Political Expert: Americans Anxious For Change Will Need Patience
ST. CLOUD - Now that President Trump has been sworn in, work on his first 100 days in office is underway. Matt Lindstrom is a political science professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. He says Trump's "America first" themed inauguration speech indicates some items he wants to tackle right away.
I think that translates into taking another look at the trade deals: the Trans Pacific Partnership and NAFTA. Second, we of course see his interest in immigration. And then the Affordable Care Act.
However, Lindstrom says not all Republican leaders are on board with changing the trade deals.
That's not something the Republican elite want to do. Maybe some of the grasroots voters in the rust belt states that voted for Trump, they want him to look at these trade deals in hopes of revitalizing manufacturing. But this is not something Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have any interest in doing.
With his background in business, Trump may have been primarily sent to Washington by the voters to get a handle on the national deficit.
In terms of reducing the debt and the deficit, he's talking about discretionary spending, which is about less than one-half or a third of the federal budget. The other half or two thirds is the entitlement spending, social security and medicare primarily. Trump has told us over and over again he's not going to touch those.
Lindstrom says the good news for Trump is that on several key indicators the federal government was already trending in the right direction before he even took office.
We have really low unemployment right now, the deficit has been trending down, healthcare spending as a percentage of the national debt has been trending down.
Trump told business leaders Monday that he wants to lower taxes for the middle class and for companies to "anywhere from 15 to 25 percent," down from 35 percent.
Lindstrom reminds us any change that may - or may not - come will be slow. He says the federal government is a behemoth.