TPA Grades President Trump on his State of the Union Address

Ross Marchand

February 5, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Grace Morgan
February 5, 2019

. – Tonight, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to President Trump’s second State of the Union address, grading the executive on a number of key issues discussed.  TPA President David Williams noted that, “it was unfortunate that President Trump failed to mention the $1 trillion deficit or the $22 trillion debt, or possible ways to cut spending.”

TPA assigned the following grades:

A – Tax and Regulatory Reform: President Trump noted continued economic growth under his watch, correctly citing tax and regulatory reform as driving wage growth and record-low unemployment. TPA strongly supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which led to thousands of businesses announcing pay raises, higher bonuses, and more investment within the United States, and lowered prices for consumers. TPA has also supported the administration’s efforts to  encourage domestic energy production that has made the US a net exporter of oil and natural gas. Deregulation and market reform have made energy more affordable for consumers without taxpayer subsidies.

B – Infrastructure Plan: President Trump heralded infrastructure as one policy area where Republicans and Democrats can put aside their differences and work together. TPA welcomes many of the administration’s already-proposed reforms, such as streamlining the permitting process, which can increase key investments without taking more money from taxpayers. But the President has also stated his willingness to spend more money on projects, potentially putting taxpayers on the line for billion-dollar boondoggles and more bridges to nowhere through a “Transformative Projects Fund” slated for wasteful projects such as unnecessary and costly new rail lines.  TPA will also keep an eye on infrastructure money for broadband. The 2009 stimulus package spent billions of dollars on wasteful and unnecessary broadband projects, That must not be repeated.

D – Tariffs/Trade Policy: President Trump updated Congress on “progress” from the trade war, arguing that the painful battle of tariffs between the US, China, and European Union will result in a better deal for American workers and consumers.  Trump’s reciprocal trade agreement means an “eye for eye” approach that would escalate the trade war. Americans are seeing increased prices on goods across the board and will see tariffs on Chinese goods raised from 10 to 25 percent at the end of March if the two sides can’t reach an agreement. On a more encouraging note, the President urged Congress to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which largely maintains the free trade zone established by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

F – Drug Pricing Regulation: President Trump spoke on the issue of high drug prices, and touted the administration’s proposed “price index” rule, which would institute price controls, as a needed step to bring prices down. But these draconian price caps would only succeed in stifling innovation and creating delays lasting years before critical drugs reach patients who need them. These proposals would prove costly to the American people, increasing suffering and detracting from real healthcare reform.