It is no secret that President Donald Trump has failed to deliver many changes in policy that he promised prior to his election. The following is a list of his broken promises, ranked from number twenty to number one.
Broken Promise 20: Make no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
Unveiled in March, the Trump administration’s budget for 2020 projects Medicare spending that is $846 billion less than what the government would have spent if everything stayed on the same path it's on today. However, most of the proposed changes target payments to hospitals and other providers, which might not affect Medicare patients. This budget largely resembles past efforts to control the growth of Medicare spending by targeting provider payments.
Broken Promise 19: Label China as a “currency manipulator.”
Trump has accused China of suppressing the yuan to make its exports more competitive with U.S. goods. But in April 2018, Trump hastily abandoned this campaign claim that China had been manipulating currency, instead saying that the country had actually been trying for some time to prevent the yuan from further weakening.
Broken Promise 18: Approve of waterboarding as a form of torture.
“Torture works,” Trump outrageously claimed prior to his presidency. But his plan to immediately reinstate the method of torture was quashed by Defence Secretary James Mattis and former CIA director Mike Pompeo, who stated that such methods would “absolutely not” go into effect.
Broken Promise 17: Reverse Barack Obama’s Cuba policy of restoring diplomatic ties and loosening travel restrictions.
As of early June 2019, the restrictions concerning American travel to Cuba continue to move forward. Americans will no longer be able to visit the island through “people to people” group travel, and cruise ships will no longer be allowed to stop in Cuba. There are still plenty of ways Americans can travel to Cuba, including family visits, professional research and professional meetings, journalistic activity, and humanitarian projects. What Trump has done thus far is not a total reversal of Obama's policy; rather, it is a compromise.
Broken Promise 16: Cut funding from sanctuary cities to deter illegal immigrant activity.
Trump argues that sanctuary cities attract illegal immigration and crime, and therefore should not receive federal funds. The Justice Department has attempted to cut funds, but Trump's promise has not been fulfilled because courts have found legal shortcomings in his approach.
Broken Promise 15: Limit the number of terms House and Senate members can serve.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives can currently serve unlimited two-year terms, and senators can serve unlimited six-year terms. Trump believes this places their sights primarily on getting re-elected, rather than focusing on congressional issues. He wished to instate a constitutional amendment that would limit terms to six years for House members and 12 years for senators. Strong opposition from Senate leadership is the greatest hurdle in Trump getting what he wants. As of now, it doesn’t appear that his proposed amendment will go through. In November 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, “We have term limits now. They're called elections. And it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”
Broken Promise 14: Eliminate Common Core from our education system.
When it comes down to it, individual states choose whether or not to adopt Common Core standards for their schools. The federal government actually doesn't have control over a state’s decision to adopt or reject the teaching method. Therefore, there's not much Trump can actually do to kill, or even chip away, parts of Common Core.
Broken Promise 13: Raise taxes on the rich.
An important promise during his campaign, but, as president, Trump has proposed tax changes that will simply not benefit the rich. There has been no tax raises for the wealthy under his presidency.
Broken Promise 12: End birthright citizenship.
As of January, there has been a stall in the process to end birthright citizenship for children born in the United States to parents living in the country illegally. All it would take is the signing of an executive order, but if Trump does sign an order to limit or end birthright citizenship for certain individuals, it will likely be challenged in the courts.
Broken Promise 11: Bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan.
This promise has been partially kept. By December 2018, President Trump ordered the withdrawal of all US troops from Syria. Days later, U.S. media reported that he planned to halve U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 14,000 to 7,000. However, a year before that in September 2017, the Trump administration announced the deployment of 3,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to help in the crucial task of fighting the Islamic State along with Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters.
Broken Promise 10: Repeal the “disaster” known as Obamacare.
While the current administration has been unable to pass a repeal or reform bill, they have managed to dismantle parts of the law. Trump has shortened enrolment periods and axed some subsidies. The fine for people who did not purchase health insurance, a central component of Obamacare, has also been eliminated as part of the tax plan.
Broken Promise 9: Pull the U.S. from the NATO alliance.
In the past, Trump has been very vocal about his doubt over NATO’s purpose, going as far as to call the alliance “obsolete.” But Trump now admits that he was wrong about his belief in NATO’s lack of importance, conceding that the threat of terrorism had proved that the alliance is a necessity. In July 2018, Trump reiterated his support at the NATO summit but suggested that the U.S. might still leave if allies do not agree to his budget demands.
Broken Promise 8: Rebuild U.S. infrastructure.
A clip from Trump’s speech following his November election victory catches him claiming that the U.S.’ infrastructure “will become…second to none, and we will put millions of our people back to work as we rebuild it.” These grandiose and exciting words have unfortunately not yet played out. Trump is still waiting on a majority of the $1.5 trillion he has requested to upgrade and rebuild the country's roads, railways, and airports.
Broken Promise 7: Defund Planned Parenthood.
Estimates show that Planned Parenthood receives about 40 percent of its funding from the government, receiving more than $500 million in combined state and federal government funds. Those who support defunding Planned Parenthood cheered in 2017 when Congress effectively overturned an Obama administration rule that had been written to prevent state and local governments from pulling federal funding from Planned Parenthood and other clinics. In August 2018, the Senate voted down a spending bill, 45-48, that would have shut down federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Then in December, the Supreme Court decided not to hear a pair of cases related to state efforts designed to keep groups like Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding. In the absence of a high court ruling, lower court rulings stand, and they mostly side with the rights of individuals to challenge state actions. So, the Supreme Court's non-decision was seen as a victory for Planned Parenthood.
Broken Promise 6: A so-called “Muslim ban.”
The phrase “Muslim ban” morphed into what Trump calls the “extreme vetting” of Muslims entering the U.S. While this is certainly a more politically correct way to term it, the president caused quite a stir at the beginning of his time in office when he announced that he intended to ban immigrants from primarily Muslim countries. The proposed travel bans become ensnared in the courts, but eventually, a ban on six mainly Muslim countries passed into full effect. These six countries include Iran, Somalia, Chad, Libya, Syria, and Yemen.
Broken Promise 5: Correct the trade deficit with China.
The U.S. and China have quickly become entangled in an escalating trade battle in which both sides are imposing hefty tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods. Trump continues to threaten to impose more tariffs if China doesn’t cooperate and has just announced this past week that the U.S. will place tariffs on $300 billion more in Chinese imports. Countless representatives of companies are warning that this will hurt consumers’ pocketbooks and put a damper on business growth.
Broken Promise 4: “Lock up” political rival Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server while positioned as secretary of state.
One of the main rallying points for Donald Trump and his supporters evaporated soon after his win in the 2016 election. He went from directly threatening Clinton with prosecutors and attorneys to saying the country owed the woman a “debt of gratitude.” He later admitted that he “hadn't given [the prosecution] a lot of thought” compared to his other priorities. The promise of Clinton’s pending imprisonment has since been dropped, seemingly completely.
Broken Promise 3: Deport all illegal immigrants.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly told his supporters that every single undocumented immigrant, of which there are estimated to be more than 11.3 million, “have to go.” However, his stance began to soften as polling day approached, and after the election, he scaled back again, calling for the deportation of two to three million people who have criminal records, are gang members or drug dealers. A December 2018 report showed 256,000 deportations that year, not nearly as high as the 2012 peak of 410,000 under the Obama administration. Also, the future of young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” hangs in the balance after Trump cancelled the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows some 700,000 people to remain in the US. The case remains in legal limbo.
Broken Promise 2: The U.S. will build a border wall that Mexico will pay for.
This is arguably the biggest broken promise of this current administration. Asserting that there was a way to get the wall for free was Trump’s way of brushing aside the financial concerns that have made wall-building impossible. This idea was so ridiculous that it’s probably for the best that Trump hasn’t actually tried to do it, and he’s not going to be able to deliver on his promise because the promise was fundamentally dishonest and vastly improbable to begin with.
Broken Promise 1: The biggest broken promise Trump tells us is that he’s kept all or most of the promises he forged on the campaign trail.