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A Step Back from Trump’s Start

During the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency, the US media has been “all Trump, all the time.” And they’ve had plenty of fuel: as Trump has moved to “shake up” Washington, DC, he has made some serious – and avoidable – mistakes.

STANFORD – The first few weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have contained what felt like a year’s worth of activity and rancor. The US media is “all Trump, all the time” – and they’ve had plenty of fuel. Amid Trump’s initial moves to “shake up” Washington, DC, including a five-year lobbying ban and approvals of pipelines that President Barack Obama had blocked, he has made some serious – and avoidable – mistakes.

Trump is far from the first president to arrive in the White House planning to shake things up. President Jimmy Carter tried, but immediately ran afoul of his own party’s leadership in Congress – and subsequently struggled to get anything accomplished. For example, Congress turned his proposed tax cut for dividends into one for capital gains.

Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, was far more successful in pushing through tax-cutting reforms, as well as advancing the military buildup that helped win the Cold War. But he was unable to rein in spending.

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