Well, here we are, at year’s end. Our first year of the Donald J. Trump Presidency, and surprisingly, things are really looking up.

We got a tax cut, and you know it’s good by the volume of the liberal cries of righteous indignation. “13 million freeloaders are going to lose their health insurance!” Well, you know what? I seriously doubt that. The United States of America has shown time and agin throughout history, that no handout is ever rescinded. What IS going to happen, is that people who don’t choose to buy a product, (insurance) are no longer going to have to pay a criminal penalty, a “fine” as it were. History will judge that aspect of the Obamacare fiasco the most harshly, I opine. “Remember when the Democrats wanted everybody to buy commercial health insurance, so they simply made it illegal not to have it, and actually made you pay a fine if you didn’t buy it?” As far as a loss of revenue from the tax cuts, if more businesses are more productive and prosperous, there will be less need for handouts, as more people are employed and participating in our economy. 

The United States has finally made the first movements toward full, unabashed recognition of the State of Israel, by starting the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem, a move that all recent Presidential contenders promised to do on the campaign trail, (including one Barack Hussein Obama), and has firmly placed us in the corner of our most valuable ally, Israel. Some critics of this move chastised President Trump for not exacting some sort of concessions, or toll from the Israeli leadership, before making this move. Since when do we have to be bribed to do the right thing? Israel has been our staunchest ally in the Middle East for nearly 70 years, since it’s inception, why should we play games with them in exchange for our loyal support? Another great side benefit of this action was the vote in the UN to condemn the United States. That gets the sleeping giant of the American public to ask, “Why do we fund this kangaroo court again?” The UN probably seemed like a great idea back in the days of President Truman and President Eisenhower, but lately it has really only been useful as a means to propel the United States into wasteful wars that never seem to end. Hopefully, we will see the UN becoming less and less funded by the American taxpayer, and less and less recognized as anything relevant.

Speaking of wars, remember ISIS? The terrorist/military force that once held a pretty substantial swath of turf in Iraq and Syria, roughly the size of the state of Ohio? Well now they are down to a few tiny enclaves along the border of Syria and Iraq. The latest American intelligence assessment says fewer than 1,000 ISIS fighters remain in Iraq and Syria, down from a peak of up to 45,000 just two years ago. U.S. officials credit nearly 30,000 U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and regional partners on the ground for killing more than 70,000 jihadists, but only a few thousand have returned home. Military experts credit the new rules of engagement in place under the Trump administration for this victory. Trump lets the military do their job, just as he said he would. “The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean, what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks?” asked retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence. “The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian casualties.”

Deptula thinks the ISIS fight would have ended much sooner if then-President Obama had given his military commander in the field more authority. He compared President Obama’s actions to President Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War. “Obama micromanaged the war,” Deptula said. “We could have accomplished our objectives through the use of overwhelming air power in three months not in three years.” Deptula said ISIS-controlled oil supplies weren’t targeted for 15 months beginning in 2014, giving the terror group $15 million in much needed revenue to plot attacks and enslave millions of innocents.

One more development we can be thankful for, is the quiet deregulation of many aspects of business and industry which has been happening under this administration. Oh sure, you hear the media hype about the so called, “gutting” of federal agencies, the EPA, the Department of Education, etc., but in reality, much of this regulation that has burdened businesses for the past three decades has been government make-work overkill. It does nothing but drive up the cost of doing business, swell the ranks of government employee rolls, and generally criminalize innovation. When you are dealing with government oversight, less is more. President Trump has eliminated at least 1000 rules and regulations this year, which may seem like a lot, but remember that in the last 2 years of his presidency, Barack Obama put over 7000 new rules and regulations in place. Trump has his work cut out for him, streamlining this colossus of an organization.

All in all, I think we can reflect on the year just passed, and see that the sky didn’t fall, we are safer, more prosperous, better employed, less regulated than we have been in a long time.

Immigration reform is next, and I think that there will be a compromise on the issue of the DACA “dreamers”, despite all of the posturing that has taken place thus far. Any compromise will have to include the end of “sanctuary cities” and maybe even the mighty wall we heard so much about during the campaign. Trump and the Republicans have the upper hand, because the DACA “edict” is going to expire in March unless it is renewed by Congress, and the Democrats don’t have the votes.

I look forward to the year ahead with hope, and I wish only the best for this wonderful nation, and for all who are reading this. Happy New Year!