“President Trump’s legacy relies on being a builder, a creator, and a leader; not a destroyer…”
President Trump’s best legislative and executive branch policy guide is to look to his past to guide his future legacy. His successful past as creator and builder: creating the Trump brand, creating Trump Tower and other Trump properties, and creating “The Apprentice” TV series where he discovered and built emerging business talent.
President Trump’s recent defeat in the House of Representatives on the creation of a new Republican healthcare system designed to overturn Obamacare is a piece of good news for President Trump’s legacy. Trump’s actions now should diverge away from destroying any of the policy and legislative actions of the Obama administration (primarily Obamacare) and look to how he can create and build value in the United States through actions from the federal government.
On the immediate legislative side, corporate tax reform and infrastructure are two areas where he possesses strong bi-partisan consensus and could easily get legislation passed. In addition, he can create another immediate legacy win with a 50% reduction in federal taxes by allowing US corporations to return their overseas profits to the United States. Furthermore, he could reduce the corporate tax rate to “re-shoring” overseas profits if firms dedicate these funds to Research & Development (R&D), job creation, or additional capital projects in the United States. Job creation, infrastructure building, tax reform, and re-shoring overseas profits to the US are all major legacy actions that he could take.
Trump also needs to turn away from his immigration restriction policies, and promote the immigration of those that possess talent in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Medicine, Computer Science, Teaching, and other emerging industries to guide talent into the United States that will lead to more, not less, economic growth. He should also encourage the world to send their students to US colleges and universities to help other nations continue to see the United States as the world’s powerhouse of freedom, education, and economic development.
In the National Defense arena, Trump has thus far installed Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly. His next actions need to involve taking their recommendations to rapidly fill out their National Security appointees and then let them fulfill their duties. Trust me, senior Marine and Army officers are not going to need to be told to hunt down and defeat our nation’s enemies. Additionally, building out mid-tier capital projects, from ships to armored vehicles, on a common platform across all services will be a legacy in both national security and financial common sense.
When it comes to foreign affairs, $1 spent on foreign aid projects is worth about $50 spent on national security. Yes, it is completely counterintuitive to think that teaching the world how to farm, build, read, engineer, and manufacture makes cities like Des Moines safer, but it does. When it comes to foreign aid, smaller projects that seek to teach, create small businesses, and educate are the projects that win. Be very, very cautious of large scale foreign aid projects (case in point, all the US dollars for the Iraqi electrical grid and the Afghanistan ring road).
Finally, the United States can claim ownership over helping Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan succeed because Presidents before dedicated the United States to victory there. Victory in those countries does not have the face of a 20-year-old Marine but a 20-year-old Afghan that can defend his country and a new business operated by a 20-year-old woman in Kirkuk.
When it comes to social media, President Trump leads other former Presidents in any measure. Social media must be a creator of President Trump’s legacy and not a distraction. In every tweet, Trump must use words such as build, defend, create, design, fund, educate, solve, span, resolve, and lead. These are the tweets that will build your legacy.
The failure to repeal Obamacare is a lesson on what Trump’s focus needs to be. President Trump needs to get out of Washington, but not to Mir-a-Lago or New York. He needs to spend time with the people of Los Angeles, CA; Laramie, WY; Lawrence, KS or Littleton, CO. This is where America resides and where Trump will have his best experiences learning how to use and build his legacy for America. President Trump’s legacy relies on being a builder, a creator, and a leader; not a destroyer.
Chad Storlie is an OpsLens Contributor and retired Lieutenant Colonel with 20-plus years of Active and Reserve service in infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. He served in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and throughout the United States. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab. Chad is author of two books: “Combat Leader to Corporate Leader” and “Battlefield to Business Success.” Both books teach how to translate and apply military skills to business. He has been published in The Harvard Business Review blog, Business Week Online, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and over 40 other publications. He has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University. Follow Chad @Combattocorp.