Things Equal Out

Monday 27th March

We are fond of predicting disaster; none more so then your author.  But often the things we are most concerned about turn out to be not quite so bad as we may have imagined.  We were devastated, at least I was, when Donald Trump became President of America.  He had proved himself to be impulsive and aggressive; he speaks without thinking, he tweets his own impressions, he doesn’t appear to consult.  And here he was, the most powerful man in the World, and his finger hovering just above the nuclear button….oh, my God, what could possibly go wrong – or more likely, what could possibly go right.

And the Donald certainly hit the ground running, signing executive orders as if paper were about to run out.  But, as Obama found out before him, the powers of the President are indeed limited.  Obama had almost always a Republican House and Senate, both of whom opposed almost everything he tried to do.  But he did succeed, or partially so with his Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare.  Actually that in itself is a bit of a joke; health is almost completely un-affordable in America.  Part of Obama’s solution, watered down by both houses so that it could at least start to rectify the problem of Private Health, was that premiums have risen for almost everyone.  Insurance companies were forced to insure poorer people at more reasonable rates and so increased the cost for others.

Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, and then when focus groups were alarmed, he said he would replace Obamacare with a cheaper and better system.  However it seems he had no plans and no idea of what this new system would look like.  And neither did the Republican Party, at least there were too many competing ideas.  The Tea-Party ultra conservatives wanted to make things even harder for poorer people and the more centrist members were pulling in the opposite direction, and realized that most of their voters actually quite liked Obamacare.  And Donald’s impatience and lack of consultation meant that despite trying to force through his changes there was no consensus in his own party for change and Obamacare survived.   The ultimate deal maker couldn’t even cut a deal with his own party….hahaha

We tend to forget that the President’s power is balanced by both houses and also by the judiciary, which has successfully stopped his travel bans.  In fact in the U.K. the Prime Minister actually has far more power as he or she is also the leader of the largest party which usually has a majority.  In a funny way in America things have a habit of equaling out.