President Trump: Raising wages and helping consumers the American way

President Trump: Raising wages and helping consumers the American way
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In one year, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE has managed to accomplish what Democrats have talked about without achieving results.

Higher wages? Check. Keep companies and jobs from going overseas? Check. Lower prescription drug prices? Check.

It’s important to understand how the president did it.

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The two wings of the Democratic Party — the left and far left — have long championed the “Fight for Fifteen” campaign to raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour.

 

Democrats demanded new laws telling business owners how much to pay.  Elaborate carve-outs would provide “flexibility” for different categories of employers, employees, localities, etc.  Business would have time to “adjust” — or close up shop — as the new legally mandated pay schedule took effect in steps over months and years.

It would all be enforced by squads of newly energized Wage and Hour Division bureaucrats fanning out across the country to investigate and punish laggard employers.

But for all the rallies and noise, the campaign achieved little. Some liberal enclaves in college towns and on the coasts passed laws, and that was about it.

Meanwhile the minimum wage has gone up, thanks to Trump.

From American Savings Bank to Walmart and Starbucks, scores of companies have raised the starting wage for employees.

And we’ve also seen jobs return from overseas. We’ve seen Fiat-Chrysler move automobile manufacturing back to Michigan from Mexico, and Apple computers commit $350 billion to manufacturing in the U.S. 

There’s also been positive news on corporate inversions, the unappealing practice of American companies moving offshore. Thirty-six formerly U.S.-based companies moved their headquarters overseas between 2004 and 2016, according to Bloomberg.

Now, one company just scuttled its plans to move abroad. Assurant, an insurance giant on the Fortune 500, had planned to move as part of its acquisition of Bermuda-based insurers The Warranty Group. But following the tax cut, Assurant restructured the deal and will remain a U.S. corporation even as the merger goes forward. The change “reflects the net benefits from enacted U.S. tax legislation,” it announced.

President Trump has delivered higher wages, more jobs and averted inversions, all by shrinking government’s footprint rather than expanding it.

We see the president’s approach at work in the health care field, too. 

Democrats rail against the high cost of drugs and would prescribe a high dose of price caps, regulations and bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, Trump has already begun to deliver lower prescription drug prices by curbing the administrative state.

Through legislation the president signed and actions at the agency level that don’t require an act of Congress, the administration has set out to streamline the clinical trial process, the most costly and time-consuming aspect of new drug development.

It’s also targeting regulations designed to stifle competition rather than foster safety and innovation. It’s no secret that the big players game the system to quash upstart rivals.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is working to ensure rules aren’t used to create obstacles to competition. He enlisted the public to identify where the agency’s rules are blocking the development of lower-cost generic drugs.

The FDA is revising its regulations and procedures to facilitate the development of low-cost drugs and increase competition. It posted a list of branded drugs that have no listed patents or exclusivities, and will expedite applications for generic alternatives to products on this list to make sure they come to market as soon as possible.  

Data show that multiple generic alternatives for a given drug produce significant price reductions for consumers, so the FDA will prioritize applications until there are three approved generics for a given brand-name drug.

We’ve already seen results. In 2017, the FDA approved a record number of generic drugs and the highest number of novel medicines in decades.

Trump’s strategy of reducing barriers to entry, streamlining the process for bringing drugs to market and increasing pricing transparency will do more to lower drug pries than hiring more bureaucrats in Washington.

This president believes the grit and enterprise of Americans working together, not government and bureaucracy, will solve any problem.

That’s the American way, and it's working great — again.

Curtis Ellis is senior advisor for America First Action and served as senior policy advisor for the Donald J. Trump campaign.