Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump's First Hundred Day Plans: IWFTCP Constitutional Score, 51.5%

In my last article, How to Destroy the Two Party System: IWFTCP Principles, I mentioned a method of highlighting the text of a political speech or article to point out the parts that do or don't follow the Constitution. This is an example of the method I have been working on for a while; although I haven't published any of them except this one yet. There may be a lot more of these in the future because it seems like it might be a good way to make my point.

If you are sympathetic to the IWFTCP and its goals, and you want to score a couple of speeches or statements of politicians to see how they rate, go ahead! If you do one that seems particularly enlightening and of high public interest, contact me, and if it seems consistent I'll publish your work here with full credit to you.

The idea here is that the red text is where the use of government powers are mentioned or assumed that objectively follow the Constitution according to my current understanding. It is important to understand that, per the Tenth Amendment, in order for a mentioned power to be colored red, that power has to be specifically mentioned within the Constitution. Blue texts are mentions of the use of federal power that have nothing to do with anything named within the constitution.

The Tenth Amendment [10A] comes up a lot. Sometimes red, sometimes blue. Where it is red it indicates a power being given up that has nothing to do any power the feds are supposed to have. Where it is blue is a mention of federal power that should be left to the States and/or the People being taken by the federal government in spite of the Tenth Amendment.

My comments are surrounded by [square brackets]. Typically there will be a reference there of a number and symbol. Where the number is first, followed by the letter "A," is an indication of a constitutional amendment. E.g. [10A], would be the Tenth Amendment. [2A], would be the Second Amendment.

Where the letter "A" comes first it is a reference to an Article of the Constitution. Where the letter "S" is indicates a Section. Where the letter "C" is refers to a Clause. So [A1S8C14] would refer to Article One, Section Eight, Clause Fourteen, which says, "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;"

Occasionally with longer paragraphs several different powers will be mentioned. For those, rather than putting my comment in the paragraph a whole lot of times, I will put a number counting those mentions up at the end of the paragraph. [10A -3] means three violations of the Tenth Amendment. [A1S8 +5] means five powers mentioned which are covered by Article One, Section Eight.

Under most circumstances I try to keep my own personal opinions out of this by limiting my comments only to constitutional references. There is no mention of the politician's personal character or history here; typically. It is only Constitutional issues (unless I find something that just drives me nuts!). This emphatically does not mean that by coloring something red I agree with it. There are plenty of constitutional things the government can do that would be bad ideas. This also does not mean that by coloring something blue I disagree with it being done by somebody. However, coloring something blue does certainly mean that the federal government should have nothing to do with it. The idea is only to highlight things that pertain to the use of federal power and whether that power is Constitutional or not.

So with that understanding we now venture into Donald Trump's first one hundred day program...

"What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again [10A]. It is a contract between myself and the American voter — and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington.

Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion [A2, A1S8C14] in Washington, DC:

* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress; [A2, 1A, A1S8C14]

* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, [A2] public safety, and public health); [10A]

* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated; [A2, Assuming he's talking about regulations rather than laws.]

* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service; [10A]

* FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government; [10A]

* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections. [Under the Commerce Clause this might be possible but it isn't a presidential power. If he'd have said "propose" it would have been okay.]

On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers: [10A]

* FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205 [A2S2]

* SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership [A2S2]

* THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator [This is a power of congress, not the president. A1S8C5]

* FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately [Power of congress, not a power of the president. A1S8C3]

* FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars' worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal [A2, Assuming he is talking only about executive branch regulations instead of laws which would have to be repealed by Congress.]

* SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward [10A]

* SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs [10A] and use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure. [10A]

Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law: [A2S1C8]

* FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama [A2]

* SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States [A2, There is some benefit of the doubt here, assuming the judges will follow the Constitution.]

* THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities [10A]

* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country [A2] and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back [Power of Congress, not president. A1S8C4]

* FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting. [Power of Congress, not president. A1S8C4]

Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage [A2] within the first 100 days of my Administration:

Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate. [All okay if done through Congress. A1S8 +5]

End The Offshoring Act. Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free. [Okay if done through Congress. A1S8]

American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral. [10A]

School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. [10A] Ends common core, [10A] brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable. [10A -3]

Repeal [10A] and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications. [There are a ton of 10th Amendment issues here. I scored them as best I could on my current understanding. The point is that the federal government has ZERO constitutional authority over healthcare and medication. Any replacement for Obamacare, mandated by the federal government, would be just as unconstitutional as Obamacare. So I scored this paragraph blue where it looks like an unconstitutional power is being used or increased, and red where unconstitutional regulations are being eliminated or reduced. Medicaid is unconstitutional, so that's automatically blue, no matter who manages it.]

Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families. [10A -6]

End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying [A1S8C4 +4] and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first. [10A]

Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars. [10A -6]

Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values. [A1S8, various clauses, cover all of this in one way or another, with some assumptions on what specifically is meant by "values." +4]

Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics. [Making rules for government is covered in A1S8C14.]

This last one is where I say I can't stand it anymore and have to add a personal viewpoint, rather than limiting myself to a constitutional reference. If the federal government were to limit themselves in all branches to just their specified powers within the Constitution there would be nothing to gain for any special interest in Washington. Nothing. So rather than passing a superfluous and unnecessarily redundant act to "Drain the Swamp," why not just insist that Congress follow the Constitution? Why not just follow your oath as president and never, ever sign anything unconstitutional into law? Special interests only go to Washington to exploit politicians who love to wield extra-constitutional power. You don't like the NRA? Well Hell's Bells then! Follow the Second Amendment and they'll go away! It's that simple. Really!

There were a total of sixty-eight mentions of federal power. Donald Trump's first one hundred day plans has thirty-five mentions that are backed by the Constitution. Thirty-two powers mentioned do not follow the Constitution or are none of the federal government's business. That gives a rating of 48.5% Unconstitutional. And 51.5% Constitutional.

There are some very good things here but overall, given the purpose of a president and his oath, I personally think that's a rather pathetic score. Optimally it should be 100% for a president because that is what his job is. For me I can't even begin to get interested unless the score is above 75%. 

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