When President Trump took the oath of office, the Globe assembled this dashboard, a mix of measures designed to track his real-world impact. A year later, it shows that America has been changed, though not always in the way Trump promised.
Tax cuts are the clearest example of a pledge fulfilled. As of Jan. 1, the corporate tax rate was slashed from 35 to 21 percent, and the top rate for individuals reduced more modestly, from 39.6 to 37 percent.
Elsewhere, though, Trump’s agenda seems to be moving backward. The yawning trade deficit was a favorite hobgoblin of candidate Trump, yet it has actually increased by more than 10 percent during his first year in office. The budget deficit, too, has continued to expand despite a 2016 pledge to eliminate the entire federal debt in 8 years.
Or consider Trump’s promise to crack down on illegal immigration — a defining plank of his platform. Thus far, it hasn’t resulted in more deportation. Removals by Immigration and Customs Enforcement fell substantially during the early months of the Trump administration. ICE argues that removals are down because fewer people are attempting to cross the border, which could be a testament to the power of Trump’s rhetoric.
Perhaps hardest to read is Trump’s impact on the economy. The labor market continues to improve, creating ever-more jobs and making room for disaffected workers who previously had given up hope. Still, to some degree this represents a continuation of the economy Trump inherited, rather than the onset of a new era.
What does this all add up to? A year with one major accomplishment (the tax bill) and one big question: those unfulfilled promises, have they been broken or merely deferred?