John Ibbitson argues that the headlines about the Trump administration — Russia and wiretapping, to name two examples — are obscuring the fact that it is the most activist presidency since Ronald Reagan.
From the Globe and Mail (“Are blaring headlines a diversion from Trump’s agenda?“):
… With the support of Congress, the president is rewriting the rules around health care; his first budget proposes staggering cuts to spending on domestic programs, while ramping up spending on defence; Congress and the administration will soon set about a wholesale reform of tax code.
But these issues, which should dominate the news every day, often take a back seat to efforts to temporarily ban visitors from certain Muslim countries, or Mr. Trump’s claim that Barack Obama tapped his phone during the election campaign. As the headlines roar, work on the Trump agenda continues. …
Not all of this will come to pass: Congress is ultimately responsible for the budget, and senators and representatives will protect local interests. But a Republican Congress will have a hard time saying no to increases in defence spending, or letting the deficit balloon, so cuts are coming, one way or another.
The President and his allies in Congress are also committed to sweeping tax reform, which could include a tax on imports – very bad news for Canada. And there are many other commitments: renegotiating trade agreements, the wall on the southern border, demands for increased defence spending from America’s allies.
This activist President may horrify with his mendacious tweets or his rude treatment of foreign leaders, but the agenda is what matters. That agenda is being implemented at full speed.