By John Ruberry

Now that we have entered the first full day of President Donald Trump’s second year in office it’s a good time to ask this question.

Is Trump a conservative?

“Yes,” is my firm answer.

Fascinatingly, Trump doesn’t talk about conservatism much, nor did he as a candidate. Contrast the president with the dozens of Republicans elected to Congress since the Tea Party wave of 2010 who talked a tough game on issues such as ObamaCare, illegal immigration, and shrinking the government. But once in power, many of these GOPers backed away from strong conservative stances on those issues.

But here we have a president in Trump who didn’t campaign as a conservative but who is governing as one.

Trump’s first major move in office was to nominate Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. So far Gorsuch has been a solid conservative voice on the nation’s highest court. While there have been some qualification issues on a few district court nominees, the president has nominated a solid group of conservative jurists on the district and appellate levels. As for the latter, Trump set a record for the most appellate nominees confirmed in a first year of office.

Our military, with the aid of allies, has had great success against the Islamic State, to the point where we can say that it’s likely that ISIS has been defeated. A strong national defense is the backbone of any conservative playbook.

After six months in office Barack Obama added 60,000 employees to the federal payroll. Under Trump the size of the federal workforce is shrinking.

Amazingly, Trump is exceeding even Ronald Reagan’s pace in slashing regulations.

And last month the Republican tax cut bill was signed into law–which has already fattened the wallets of Americans. Included in that bill was the elimination of the unpopular ObamaCare individual mandate, which may lead to the unraveling of the signature law of Trump’s predecessor.

The cut in regulations and taxes have spurred an unprecedented rally in the stock market since Trump’s election.

Yesterday, although by video hook-up, Trump became the first president to address the annual March for Life rally.

On his radio show last year Mark Levin called Trump “the most conservative president since Reagan.”

As he is on so many things, Levin is correct.

America has a conservative president again—one who didn’t campaign as one.

It’s an inconsistency I can live with happily.

Today there is a government shutdown–why? Because Trump is standing up for conservative policies.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Update: Instalance, welcome all, take a peek round find out why Trump & the GOP will do fine in november as evidenced by a single chart here


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Federal regulations place an enormous burden on our economy.  They are strangling every individual and business with red tape.  Earlier this year the Competitive Enterprise Institute released this report detailing the exact size of this regulatory nightmare.  Here are some highlights from that report.

  • The total cost of regulatory compliance for 2015 alone was $1.885 trillion
  • The cost per household that year was $15000
  • 80000 pages of federal rules and regulations were added to the federal register that year
  • There are about 60 different federal agencies writing regulations

The vast majority of these regulations violate several fundamental clauses of the United States Constitution.

All of these regulations are written by departments of the Executive Branch or by independent agencies.  This violates Article I Section 1 which states:

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

The legislative branch has been derelict in its constitutional obligations.  For the past several decades both houses of congress have written laws which have delegated legislative power to these regulatory agencies.  Congress does not have the authority to delegate legislative authority to anyone.  They are not granted that power.  John Locke, one of the primary influences of the framers of the Constitution, was quite clear on this when he wrote his Second Treatise on Government:

The Legislative cannot transfer the Power of Making Laws to any other hands. For it being but a delegated Power from the People, they, who have it, cannot pass it over to others. The People alone can appoint the Form of the Commonwealth, which is by Constituting the Legislative, and appointing in whose hands that shall be. And when the People have said, We will submit to rules, and be govern’d by Laws made by such Men, and in such Forms, no Body else can say other Men shall make Laws for them; nor can the people be bound by any Laws but such as are Enacted by those, whom they have Chosen, and Authorised to make Laws for them. The power of the Legislative being derived from the People by a positive voluntary Grant and Institution, can be no other, than what that positive Grant conveyed, which being only to make Laws, and not to make Legislators, the Legislative can have no power to transfer their Authority of making Laws, and place it in other hands.

Regulations written by these regulatory agencies are treated as the law of the land even though they are never passed by both houses and signed by the president.  This is in violation of Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution, which defines the formal legislative process.

The US Constitution created a limited federal government with only clearly defined powers, which are spelled out in Article 1 Section 8.  All other powers are left to the individual States.  This is declared in the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

These regulations violate the Tenth Amendment because they grant the federal government the authority to regulate in areas not contained in the powers enumerated in Article 1 Section 8.

The federal government treats these regulations as if they are the law of the land, in violation of the Supremacy Clause, which is Article 6 Section 2:

This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Because these regulations violate several provisions of the Constitution, they are not in pursuance of the Constitution; therefore they are not the law of the land.

Since all of these regulations already violate several articles of the Constitution, a constitutional amendment preventing the federal government from implementing this regulatory nightmare is not the solution to this constitutional crisis.  Thomas Jefferson proposed the solution to this crisis when he wrote the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.  The States must refuse to implement these unconstitutional regulations and the States must refuse to help the federal government implement them.

Olimometer 2.52

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