The Californian

Trump’s controversial first year in office

Michael Barry, Staff Writer

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The Year 2017 could rightfully be called the Year of Donald Trump. 

Major news organizations on both sides of the political spectrum have seemed to aim a majority of their content on Trump and his cabinet. Major scandals have seem to dominate his administration day after day, with a new “scandal” being uncovered before any substantial writing or analysis can be done on it.

Trump’s first year ended Jan. 20 at 9 a.m. Let’s take an look back on the highlights, or lowlights depending on your perspective. 

Trump’s Tax Cut

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act was signed into law on Dec. 22 2017. The bill cut taxes for major corporations, millionaires and billionaires. The rationale is that the cut on corporate taxes would induce a trickle down effect. This trickle down effect is called supply-side economics.

Supply-side economics is the practice that if you cut the taxes of corporations, they will either raise incomes for their employees or create new jobs. 

The Trump tax plan decreases the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. It will also add tax credits to families with child dependents, which will total $1,000, according to the New York Times

 “Trump is trying to live up to his campaign promises,” said Cal High history and government teacher Edgard Vidrio. “He is trying to make sure that his support base stays happy, and this tax plan is one way. In the wake of his presidency, the economy has been blossoming, with businesses spending more money on moving manufacturing jobs back to the US.” 

The tax bill passed in the Senate 51-48, with no Democrats voting for it. The House of Representatives passed the bill by a 227-207 vote, with 12 Republicans voting against it. 

“People will be highly affected by this bill, such as government employees who rely on tax income to make their money,” said Vidrio “His deregulation of Obama era policies is a way for him to show he’s not Obama and is taking action in the White House. People may get a tax cut now and the effects of this tax cut will begin to show in a few years.”

Fire and Fury

In Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury – Inside the Trump White House, a damaging account is provided of the president and his staff and in the White House. 

Trump claimed he never spoke to Wolff for his book and said that he “authorized zero access to White House” in a Twitter post. But Wolff said he spoke with Trump, telling NBC in an interview, “Whether he realized it was an interview or not, I don’t know, but it certainly was not off the record.”

Wolff has also defended against claims that the book is inaccurate.  

“I work like every journalist works so I have recordings, I have notes,” he told NBC’s TODAY show. “I am certainly and absolutely in every way comfortable with everything I’ve reported in this book.” 

“The author uses a lot of credible sources, which is making this a compelling read,” said Cal government teacher Tasneem Khan, who is reading the book. “It starts to put the pieces together for us, as we all have our own ideas on what is going on there, and really starts to assemble them.”

S***hole countries

In the first large story to come out of The White House from 2018, Trump allegedly called countries such as Haiti and several African nations “s***hole countries” and recommended that the US should intake more immigrants from Norway, a predominantly white country. 

“As a president, Trump should not remark that other countries are “s***hole countries” and then turn around and deny it” said junior Nathan Yanetz.

The comment was denounced by several predominant lawmakers on Capitol Hill, such as Senator Tim Scott (R) of South Carolina and Rep. Mia Love (R) of Utah, whose parents are from Haiti. 

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has also denied the claims and cited several meeting attendees who denied the president made this statement.

Trump’s Twitterstorm

As many know Trump’s presence on Twitter has been very prevalent during his presidency. As of Jan. 20, Trump has tweeted a total of 36,837 times, and has accumulated 47 million followers. 

Trump has used Twitter to reach his wider audience without the “middle man,” the media. 

The power of Trump’s tweets has been used to pressure lawmakers into passing bills, announce new laws and executive orders he will be passing, announce events he will be attending, attack the media and other adversaries, and often contradict his line of reasoning. 

Trump used Twitter to announce his executive order to ban transgender people from joining the military. 

He also tweeted about his plans to build a border wall with Mexico, which he has repeatedly said they will pay for later, indirectly, or directly. 

He has attacked world leaders, most notably the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Un.

 The President has called out media outlets such as the New York Times and CNN, nicknaming them “the failing New York Times” and “Fake News CNN”. 

His Twitter postings have caught the eye of the American people. A recent poll conducted by The Economist shows that just 25 percent Americans approve of his Twitter usage.

“If Trump tweeted comprehensive tweets, it would be one thing,” said junior Rory O’Neill. “He instigates things and makes himself seem less presidential.”

Travel Ban

During the 2016 Presidential election, then-candidate Trump had some had harsh words for immigrants from places in the Middle East.

He repeatedly called for a travel ban from these places, to the delight of most of his supporters. 

When he got into office, Trump signed an Executive Order 13769 on Jan. 27, citing the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a reason for its existence. 

The executive order stated that the acceptance of 50,000 refugees would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”. It banned individuals from Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Somalia, all mostly Muslim nations. 

People responded to the Order by protesting in airports and outside the White House. The order also received many legal challenges, the first being the State of Washington suing the government for violating the First Amendment.

A new executive order has been publisjed to allow citizens of Iraq to enter the US after improving relations between the two countries, according to NPR.  Iraq petitioned to be removed from the list of banned countries.

The fact that the US has 5,000 troops in Iraq to help defeat the terrorist organization known as ISIS has helped the Iraqis case that they shouldn’t be on the banned countries list. 

North Korea

Since the 2016 Presidential election, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) has conducted 12 missile tests of varying sizes and ranges and has conducted one Hydrogen bomb test, according to Fox News. 

The Hydrogen bomb test in 2017 is especially alarming because of the size. According to NBC, the North Korean bomb is 120 kilotons. 

Trump took to Twitter to attack Kim Jong Un, nicknaming him “Little Rocket Man” on Nov. 30, in reference to his missile tests. Supreme Leader Kim, in his New Year’s Day speech, boasted that he always had the nuclear missile button on his desk. 

Trump responded to this threat in a tweet by boasting of his own nuclear abilities, and commented that his nuclear button “actually works”. This comment has sparked controversy on the basis that Trump is trying to start a nuclear war with North Korea. 

“I think his tweets encourage the American people,” said senior Andre Bondar. “He is showing the small and weak leader of North Korea who’s boss.”

Although Trump has had many controversial decisions in his first year in office, there are three years remaining in his term, so stay tuned. More is certainly coming.

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Trump’s controversial first year in office