The Rushmore Report – Reagan or Trump: Who Had the More Conservative First Year?


The Heritage Foundation, widely viewed as a leading conservative think tank, has taken a close look at the first year of the Trump Administration, comparing it to that of other Republican administrations of recent memory. Specifically, Heritage has compared Ronald Reagan’s first year, versus Donald Trump’s. Which president has been the most conservative?

Heritage has found that Donald Trump has enacted a more conservative agenda than did President Reagan, as American policymaking has taken a sharp turn to the right. Their assessment, which has not yet been released, was previewed by The New York Times and reportedly shows that Trump had a considerably more conservative first year in office:

“The results, Heritage found in its review, exceeded even the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, whose tenure has long been the conservative gold standard. Heritage said that 64 percent of the items which they support were enacted by the administration either through executive order or another means of enforcement, or included in Mr. Trump’s budget, which has not yet been voted on by Congress.

“In Reagan’s first year, 49 percent  of Heritage’s wish list items were embraced by the president or enacted. At the time, Heritage identified a familiar problem for why the administration’s policies were wanting. In almost every federal agency, Heritage said in November 1981, ‘Delayed appointments, unqualified or misqualified appointments, or the appointment of individuals who are not committed to the President’s goals and policies’ had delayed or thwarted policy changes.'”

Kay Coles James, the new president of the Heritage Foundation, said Trump’s achievements are going largely underreported due to political games being  played by the media and Democrats.

“There is so much noise in this town that I think it obscures the real work that’s being done,” James said. “This administration is doing quite well in terms of advancing a conservative agenda – clearly, quite well.”

Ed Feulner, a Heritage Foundation founder and former president, described Trump’s style as being significantly different from other presidents who have a background in politics.

“Hell, why can’t we do that? Let’s try it. Let’s make it happen,” Faulner said, speaking of Trump’s attitude. “In some respects, Trump the non-politician has an incredible advantage, even over Ronald Reagan, because Reagan knew there were certain things government couldn’t do.”

About the Author

Ryan Saavedra writes for The Daily Wire.


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