He may have surprised many, but he was too short on specifics, promising to increase spending and cut taxes without actually explaining how
In his first visit to Congress, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech that was widely praised. Yet, the fact that Trump pleasantly surprised many observers by being more presidential than he has so far been does not mean that the head of state met the expectations of what a president should do when outlining his roadmap for his administration. Trump was too short on specifics, promised to increase spending and cut taxes without addressing how to tackle the deficit and committed to making the US a world leader while at the same time announcing that the US would retreat from its role as the leader of the world. It is true that, given that the very low expectations, Trump’s February 28 speech was a pleasant surprise. But, so far, the president continues to make grandiose announcements of tax cuts and spending increases that cannot be simultaneously funded, given the growing fiscal deficit.
Since winning the election in November, Trump has worked hard to surprise the establishment and the US public. As if his objective were keeping high approval ratings, Trump has notoriously abandoned some of his most controversial promises while pressing on with other equal divisive campaign commitments. Amid criticism that his administration is in disarray — given internal conflicts and the slow process of filling key government positions — Trump has responded by making provocative statements about other issues to divert attention away. As if he were still the host of The Apprentice, the popular television show he hosted from 2004 onwards, Trump seems to be governing for the ratings. Having generated interest on what kind of personality he would display in his speech to Congress — the combative Trump that tweets at odd hours or the presidential Trump that graciously accepted victory on the night of the election — Trump succeeded in creating suspense.
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