Much like Mark Twain once reputedly remarked about the weather, "everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it," so it is with Congress and President Trump. Republicans and Democrats alike are complaining about the lack of positive action on myriad items on their agendas and about the disconnect between Congress and the White House.
The most visible item is the health care problem. All during the campaign and continuing during his nearly eight months in office the president has declared his desire to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, but to this point he has not delineated a plan on how to do either and he has made no proposals for what the replacement would look like. It seems that instead of going on the offensive to do what's best for the country, especially the poor and diminishing middle class, he has, as was put in football terms by analyst Lisa Mascaro, punted to Congress. This in and of itself wouldn't be such a bad thing if he would be consistent in his views on what members of Congress propose. However, in recent days he has gone from supporting the ideas put forth by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) concerning the aid for paying the premiums for those with limited incomes. Early last week he called the compromise proposal a stopgap but a good solution. On Wednesday, he turned 180 degrees and called the measure a bailout for the large insurance companies. Which is it?
It's the same for immigration, except for his three attempts via executive order, which have brought suits declaring them to be unconstitutional on various grounds. The president declared earlier that he wanted to help the DACA participants. Then he changes his mind and wants to make those same people subject to deportation.
The other big campaign promise was tax reform. On this he actually did make a proposal. Unfortunately for the working classes, it would do the direct opposite of what he promised. That proposal was simply a modification of the "trickle down economics" of the Reagan administration which was an abject failure and required tax increases to rectify. As proposed, most of the tax advantages, as determined by independent sources, will go to the top 1 percent of wage earners. To be fair, a small portion of the lowest on the wage scale would benefit but the vast majority would be financially hurt by such legislation.
There are other issues that he cannot seem to grasp fully. They include the Iran nuclear deal, which keeps that country from becoming a rogue bomb producer. Also is the idea of using calm diplomacy with North Korea that might just lower the level of tension in Southeast Asia. And still out there is the concept of global warming/climate change and its effects on severe weather events around the globe.
There is one more issue that absolutely needs to be addressed and it's connected with all of the other things: the national budget. It's been well over a decade since there was a balanced budget. I can't remember when a formal budget of any kind was passed. The country has been run for far too long on a series of continuing resolutions.
If the president wants Congress to work, he should pick a position, no matter the issue, and stick with it. His almost hourly changes of direction, via the Twitter universe, only cause confusion. He has to, as is often said, "Lead, follow or get out of the way." Trump, so far, has failed at all three.