US president-elect Donald Trump has described throughout his campaign a dark America that has been knocked to its knees by China, Mexico, Russia and Islamic State.
He said the American dream was dead, smothered by malevolent business interests and corrupt politicians, and that he alone could revive it.
Trump said he would make America great again through the force of his personality, negotiating skill and business acumen. He offered vague plans to win economic concessions from China, to build a wall on the southern US border to keep out undocumented immigrants and to make Mexico pay for it. He vowed to repeal Obamacare while being the “greatest jobs president that God ever created” and has proposed refusing entry to the United States of people from war-torn Middle Eastern nations, a modified version of an earlier proposed ban on Muslims.
But Trump’s candidacy was packed with contradictions. He vowed to bring back jobs to the United States yet had his clothing line campaign hats manufactured in foreign countries.
He decried the corrupting power of money in politics then boasted of having bought influence himself. Undocumented workers had been used on his building projects but as a candidate Trump vowed to ship illegal immigrants out of the country. He said no one respected women more than he did but even before he was caught on video talking about “grabbing (women) by the pussy”. More groping accusations emerged and he was branded a misogynist for making fun of the appearance of rival candidate Carly Fiorina and an apparent reference to the menstrual cycle of Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.
The 2016 US election campaign has been such a circus that the focus on policies has long shifted.
So what exactly has Trump promised to do and how has he proposed to do it?
Here are five of his proposed policies:
Will ban all Muslims from entering the US
• Will deport all undocumented individuals
• Will freeze green cards
• Will build a wall at the Mexican border
• Will establish a “deportation force” to target illegal migrants
• Will end birthright citizenship
Trump has threatened to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and vowed to build a 35 to 50 foot high wall along North America’s’ southern border and force Mexico to pay for it.
The purpose of the 3057km US-Mexican border: to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico.
“We will build a great wall along the southern border,” Trump said. “And Mexico will pay for the wall – 100 per cent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall.”
Trump said he would force Mexico to pay for the $10 billion US wall by blocking money transfers from the US to Mexico.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told Trump in person that Mexico would not pay for it.
Trump hasalso said that if he was elected, anyone who is in the US illegally will be subject to deportation, stressing his hard line position after flirting with a softer approach.
He said immigrants would have to return home and reapply for re-entry.
“Our message to the world will be this: You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country,” Trump said.
“People will know you can’t just smuggle in, hunker down and wait to be legalised.”
Trump has also said he wants the US border closed to all Muslims. He has since equivocated on this policy but not backed totally away from it. He later described it as “extreme vetting”.
• Is strongly protectionist
• Will restrict free trade with the aim to keep jobs in the US
• Believes China is a currency manipulator
It’s not just a physical wall Trump wants to build on the border with Mexico, he’s keen on an economic wall as well.
In September, he reacted with outrage when motor manufacturer Ford announced it was moving a production line close to the city of Flint in Michigan to Mexico.
“It used to be cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico,” he said. “Now, cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”
Trump has warned he will level tariffs on car makers who build vehicles overseas and then sell them in the US.
He has promised to boost growth to 3.5 per cent per year and create 25 million jobs over the next decade.
His has also spoken up his “America-First” trade policy which could see a tax of 45 per cent on Chinese goods. But what goes around comes around, China and other nations could slap tariffs on the US making exports harder.
Trump says he’ll cut income tax rates for all with the highest band plummeting from 40 per cent to around 33 per cent. However, that will leave an almighty hole in the Government’s coffers. So where’s all that extra defence spending going to come from?
• Wants expanded gun rights
• Will eliminate all “gun-free zones” at schools
Donald Trump has the support of the National Rifle Association. He believes concealed carry permits should be valid in all states, rather than only some. He says he would expand mental health treatment to stop the “wrong people” getting guns. He supports the current system of background checks but expects that states keep up to date information on mental heath and criminal backgrounds. He says there should be no gun-free zones, even at schools, because they are an invitation for attack. He is against gun and magazine bans, saying “the government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own”.
FOREIGN POLICY & DEFENCE
• Will boost military spending
• Says he will defeat ISIS
• Will temporarily suspend immigration from “some of the most dangerous regions”
• Will focus on combating cyber warfare
The Donald’s overarching slogan in this area is “Make America safe again”.
Trump says “peace through strength” will be at the heart of his foreign policy and he has promised a huge boost in military spending with more than 500,000 troops on hand.
He has said carpet bombing could be a good strategy to “crush and destroy ISIS” and to “defeat the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism just as we won the Cold War”.
But when it comes to NATO, founded in the Cold War to unite like-minded nations, he’s far less committed. Trump has said the military pact is “costing us a fortune” and the US should not automatically defend NATO members from attack.
This doesn’t bode well for the NATO states like Estonia, that border Russia. and are fearful of Moscow’s expansionist tendencies.
The recent warming of relations with Iran, after it pulled back on its nuclear weapons program, is also under threat. Trump is far cooler on Tehran than President Obama and has said Iran is “the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism”.
Overall, expect a Trump America to be far less willing to get involved in issues outside its backyard.
• Will scrap ObamaCare
• Will allow health insurance to be sold across state lines
• Will allow tax-free contributions to Health Savings Accounts
• Wants drugs to be imported from overseas to drive down prices
Trump wants to repeal Obamacare. He instead proposes allowing Americans to buy health insurance interstate, health savings accounts and allowing Americans to buy drugs internationally.
“Obamacare has to be repealed and replaced and it has to be replaced with something much less expensive for the people, otherwise this country is in even bigger trouble than everybody thought,” the president elect said earlier this week.
“We’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
The Department of Health and Human Services said in a recent report the big increase in insurance costs will be seen in the 38 states with federally-managed health care exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
It is the largest jump in premiums for the program, now entering its fourth year, and stoked the heated battle between Trump and Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House.
Trump quickly lashed out on Twitter following the report: “#Obamacare premiums are about to SKYROCKET – again. Crooked H will only make it worse. We will repeal & replace!”
Clinton’s campaign hit back at Trump saying he wants to “rip up the ACA and reverse the progress we have made.”
Republicans have repeatedly tried to overturn Obamacare, which has allowed millions of uninsured people to get health insurance, with no limits based on “pre-existing conditions.” The program has reduced the number of individuals across the country without insurance to 8.6 per cent from 16 per cent in 2010, HHS said.
Despite the sharp premium increase, HHS said most consumers will see rate hikes below the average amount due to premium caps and subsidies for those with lower incomes.
Trump disputed the government’s figures, saying insurance costs are rising much higher.
“Obamacare is just blowing up and even the White House, our (current) president, announced 25 or 26 per cent (increases). That number is so wrong. That is such a phony number. You’re talking about 60, 70, 80 per cent in increases, not 25 per cent,” Trump said, without explaining where he got his numbers.
Trump said the increase for Texas will be 60 per cent, but the HHS report said premiums in that state are expected to increase by an average of just 18 per cent.
– with wires