The really odd thing about Donald Trump's first 100 days is that, Euclid notwithstanding, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The record of Trump's 100 days is much better than the sum of his actual achievements. And, in a way, that was to be expected. It is the idea of Trump — much more than the reality of his actual programs — that represents radical change. And it is a belief in the kinds of decisions he will make — more than any specific policy reversals — that is persuading entrepreneurs to invest money, create jobs and take risks where they never would have done so under Barack Obama.
Look at the comparison between the whole and its parts:
—Job growth up higher than Obama's last three months.
—Dow up 11 percent.
—Nasdaq up 12 percent.
—Existing home sales up 4 percent; New homes up 5 percent.
—Trade deficit down 10 percent.
—Barometer of current economic conditions highest since November 2000.
—Illegal border crossings down.
—Biggest jump in business confidence in eight years.
Quite an impressive track record. But Obamacare is still on the books and the border wall is not even begun. Trump's signature proposals are still just proposals.
So why the improvement?
It's because business people and job creators have confidence in Donald Trump. And because, on dozens of different fronts, they can see that there is a new management in town.
EPA: Get Out of the Way
—Keystone Pipeline approved.
—Reversing Obama regulations on power plants.
—Rolling back vehicle emission standards.
—Killed regulations on small streams and rivers.
Seal The Border
—Banned refugees from terrorist nations.
—5,000 new ICE agents.
—No federal money to sanctuary cities.
—Big cuts in H1-B Visas.
—Rescinded federal orders to local police limiting law enforcement.
—Formed task force on opioid abuse.
—Ordered study on cutting attacks on police.
—Imposed $3 billion in fines for illegal imports.
—Ordered flexibility in rules for insurance plans.
Draining the Swamp
—Banned lobbying by former government employees for 5 years.
—Lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign goats.
—Cut two regulations for each new one.
—Eliminated rules for federal contractors.
—Federal hiring freeze.
—Audit of all federal agencies.
Good measures to be sure, but hardly enough to account for the turnaround in confidence and business attitudes.
So the real change, as always, was putting Trump in the Oval Office.