Significant Accomplishments That Trump Made throughout His Term

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"president trump" (public domain) by Carmen Rodriguez

Throughout his term, President Trump maintained a steady approval rating. Although to many he has been the most controversial and divisive President in US’ modern history, he has repeatedly shown accomplishments. And despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, his overall approval rating has barely changed, thanks to his loyal supporters. 

Here are Trump’s most significant accomplishments throughout his term serving as the President of the United States. We will also look at the overall impact that it made on the public and to the world. 

Reshaping the federal judiciary

The most lasting impact that Trump did on the country is the reshaping of the federal judiciary. 

Since he served as the President, he has installed three Supreme Court justices and 220 judges to the federal bench, all for lifetime appointments. Trump has also appointed 53 judges on the 13 US circuit courts. And by December 2019, Trump appointees made up approximately 25% of all US circuit court judges. To put this into perfective, former President Obama only appointed 55 circuit judges during his two terms tenure in the White House.

The last appointment he made was last October 26, barely a week before Election Day, when he appointed Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court justice.

Even though Trump was not reelected for the next term, his presidency will remain to have an influence on the court of the US due to the sheer number of conservative federal judges that he had installed.

Courts have the final say in US politics, setting precedents that can shape the country in the coming years.

Space Force

Trump established the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces, the Space Force. This was made in effect when he signed the $738 billion defense spending bill. 

“President Trump Departs Texas” (public domain) by The White House

The Space Force is the most recent and the first service since the US Air Force was created in 1947.

The new branch is tasked to protect the US military assets in space. Todd Harrison, the director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), stated, “It [Space Force] will create a centralized, unified chain of command that is responsible for space, because ultimately when responsibility is fragmented, no one’s responsible.”

Gen. John Raymond, whom Trump tapped to lead the Space Force, also stated that they are elevating space commensurate with its importance to our national security and our allies and partners’ security.

Tax reforms

President Trump’s signature legislative achievement is his Republican tax bill, which he signed three years into his presidency. This tax bill made sweeping changes in the tax code. 

The following are some of the effects of the changes in the tax code:

  • The law created the most significant tax overhaul to the country’s tax code in the past three decades. Trump pitched it as the “rocket fuel” to the American economy.
  • Companies can immediately deduct the cost of business investments from their taxes in the year that it was incurred instead of spreading it over multiple years. 
  • It permanently decreased the corporate tax rate from the previous 35% to 21% while at the same time providing temporary benefits for individuals and their families. 
  • Supporters of the tax cuts contended that this would boost the economy as businesses will be more enticed to invest in their operations, resulting in improved productivity and higher wages. 

First Step Act

In December 2018, President signed into law the First Step Act. This law was marked as a legislative victory for advocates seeking to change the criminal justice system. 

“President Donald J. Trump Announces the “First Step Act” (public domain) by The White House

Groups and activists praised the bill as a significant step forward to end mass incarceration. It offers modest changes to the federal prison system. 

The key aspects of the legislation are as follows:

  • The bill is marked as a legislative win in decades as it addresses mass incarceration at the federal level.
  • The bill improves federal sentencing laws, including reducing mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies and developing early release programs. 
  • It also made the 2010 federal sentencing law apply retroactively, reducing the sentencing disparity between powder cocaine offenses and crack. 
  • The bill also endeavored to lower recidivism by offering more rehabilitation and job training opportunities. It also includes provisions that are intended to treat prisoners more humanely, including banning the shackling of pregnant inmates, stopping the use of solitary confinement for most juvenile offenders, and mandating that prisoners should be placed in facilities that are within 500 miles from their families.