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Trumponomics Daily—Monday, January 23

Focus on what Trump and company do, less on what they say. That would seem to be a decent lesson from the new regime’s first few days in power. Trump in his inaugural address talked up the populist themes that defined his campaign — buy American, hire American, and plow money into rebuilding America. “Protectionism will lead to great prosperity and strength” he said. He didn’t utter a word about ripping up the Affordable Care Act. Yet hours later, in one of his first official acts as president, Trump signed an executive order freeing the feds from enforcing penalties for noncompliance with the healthcare law’s individual mandate, a cornerstone of the overhaul that enables its coverage expansions. It’s unclear what immediate impact, if any, the order will carry. But the mismatch between Trump’s first presidential speech and his first presidential move is worth noting. Markets, in their way, already have. They’ve lowered expectations for a major public works program since the election, a reflection of what little the incoming administration has done to lay the groundwork for such an initiative, despite Trump’s pledge on the trail to make infrastructure spending an organizing priority. He renewed the commitment in the inaugural, promising to build “new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.” We’ll begin to find out this week — as Trump gets to work, issuing more executive orders, continuing to fill out his administration, and heading to Philadelphia to visit with Congressional Republicans at their agenda-setting retreat — whether the president intends more neatly to align his leadership with his rhetoric.

Tory Newmyer

Must Reads

President Trump’s First Monday: Here’s What’s on the Schedule

Trump kicks off his first full day in office by breakfasting with business leaders from his manufacturing advisory council.

Donald Trump Is Facing an Ethics Lawsuit After Just Three Days in Office

A group of constitutional scholars and former White House ethics officials allege Trump is already violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause by taking payments from foreign governments.

Donald Trump Says He’ll Soon Begin Renegotiating NAFTA With Mexico And Canada

Trump said Sunday he expects to begin talks imminently with our northern and southern neighbors on redrawing the 1994 trade pact.

Highlights From Donald Trump’s First Weekend as President

Trump’s weekend was raucous, dominated by an international protest that dwarfed his inauguration and an angry outburst from his press secretary.

The Surprising Story Behind Obama’s Last Official Act (And How It Almost Didn’t Happen)

In his last moments as president, Obama enshrined in law a program that recruits techies to the federal government.



Number of the Day


The number of people who turned out for the women’s march in Washington on Saturday — roughly three times the size of the crowd on hand for Trump’s inauguration a day earlier, according to crowd counting experts. The event in Washington was one of dozens across the country. The show of force protesting Trump surprised even the event’s organizers.

Loose change

President Donald Trump Will Not Release His Tax Returns [Fortune]

How Donald Trump Just Raised Many Mortgage Bills [Fortune]

The U.S. Is Getting a Really Bad Deal on Infrastructure [Fortune]

Trump Already Letting Himself Be Played By Corporate America [Forbes]

Investors turned off by Trump’s protectionist talk [Politico]