.9 billion in paperwork. OSHA, the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration, had been under congressional pressure for more worker protections. Its answer was to force employers into more stringent record-keeping of injuries and illnesses of workers with no metrics demonstrating improved working conditions.

A second regulation that has been eliminated saves $718 million in costs requiring states to report annual reviews on teacher preparation. While states have existing standards, the federal government created a new federal program requiring reporting and funding tied to the same based on this annual accounting.

Americans win when overreaching regulations are eliminated.

When Donald Trump was sworn into office in January, America’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, unarguably an improvement from the 10 percent high reached during the Obama administration’s first term. In May, the unemployment rate had dipped a half percentage point further with consumer confidence on an upward trajectory. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary data, more than 800,000 jobs have been created during the president’s tenure just through May.

While some on the political left are outraged, illegal Southern border crossings have plunged 76 percent since Trump was elected. Just last week, former President Barack Obama stood in Canada and fussed at the “tribalism” and “xenophobia” being expressed in American policy. No, it’s simply the application and enforcement of current law that defines legal immigration. Nice try.

Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court has a guaranteed impact for decades. His selection as justice was based on his impeccable record as a federal judge and his originalist view of the U.S. Constitution that prevents judicial activism and provides an interpretation of the law that is fluid and situational rather than objective and equal. Despite Gorsuch’s unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate in 2006 as federal judge, including the votes of then-Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Americans were told by publications like The Hill that he was “dangerous.”

Finally, the disrupted health insurance market is under reform. The Obama administration and Democrats structured all health insurance to be controlled and sanctioned by the U.S. government. Even though promised with Obamacare, patients did not keep their plans nor doctors. Families are not paying $2,500 less for premiums. The clear attempt to create a Medicaid, or welfare insurance plan, for all has proven devastating.

Donald Trump is no easy guy to defend. He’s not perfect. Yet he’s kept more campaign promises in 20 weeks than most Republicans have in 20 years. America is winning.

Robin Smith, a former chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, owns Rivers Edge Alliance.