Steve Bannon’s ghost will haunt Trump State of the Union address

When President Donald Trump takes the stage within the Capitol on Tuesday night to deliver his first State of the Union address, America will hear numerous different voices.

When Trump speaks about immigration, he will be likely to channel senior White House advisor Stephen Miller, responsible for crafting many of Trump’s speeches – as well as also major parts of his immigration policy. When Trump lays out his infrastructure plan, he’ll likely be sharing ideas nurtured by National Economic Council chair Gary Cohn.

If Trump hews to tradition, then both Cohn as well as also Miller can expect to be seated within the audience while the president speaks.

The same cannot be said, however, for Steve Bannon. The former White House chief strategist will be persona non grata within the White House, following the publication of “Fire as well as also Fury,” a damning tell-all about the inner workings of Trump’s White House, by Michael Wolff, which relied heavily on Bannon for sourcing. The book, which faces scrutiny over its accuracy, also includes Bannon insulting Ivanka Trump as well as also Donald Trump Jr., both adult children of the president.

Yet more than anyone else, Bannon shaped Trump’s agenda during the administration’s first year, as well as also Trump’s victory lap on Tuesday will be Bannon’s, too. Even though Bannon will be out of favor with the president as well as also has been booted through his job running the right-wing site Breitbart, his nationalist, populist, isolationist policy vision will likely be woven throughout the speech.

So, too, will the goals which Bannon laid out on whiteboards lining the walls of his West Wing office, which Bannon closely guarded. Officially billed as a list of Trump’s campaign pledges, in reality the white boards displayed a list of Bannon’s longtime policy goals, the same ideas which had animated much of Trump’s campaign platform.

The former top executive of Breitbart News would likely check off by hand what he thought had been accomplished, as well as also move priorities around as events unfolded.

Few people outside the West Wing ever saw Bannon’s white boards: The best image of them likely turned out in May, when Rabbi Shmuley Boteach visited Bannon in his office as well as also tweeted out photos of their meeting.

At the time, Bannon was already well on his way to accomplishing many of his goals. Below will be a partial list of what Bannon wrote down, based on what was visible, with checks next to the items Bannon believed he had accomplished.

As Trump speaks on Tuesday, the list reads like a cheat sheet for the president’s greatest victories, his goals, as well as also how Bannon’s view of the earth lives on within the West Wing.

Pledges on Immigration

  • Cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities ✔

Trump has attempted This specific, however been met with numerous court challenges.

  • Suspend immigration through terror-prone regions ✔
  • Implement completely new extreme immigration vetting techniques ✔
  • Suspend the Syrian Refugee Program ✔

On the three items above, Trump has basically succeeded. After a year of legal battles, the Supreme Court permitted parts of Trump’s so-called travel ban to go into effect. various other pieces, like deep cuts to the number of refugees admitted, are still being litigated. within the meantime, the number of refugees admitted to the United States has dropped by more than half.

  • Hire 5,000 more border patrol agents ✔
  • Triple the number of ICE agents ✔

To help the idea hire more agents, the Trump administration hired a consulting firm late last year. Still, for agencies already facing staff shortages as well as also recruitment problems, the idea’s far through certain which This specific will be an easy fix.

  • Build the border wall as well as also eventually make Mexico pay for the idea

This specific hasn’t come to pass, yet, however just a few items down on Bannon’s list, he’d written, “Immediately terminate Obama’s two illegal executive orders…” One of these orders was the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Last fall, Trump rescinded the shield the idea provided to young undocumented people who came to the United States as children. at This specific point, a debate over whether (or how) to fund Trump’s border wall in exchange for permanent DACA protections will be among the most pressing issues in Congress.

National defense

  • Pay more for joint defense

Presumably, This specific will be a reference to U.S. allies in mutual defense agreements with the United States. Trump has often argued which North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states need to commit a bigger chunk of their gross domestic product to national defense. Indeed, in June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said U.S. allies plan to boost their defense spending.

  • Submit a plan to defeat ISIS
  • Syrian refugees
  • Move U.S. embassy through Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

The embassy move will be one of Bannon’s biggest wins. Two years ago, most members of the foreign policy establishment would likely have said which moving the U.S. embassy in Israel through Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was unthinkable. however in December, Trump announced his plans to do so. Israel cheered the decision, however the rest of the earth condemned the move.

Pledges on Obamacare

  • Repeal as well as also replace Obamacare

After a year of trying, Congress was ultimately unable to “repeal” Obamacare outright. however Trump still managed to significantly weaken key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Pledges on tax reform

  • Create a 10 percent repatriation tax
  • Lower the corporate tax to 15 percent
  • Eliminate the estate tax
  • Eliminate the carried interest loophole

The completely new GOP tax law will offer Trump the chance to take a victory lap on Tuesday, as well as also there’s a lot for the president, as well as also Bannon, to crow about. All the way back in August, Bannon’s whiteboard reflected the growing importance of a tax cuts bill, as evidenced by This specific photo through author Dinesh D’Souza’s visit on Aug. 4. The photo was taken less than two weeks before Bannon was forced out amid a West Wing shakeup which began when Gen. John Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff.

“TAXES!!!” was written at the top of the board. The tax bill didn’t close the carried interest loophole, as Bannon as well as also Trump both wanted as a way to tax wealthier individuals, however most of their tax policy desires made the idea to law. at This specific point, fewer wealthy families will have to pay the estate tax, as well as also repatriation taxes have changed. All the way at the bottom, in all capital letters, will be “CUT CORP TAX.” While Bannon didn’t get the corporate rate all the way down to 15 percent through 35 percent, the idea’s at This specific point 21 percent.

The bill, passed in December, represents the signature legislative achievement for Trump – as well as also, the idea’s fair to say, for Bannon, too.

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