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Experts Grade Trump’s First Year in Office

L to R: John Ravitz, BCW Executive Vice President and COO, Keynote Speaker Daniel Lippman, co-author of Politico’s Playbook, and Marsha Gordon, BCW President and CEO.

From his battles with the media to his stand-off with foreign leaders, experts discussed President Trump’s first year in office and the lasting impact it is likely to have on both the political and world landscape.

“Year One of Trump,” held by the Business Council of Westchester on Wednesday as part of its Political Leadership Series, brought together experts to review Trump’s impact on our nation. The conference was held at the Reckson Center in White Plains.

The Media

Lane Filler of New York Newsday Editorial Board said that Trump’s penchant for untruths, his disrespect for the “Fake News” media and his use of Twitter have changed the political landscape. Calling himself a lifelong Conservative, Filler said that although many in the media have Liberal leanings, most are dedicated to storytelling no matter where the conclusion leads. He said Trump’s unpredictable actions have made it difficult for the media to gauge how to cover the new President. “We say “One Year of Trump,” but it’s really been about 2½ years,’’ said Filler. “Ever since he came down that escalator at Trump Tower, things have never been the same.”

Foreign Affairs

Thomas M. McDonnell, Professor of Law, Pace University School of Law said a review of President Trump’s budget proposal is a clear blueprint for his priorities, with large cuts to the Environmental Protections Agency, State Department, World Bank and International Money Fund and spending increases in Defense, Homeland Security and Veteran’s Affairs.

McDonnell said that a Pew Poll of foreign leaders released last spring showed that Trump was the least respected world leader among his peers with only a 22 percent approval rating, far below Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

He said Trump’s “roughness and lawlessness” has resulted in a “Wild West” approach to foreign affairs. He pointed to the clearing out of highly experienced diplomats at the State Department and his growing reliance on generals for direction. “His reliance on generals has not been since at this level since Eisenhower’s days,” said McDonnel.

Tax Reform and the Economy

Glenn Newman, Shareholder, Greenburg Traurig, said while GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Tax Reform bill being considered in Congress is still in flux, there were clear winners and losers. He said the Senate and House versions of the bill differed, but that under either version states like New York and industries like real estate would suffer. The loss of deductions for state and local taxes and mortgage interest on homes valued over $500,000 in the House bill and $1 million in the Senate bill would hurt the Northeast. And the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate would leave 13 million people uninsured.

And while tax breaks for corporations would be permanent, those for the middle class like the Child Tax Credit would sunset in 2026.

Watch The Westchester Business Journal coverage of the event

See photos of the event

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