President Donald Trump is probably the most controversial president of the United States in recent history.
His supporters love him and would go to all lengths for him while his haters hate him so much they wish 2016 didn’t happen.
But exactly how effective is Donald Trump at his job as president and is he as ineffective as many would know him as based on his Twitter wars?
Here are 10 achievements Donald Trump made when he was president that cannot be denied, no matter whether you hate him or like him.
Decrease Illegal Immigration
One of Trump’s 2016 presidential promise was to build the Great Wall of Mexico and Mexico will be paying for it.
To understand why that’s such a huge promise, Trump’s basically saying that he’ll keep all the immigrants on their rightful side of the border so that they won’t come in and steal jobs from the locals.
Now, it’s 2020 and Trump’s still far off the 1,000 miles of wall that he has promised. In fact, the wall that’s been built so far has all been paid for by American taxpayers’ money, and not Mexico, though he claimed that it’s still “indirectly” paid by Mexico though taxes or whatnot.
Nonetheless, he’s managed to reduce illegal border crossings along the US-Mexico to an all-time low since the 1970s in his first year of office.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also said that the wall helped reduce required personnel to maintain security along the border and reduce illegal immigration too.
Say what you may about Trump but before he’s a president, he’s a businessman.
Another promise made during the presidential election in 2016 was a tax reform to help American citizens and businesses.
His Tax Cuts and Jobs Act remains his single most shining achievement in his presidency, according to Business Insider.
Called the “biggest tax overhaul” to America for over thirty years, Trump managed to reduce corporate tax from 35% to 21%.
He also managed to provide temporary benefits for individuals and their families with this policy.
While the fiscal deficit that incurred as a result of this move is massive, Trump’s administration guaranteed that savings by business owners will be invested back into the business and Americans.
This means that “soon”, the bill will start “paying for itself”.
Kind of like the Singapore government giving tax rebates to landlords and expecting them to pass it on to tenants, if you think about it.
Of course, you’d have to think far because cutting corporate taxes sounds like a baddy thingy since companies would earn more, but here’s the thing: when companies earn more, they engage more people, and more people have jobs.
Bringing The Air Force To A New Frontier
During Trump’s days as president, he’s brought the US Air Force (USAF) to a whole new level: Space.
On 20 Dec 2019, President Donald Trump signed a $738 billion (S$995 billion) defence spending bill and established the sixth USAF branch: Space Force.
It’s the first time a new branch was set up for the air force since it was created in 1947, because no one cares about space after the Cold War ended.
In fact, if you think of Space Force, you’d think of Trump.
Unemployment Rate Below 4%
Another election promise made by President Donald Trump was the creation of jobs.
More jobs for Americans is understandably welcomed given how there’s a 4.7% unemployment rate in the country.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic, except for the brief spike in 2020 due to Covid-19, Trump has managed to keep the unemployment rate down.
According to data published by the Trump administration in 2018, almost 5 million jobs has been created since Trump’s election and the unemployment rate fell below 4%.
It was further reported that the unemployment rate among youths and women were at an all-time low.
Here’s the thing: before COVID-19, unemployment claims have also fallen to a 50-year-low.
More than two-thirds of Americans said in 2018 that “now” is a good time to get a job in America.
Well, now you know why he’s so mad at COVID-19 – the record would’ve been goody if COVID-19 didn’t hit.
However, it should be noted that the downward trend for unemployment has started since the Obama administration, so haters can still argue that Trump is riding on the trend.
Decrease In Poverty
It’s not just more jobs created for the US.
The economic growth in the US is 2.5% during Trump’s presidency, a tad bit above Obama’s average of 2.3%.
Again, according to the White House, workers have “seen their largest nominal year over year wage growth” in nearly ten years.
Real median household income rose to an all-new high in 2017 and poverty rates for both the African- and Hispanic-Americans have dropped to “a record low”.
It’s estimated that 4.6 million Americans have graduated from food stamps (vouchers given to low-income families to exchange for food).
Once again, the same argument of it being on a downward trend since the Obama administration can be applied here.
Relationship with North Korea
Now, while the relationship isn’t exactly the best now, it was worse before Trump took office.
Before Trump, the hermit country was so closed off to the rest of civilisation that no one would know if a virus had wiped out the entire country.
Of course, we now that Trump has fallen in love with Kim Jong-un after the 2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit, with Trump being the first sitting President to have met up with the leader of North Korea. In Singapore, no less.
North Korea might not be happy with the US now but at least they’re not threatening to throw a nuclear missile at them every few months. Heck, Kim Jong-un even sent his well-wishes to Trump after he contracted COVID-19.
Killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
While Osama Bin Laden was killed during Obama administration, some of us might have forgotten that during the Trump administration, another high-profile terrorist was killed.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, was killed in October last year. While Trump’s press conference sounded like a reality TV show (he said, “He died like a dog.”), the incident was significant because let’s face it: compared to a few years back, how worried were you about a terrorist attack?
Recognising China As A Geopolitical Threat
According to the Economic Times, one good thing Trump has done during his presidency is to recognise the geopolitical threat of China.
Before Trump’s blunt Twitter threats and accusations, the world had always thought of bringing China “into the fold”, hoping that the positive experience will lead them towards democratic liberalism.
The optimism was subsequently forgotten after Trump brought attention to China’s dangerous new military and political aspirations.
This sparked off another “cold war” and China was the target of many of the US’s sanctions, including the banning of TikTok in the US and stopping China from purchasing high-tech US companies or equipment.
Unfortunately, Trump didn’t follow through and pulled out of many pacts, resulting in a fracture on their side of the “war”.
However, should Biden ascend to the top seat smoothly, he’ll likely follow Trump’s cold war notion against China but return to the various pacts required for the US to triumph. After all, Trump has become the “bad guy” and Biden can just ride on the wave.
This will bring about a sense of relief to Japan and Europe, countries which are recently placed under pressure by China.
Another notion that Donald Trump brought to the table was to cut down on red tapes and bureaucracy.
Regulations cost money and inhibit economic growth, he stated, and he made a sweeping form of deregulations during his term.
According to ET, he had signed 225 executive orders (executive orders are kind of like temporary laws and sometimes, they stay on for a long, long time) for deregulations, 70 of which are related to the environment.
His deregulation efforts reportedly saved America $33 billion, with $23 billion delivered to American families and business owners in benefits.
Last, but not least, isn’t related to what Trump did during his presidency, but what happened as a result of him being elected into the top seat.
Back in 2016, it was widely agreed that Facebook had (unintentionally) contributed to Trump’s upset victory.
Due to Facebook’s algorithm of showing personalised news feed to their individual users, and the platform’s insistence of not regulating their content even more, users were able to “game the system” and made use of the platform to spread false information and conspiracy theories.
With Trump’s ascension, Facebook’s troubles also came calling and they were taken to task at the US Congress, whereby Mark Zuckerberg was also confirmed to be an android instead of a human.
Singapore also took the opportunity to pass the Fake News Law in 2019.
The result is Facebook taking more responsibility for their content, even going so far as to ensure that no election rigging will take place through its platform.
So, whether you hate or like him, you can’t deny that the man has achieved quite a lot during his four years in office. If not for him, we might still be worried that North Korea would throw something at us and all our CPF funds would be gone.
Featured Image: Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com