by Shannon Tyler – Monday, February 18, 2019
With 2018 President Donald Trump’s second year in office at an end and his third year starting off with a bang, the country has seen many controversies with this administration. Trump and his administration has accomplished much but many say the controversies and failed attempts have overshadowed their accomplishments. The year of 2018 has brought the country many feats and wins. The country has seen downfalls such as the decision Trump made at the border which resulted in many children taken from their parents at the border but has also seen great highs in the currently booming economy which experts say is thanks, in part, to President Trump’s policies. Here is a full overview on President Trump’s 2018 year:
The year started with what Trump referred to as the “witch hunt” lead by special counsel, Robert Mueller. The “witch hunt” is an investigation of Trump’s campaign, transition to, and actual presidency. Mueller’s investigation into Trump and his administration to see if there was collusion with Russia during his campaign. So far, from Mueller’s investigation, he has charged 33 people with crimes linked to the campaign and 3 were Trump’s senior associates. This is possibly the biggest controversy of the Trump administration. With a democratic House, people are hoping for impeachment but with a republican senate, impeachment might be possible but conviction and removal will be difficult if not impossible.
In April of 2018, Trump and General Attorney, Jeff Sessions, enacted the Zero-tolerance policy. It is a policy Trump hoped to deter illegal immigration. The policy makes it easier to prosecute anyone who crosses the border illegally. Previous administrations did not bother with prosecuting as many people as possible at the border because there really is not enough resources to do so and it seemed, to them, unnecessary. Previous administrations instead focussed on prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants who are a serious threat. From the beginning of Trump’s campaign, he has made it clear that one of his biggest priorities is border security and that meant prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally. This was a controversial policy that got the attention of many people because the result of prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally is the separation of children from their parents. The Washington Post stated that nearly 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their parents.
While Trump did escalate the effort to help the crisis at the southern border, many thought the Zero-tolerance policy to be harsh and unnecessary. There were protests across the nation to end the separation of immigrant families. The Washington Post says that, “For Trump, the family-separation policy is leverage as he seeks congressional funding for his promised border wall and other immigration priorities.”
In July, President Trump left his mark on the country’s judicial system with an appointment to the supreme court. This was very controversial because after the appointment, accusations of sexual assault against the appointee, Brett Kavanaugh became known. Kavanaugh’s senate hearing was in early September. Senators questioned him on his college life and habits. After the long and emotional hearing, the decision was made to approve Kavanaugh to be next Supreme Court Justice. Kavanaugh, who has proven to align more with conservative beliefs has replaced former Justice Anthony Kennedy who was considered the court’s swing vote. This has created a court resembling the partisanship that congress shows. The court is 4 Democrat to 5 Republican; however, the Justice Elena Kagan reassured the public that even though court may seem to be partisan, they do agree on more than the public often sees.
These controversies that Trump and his administration have been wrapped up in has distracted from his achievements. 2018 has been named the year of lies. The Washington Post along with many other news outlets have taken the time to fact check much of what Trump has claimed and they found quite a bit of he has said to be false or mislead. They counted 7,645 false or mislead statements made by Trump. But, even in this year of lies, Trump has had achievements.
One of his greatest is the economy we are in right now. The GDP is at 3 percent-plus growth, unemployment rate is near 50 year low, and the stock market has jumped 27 percent in a surge of corporate profits. This is a good economy, however, it is not as good as Trump boasts it to be. Trump has claimed time and time again that this is the best economy, the country has seen. According to The Washington Post’s Fact Check states that while it is a good economy, it cannot top the economic booms that occured in the late 1990s, parts of 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s.
The other great accomplishment of Trump’s was his promise to the people of a tax cut. Trump was able to fulfill this promise; but, as he has done in the past, he overstated just how great it was. Trump claimed that it was the biggest tax cut the country had seen. The Washington Post’s Fact Check found that it was not the largest tax cut in history, it was the eighth largest. However large it was, Trump was able to fulfill the promise he made to his voters.
The last thing on Trump’s agenda for the year of 2018 was to make advances on his “big, beautiful wall.” Trump’s campaign was primarily on the issue of illegal immigrants entering the country through the border. As he explained in his election campaign, Trump’s solution to this issue was to build a wall along the entire U.S.- Mexico border and it would be paid for entirely by Mexico. While there was quite a bit of talk from Trump about works on the wall, no work has begun on the wall nor a budget approved for it. In December, Trump made it his priority to fight for the budgeting for the wall. He has asked for $5 billion dollars of taxpayer money but congress would not approve it for the budget and on December 21, it resulted in the third government shutdown of Trump’s presidency.
As of February 15, Donald Trump has declared a national emergency at the U.S.- Mexico border to get the funding to build the border wall. This came with a lot of backlash of the House and possible court cases.