Transitioning from Trump

Among President Trump’s 75 million-strong voters, the day’s biggest question is what he’ll do during his next four years. And the day’s second biggest question is how badly by 2024, if at all, the nation will miss Trumpism. Once he’s out of the White House, President Trump will have family, Mar-a-Lago, private jets, exotic cars, his fortune and unlimited access to the globe’s most magnificent golf courses. The president will be able to reflect on his four tumultuous years in the deeper-than-imagined Swamp, and will likely conclude that, at age 78, he doesn’t need another four.

Maligned from the moment in 2015 that he announced his presidential candidacy, the bias and vicious media spared no one – not his wife Melania nor his young son, Barron. President Trump has enjoyed all the fruits of the Chief Executive’s office – Air Force One, the White House and the other pomp and circumstance that surrounds the presidency. Another term would add nothing to perks that President Trump has already experienced.

Although President Trump got little media credit, Trumpism is good for working Americans, a group that elites unfailingly marginalize. Lower taxes and tight labor markets, two of President Trump’s signature accomplishments, helped average Americans. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that under President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 82 percent of American middle-class households received an average tax cut of $1,260, and that 90 percent saw a take-home pay increase. The TCJA roughly doubled the standard deduction. And under President Trump, median household income grew by $4,144 or 6.8 percent, and hit an all-time high, $65,084 in 2019 dollars.

In its analysis of President-elect Biden’s tax proposal, however, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation reported that the incoming administration’s plan to raise corporate income tax from 21 percent to 28 percent will create a gradual 1.7 percent decrease in after-tax income for all families.

Unfortunately for President Trump, and the clueless, now minority Republican Party, the GOP never lifted a finger to explain to the voting public that more immigration translates to more work authorization documents which in turn loosens the labor market and intensifies job competition.

Annually adding tens of thousands of work-authorized immigrants, and keeping borders loose, is a bonanza for employers and profiteering immigration lawyers. But some Hispanic voters, U.S. citizens in Florida and Texas’ Rio Grande Valley understood that President Biden’s liberal immigration agenda would hurt them in the employment market, and turned out heavily to support the president. However, the link between more work-authorized foreign nationals and worker-harmful loose labor eluded Arizona and Nevada Hispanics, and cost President Trump those key swing states.

In the establishment media, much has been written about how out-of-touch Republicans must develop platforms that appeal to the nation’s shifting demographics. Few argue. But although many would disagree, less immigration is good for all – Hispanics, blacks, Asians and whites. Lawful permanent residents receive lifetime valid employment permission. To repeat, more immigration means more work authorization.

A Center for Immigration Studies report that analyzed Census Bureau data from the American Community Survey, two unimpeachable sources, found that during President Trump’s first two years in office, legal and illegal immigration dropped from about 650,000 annually to about 200,000. If the lower courts hadn’t blocked President Trump every step of his way, the immigration declines might have been more dramatic. The steep immigration reduction explains, in part, President Trump’s strong economy, and lower unemployment rates.

During George W. Bush’s administration, Republicans incorrectly decided that the path to the Hispanic voters’ hearts was through amnesty. President Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor Karl Rove promoted the amnesty fantasy incessantly. But even political neophytes understand that no matter what immigration plans Republicans dream up, the GOP cannot move further left than Democrats.

In the upcoming 2022 congressional mid-term elections, and the 2024 presidential race, Republicans, despite now being a boxed-in minority, should look to the Texas border where President Trump’s immigration message sunk in among Hispanics. In Texas border counties where per capita household income is low, but the Hispanic population and poverty is high, 41 percent to 47 percent of Hispanic voters cast their ballots for President Trump.

Americans don’t want to see immigration end. Rather, the citizenry wants Congress to develop and enforce immigration laws that are consistent with the nation’s labor requirements and its population growth. Such an approach would require toughening up on employment-based visas, and instead hiring from the vast, readily available American labor pool which currently stands at 25 million unemployed or underemployed. The result would be bad news for cheap labor-addicted employers, but a true boost for struggling Americans.