The Trump Forecast: Can America Expect “Terrific”?

America is on edge about the perceived unpredictability of the new Trump administration, but there are already clear signs of what may happen not only in the first 100 days of the presidency, but on Day 1. Trump spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters to expect activity on inauguration Friday, during the weekend and early next week.

The scope of what’s about to happen is vast, but here’s a brief rundown of what to expect and it may be terrific or not so terrific depending on your circumstances:

Immigration & Deportations: Trump is expected to sign an executive order in his first few days to direct the building of a wall on the southern border with Mexico, and actions to limit the entry of asylum seekers from Latin America, among several immigration-related steps his advisers have recommended.
That includes rescinding Obama’s order that allowed more than 728,000 people brought into the United States illegally as children to stay in the country on a two-year authorization to work and attend college. An immediate  round up of these immigrants is not likely,  Rather, Trump is expected to let the authorizations just expire.

Muslim Ban: Trump is also expected to put restrictions on people entering the United States from certain countries until a system for “extreme vetting” for Islamic extremists can be set up. During his presidential campaign, Trump proposed banning non-American Muslims from entering the United States, but his executive order regarding immigration is expected to now be based on nationality rather than religion.

Healthcare: A Better Way?: Obamacare is on the chopping block and it will eventually happen because Democrats are virtually powerless to counteract any repeal. But, the Republican chorus to repeal and replace Obamacare will most likely morph into repeal and delay because Republicans are aware of the seriously destabilizing effect such a repeal would have on consumers and the marketplace.

As a result, Republicans say they want consumers to keep their health coverage, and continue receiving any subsidies, until Congress can pass a replacement that may not kick in until 2019. Fear not. There should be a gradual phase out with a transitional bridge. And, proposals introduced by Republican members of the House and Senate, including House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” plan, include tax credits to provide financial assistance to consumers who purchase coverage in the individual market.

Environment: In a 2012, speech, Donald Trump once declared climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, but he now says that was just a joke. He also told the New York Times that he would keep an open mind to the 2015 Paris climate deal, and that climate change might be influenced by human activity.

Trump then made a key pledge during his campaign to “cancel” the 2015 Paris accord, but during confirmation hearings this month, his nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said he felt it was important for the United States to stay at the table. If Trump does decide to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which saw more than 190 world leaders agree to lower emissions that lead to global warming,  he would go it alone and the process would still take several years.

So, it’s difficult to discern his current mindset, but Donald Trump could enact sweeping changes to environmental policy in the early days of his administration.

This much is known: Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would require all cabinet departments to disclose and halt current work being done in connection with Obama’s initiatives to curb carbon emissions to combat climate change.

Trump has also vowed to undo “needless and job-killing regulations, ”actually pledging to remove two existing regulations for every new rule put in place. Environmentalists should take heart, because such regulations are difficult to undo, as they take years of work and public comment to become law.
Trump’s Tax Plan: One major financial change to expect comes in his tax plan. He plans to reduce the income tax brackets from seven to three, while increasing the standard deduction. The proposed tax brackets would be as follows:

  • 12% for single filers making up to $37,500 and married-joint filers making up to $75,000
  • 25% for single filers making up to $112,500 and married-joint filers making up to $250,000
  • 33% for single filers making more than $112,500 and married-joint filers making more than $250,000

Under the current tax law, the income tax brackets range from 10% to 39.6%. Since Trump’s proposal caps the income tax rate at 33%, those with the highest incomes will experience a reduction in income tax. Low-income earners will experience different results depending on their level of income. For example, those making less than $9,275 will be subject to a higher income tax rate – 12% instead of 10%. Conversely, the income tax rate will decrease for those making more than $9,275 but less than $37,650 – from 15% to 12%.

Corporate Tax Reform: During his campaign, Trump proposed reducing  the corporate tax rate to 15%, which looks highly unlikely, but some reduction from today’s top marginal rate of 39.1% could  happen. The real action would be on the changes intended to broaden the tax base by eliminating sundry deductions, credits, and other deals.

Infrastructure: Trump proposed a trillion-dollar program funded partially by private investment. The important questions are how drastically that number will be reduced because he will never be able to secure that amount of funding, and, as always in infrastructure programs, how much pork must be dispensed to secure passage of actually useful projects.


(Tracey M. Martin is a Detroit-based attorney and American political journalist. Contact her at (313) 713-3062 or

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