How are we all feeling today?
Good? Bad? Well it seems to be about 50/50 at this point. I am sitting here writing this during the turmoil that is the 2020 election. It’s currently November 10th and it seems all but a certainty at this point that Joe Biden is going to be elected president on January 20th. Donald Trump is still pushing lawsuits that could jam up the election process but I don’t think these lawsuits are going to result in a swing of the election in Trump’s favor.
With all of that being said, I thought it would be important to look back a little bit at where we have come from in the last 4 years and keep a record of where we are so we have something to compare to going forward. I’ll freely admit bias here, I voted for Trump and I won’t apologize for that. So this article is my biased view of what happened during the Trump administration and a little bit of what I think is to come. In my opinion what we have seen in the last 4 years represents some of the best years for this country in my young life. We’re going to go through some of the numbers and try to cut through the legacy media’s hard left bias. So lets just get some raw numbers set down for starters.
Gas Prices and Tax Rates-
Gas Prices- Current national average for regular gas as of November, 2020 is $2.11/gallon
Tax Rates- Current tax rates for middle class Americans filing both single and married.
12% $9,875 $19,750
22% $40,125 $80,250
These numbers are not designed to show some profound greatness of the Trump administration, they are simply a moment in time. They can be used to see how this coming change in leadership will affect average Americans. Gas prices don’t tend to affect the super rich, a few cents a gallon though can be the difference between making rent and not for some Americans. So I think these are a good place to start when it comes to examining and documenting the current health of the country.
Donald Trump will be the first president in over 30 years to not start a new war during his presidency. The last new war that the US became involved in was the Syrian civil war. This was begun in 2014 under the Obama administration. Since then Donald Trump has chosen to withdraw most of the U.S. troops from Syria which came as a shock to many. Trump was widely criticized for the withdrawal of troops as it was claimed it would create chaos that would result in more bloodshed. Whatever you think of the decision it cant be argued that it was a large step forward in removing the United States from its myriad of foreign conflicts. Unfortunately the most current data we have on U.S. troop deployments comes from late 2019 but this will give us an idea of how many troops we have currently deployed over-seas so we can track whether the Biden administration chooses to increase or decrease those numbers.
Estimated Current Troop Deployments at the end of 2019-
Afghanistan: 12,000 to 13,000 troops- Trump ordered withdrawal of 7,000 troops in late 2019 early 2020 there is not current data to show whether that has taken place.
Syria: 200- Peak deployment was over 2,000 troops. Trump withdrew forces in December 2018 and left a minimal force of 200.
Iraq: About 6,000– This number has grown recently from 5 to 6 thousand troops as troops are withdrawn from Syria.
Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf: 45k-65k- Numbers fluctuate a lot but an additional 14k troops were deployed recently due to threats from Iran.
Africa: 6k-7k- 500 special operations in Somalia but mostly in the horn of Africa and the Sahel.
Japan and South Korea: 78k- Maintained since the end of WWII and Korean War.
NATO Nations: 35k+ – The Trump administration has ordered the removal of troops from Germany and other NATO countries but there is no data as to whether or not this has begun.
Rest of the World: 2k
Trade and Peace Deals-
In the last 4 years there have been many shakeups when it come to US foreign relations. The first two years of the Trump presidency seemed like the same old same old. Drone bombings in the middle east, launching missiles into Syria, and a general continuation of establishment tactics. The only true bright spot in my opinion was not letting the U.S. be bulled by the likes of Iran. Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. You may not agree with me that this is a positive thing but I for one believe giving billions of taxpayer dollars to a foreign adversary with the promise that they wont develop a nuclear weapon (as long as we continue to pay them) seems like a losing prospect. We know that the Iranian government has long supported terrorist organizations across the middle east like Hamas. Stopping the flow of US taxpayer money into terrorist coffers again seems to me to be a move in the right direction.
Deals with Israel
US drone strikes seemed to hit an all time high in 2019, I cannot say for certain that this led to the firing of John Bolton but I believe it played a role as those same drone strikes on foreign targets dropped precipitously after his firing. The data that is available on these strikes is not always accurate but the data I have been able to find seems to point to this being the case. This was another big step forward in ousting those establishment players that led to some very important peace deals in 2020. Jared Kushner and the Trump administration were able to negotiate 4 historic peace deals towards the end of 2020. This is a particularly important point for me because I grew up hearing the peace in the middle east was this unfixable quagmire. That it was so hopelessly complicated that true peace was almost an impossibility. I have also grown up hearing about how peace would never be possible as long as Israel continued to be a stumbling block. This was proven to not be the case when first a deal between The United Arab Emirates and Israel was brokered just a few months ago. This was followed swiftly by Bahrain and Sudan signing on to the same deal. While these countries are small and many in the media either flat out ignored what was happening or tried to pretend like it was not a big deal, the deals represent a paradigm shift in middle east relations. These deal include a complete normalization of relations between these countries and the state of Israel. That means commercial flights going back and forth, trade in goods and services, and most importantly a recognition by those nations that the state of Israel exists and will exist going forward. This was all accomplished without the need for Israel to give away large portions of their territory or make any concessions to the Palestinian Authority (which is nothing more than a terrorist organization in my opinion). These deals should pave the way for other countries like Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel and I believe are the largest steps towards peace in the middle east in over 40 years. I hope with every fiber of my being that the incoming Biden administration will continue on this path and recognize that the Trump administration is doing something right here. I am not confident of this though as the methods used in these deals goes against all establishment doctrine and Joe Biden is nothing if not an establishment player. I did say there were 4 peace deals and I think the last one is almost more important than the first 3. The Trump administration brokered a 1 year peace deal between Serbia and Kosovo, under the terms of the agreements signed Serbia will suspend its efforts, both official and unofficial, encouraging other states to either not recognize Kosovo or to revoke existing recognition. This deal also comes with complete economic normalization between the two countries, this is a huge step forward as military conflict between the two countries have been commonplace since after WWII and Kosovo only gained UN recognition in 2008. In my opinion just about any other president in US history would be a sure winner of the Nobel Peace Prize given these historic peace agreements, however because it is the Trump administration that is responsible for these agreements I highly doubt any large scale recognition will be forthcoming.
It is well known that the Trump administration was focused on economics as their primary selling point for re-election. Covid-19 obviously put a huge dent in their argument. I do not believe there is any president who would have done better in this realm but that is a topic for another article. The point is there are many aspects of the economy to consider and here we are going to look at large trade deals. The most obvious trade deal to discuss is NAFTA. Well we all know what happened there, the Trump administration replaced NAFTA with the new USMCA deal. There really isn’t much to say about it, it protects American industry and has been one of the least controversial aspects of the Trump administration. The deal is widely regarded as better for America on both sides of the aisle. The Trump administration has also withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in an effort to untangle the United States from the grips of China. I think both of these have helped improve the U.S. economy over the course of the Trump administrations 4 years.
It’s the Economy Stupid!-
I’m going to keep this section short and sweet. There are a lot of people who want to pretend like the economy under Trump wasn’t that great. They want to pretend like anything positive was a result of the Obama administration. Well that is just nonsense. The economy grew at a rate of 3-4% under the Trump administration until Covid-19 hit the United States. This was a number that people often said was impossible when Trump claimed he would get us to 4% growth. Here are just some highlights of the Trump Economy that I hope we can get back to in 2021.
Unemployment- 3.5% 50 year low, involuntary part-time workers at 10 year low.
Labor Force Participation- 65%
Household income- Rose from $62,626 in 2017 to $63,179 in 2018
Poverty Rate- Fell from 12.3% to 11.8%
Most Stock Indexes hit all time highs in 2019 S&P 500 broke 3,000 DOW Jones broke 28,000
These numbers might not convince you that the Trump era was anything to be happy about but I think that is a result of you wanting to believe that Trump is evil. That he is the worst president we have ever seen. What I think is that we had a president for 4 years who was not a part of the establishment. Who was not willing to just go along with the status quo. This caused levels of strife that most of us were not prepared for because we are so used to the status quo. I know he tweets a lot of nonsense, I know he often says things you don’t like. However I think there are many accusations made about Trump that are completely hyperbolic. He was called a racist and a bigot for 4 years and yet in the 2020 election he won a higher percentage of non-white voters than any other Republican candidate since 1960. I think what this shows is that if you cut through the rhetoric of the legacy media we have a president moved our country towards a better future even if he said some things you don’t like. I firmly hope that Joe Biden will continue these trends but I am extremely skeptical that after 47 years in government he will suddenly change his tune and begin to actually fight for average Americans the way the Trump administration did. You don’t have to agree with me, this is America, but I want this article to stand as a snapshot in time that we can go back to and see where we are at the end of the next 4 years of establishment control. Now as a write this the election is not quite over so this whole article could be useless in the next few weeks but it’s looking more and more likely that Joe Biden will be elected. I for one will be saddened to see this administration leave.