President Donald Trump’s slogan at rallies during the midterm elections was: “Promises made, promises kept.” At the two-year mark of his presidency on Sunday, Trump has indeed kept some of his promises—but failed to deliver on others.
Only last week, Trump claimed that he is doing exactly what he promised to do.
“For decades, politicians promised to secure the border, fix our trade deals, bring back our factories, get tough on China, move the Embassy to Jerusalem, make NATO pay their fair share, and so much else – only to do NOTHING (or worse)….” Trump tweeted.
In a following tweet, he concluded: “I am doing exactly what I pledged to do, and what I was elected to do by the citizens of our great Country. Just as I promised, I am fighting for YOU!”
….I am doing exactly what I pledged to do, and what I was elected to do by the citizens of our great Country. Just as I promised, I am fighting for YOU!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019
Trump only mentioned the promises he has made progress on. Here are some of the major issues he ran on, and how far he got with them.
In his presidential announcement speech in June 2015, Trump stated: “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”
Trump has since claimed he did not mean Mexico was “going to write out a check” to construct it the wall. In early 2017, then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said his country would not pay for the wall.
Now halfway through Trump’s term, he is demanding $5.7 billion in funding to build the barrier. Democrats have refused to fund Trump’s wall, instead offering a fraction of that amount for border security. The stalemate has led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history—and no wall yet.
Trump criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and said that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) “is going to be worse, so we will stop it.” In addition, he promised to confront China about the trade deficit.
The president kept his pledge on TPP, withdrawing the U.S. within a few days of him entering office. Last November, he negotiated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace NAFTA and got the countries to sign it. It still needs to be approved by Congress.
But Trump’s trade promise on China has yet to materialize. The discussions turned into a trade war with both countries imposing tariffs on each other’s goods. The warring paused temporarily in December when the countries agreed to a truce of 90 days.
Saving the coal industry
Trump on the campaign trail promised to bring back coal jobs. “We’re going to put our miners back to work,” Trump said at a rally in Phoenix, and that he would do so by rolling back Obama-era climate regulations.
Despite two years of the Trump administration trying to reinvigorate the coal industry, coal consumption was projected to decline by close to 4 percent in 2018, dropping to the lowest level since 1979, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced late last year. By the end of 2018, demand for coal staggered 44 percent below the peak of consumption in 2007.
Trump vowed to repeal Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, which was designed to extend healthcare to all Americans who were not insured.
The GOP tax plan passed in December 2017 eliminated the individual mandate penalty for people who did not have health insurance in 2019. Republicans have also shortened the enrollment period and cut out some subsidies, but a full repeal has not happened.
A federal judge in Texas last December ruled that repealing the individual mandate part was an “essential” portion of the law and meant Obamacare as a whole was unconstitutional, but the law remains intact as an appeal goes before the Supreme Court.
Trump promised huge tax cuts for working class Americans as well as a lower corporate tax rate.
The GOP tax plan passed in December 2017, marking a promise kept by Trump. However, the corporate tax was reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent instead of his promised 15 percent. The tax plan is largely viewed as containing mostbenefits for rich Americans.
Despite Trump failing to keep some of promises halfway through his tenure, the Trump campaign on its website claims that Trump has “promises kept” in the areas of the economy and jobs, immigration, foreign policy, national security and defense, regulations, land and agriculture, law and justice, energy and environment, government accountability, health care, infrastructure and technology, social programs, education and with respect to veterans.