Voters Pick Trump, Republican Congress

Published November 18, 2016

In a turn of events that surprised most pollsters and political analysts, voters in 29 states voted for Republican Party presidential candidate and New York City businessman Donald Trump, defeating Democratic Party candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in November.

The Republican Party also retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, giving the GOP the most control its had since 1928.

Expect ‘Bold Reforms’

Genevieve Wood, a senior fellow in communications at The Heritage Foundation, says she expects the Republicans to push for big reforms to the federal government.

“I think you can expect to see bold reforms, and by that, I mean a real shrinking back and pulling back of the federal government’s power when it comes to taxes, regulations, telling people how to live their everyday lives,” Wood said. “You’re also going to see deregulation, going in and taking out regulations that have harmed individuals and businesses.”

Responsibility to Voters

Wood says voters expect lawmakers, including Trump, to keep their promises.

“For Republicans, both in Congress and the new president, there really is no excuse any more for not fulfilling promises,” Wood said. “We’ve had a House controlled by Republicans for some time and a Senate controlled by Republicans for some time, who made a lot of promises and come back and say, ‘Well, we can’t get it done because we have a president who won’t sign it.’ Well, now they don’t have that excuse anymore. There’s no reason they can’t deliver on many of the things that they talked about.”

Rolling Back Big Government

Yaron Brook, president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, says the new government has an opportunity to move the country back toward freedom.

“If they repealed Obamacare and replaced it with something based on free markets, actually put together a tax reform plan that significantly lowered and simplified taxes, especially at the corporate level, and if they found ways to roll back regulations—whether it’s Dodd-Frank, whether it’s all the EPA global warming, climate change type of stuff—that would be a huge step forward. Rolling back regulations would be a huge achievement,” Brook said.

Power and Responsibility

Brook says Republicans’ newfound power comes with a responsibility to use it wisely.

“I think the worst thing that he and Republicans could do—and they’ve done this in the past—is do things that are done supposedly in the name of capitalism, freedom, and markets but are so half-baked and so counterproductive that they end up leading to worse crises,” Brook said. “I think engaging or beginning to engage in a trade war, any kind of trade war … raising tariffs, threatening to raise tariffs … would be a disastrous policy for freedom and for the economy.”

Brook says Republicans compromising their principles in order to please supporters of the defeated Democrats would be courting disaster.

“Will they go all-out for a true free-market solution for health care?” Brook said. “It’s hard to do more harm than Obamacare, but if they set it up so the left can say, ‘We tried your way, and it failed, now we really need single-payer,’ that would be a true tragedy.”