Dictionary.com defines Trump Card as “something capable of making a decisive difference when used at the right moment.”

The American people decided to play the Trump card on November 8, 2016 by electing Donald J. Trump as President of the United States of America. He will be the oldest man (age 70) to take office as President, plus he has no political experience to give us any idea of how he will lead.

So, what can the Trump presidency accomplish in 2017?

The Federal Reserve has already increased interest rates for the first time in nearly ten years. Interest rates for credit card and even mortgages will move upward, but it will also increase the savings rates for many people who have savings accounts that have seen no growth in a decade. The rate increase is usually a sign of inflation of the economy; however, a rapid interest rate increase for businesses and home owners could slow the economy. A slow steady growth would be an admiral goal.

There is speculation of changes to the Dodd-Frank Financial Accountability Act, which provides increased consumer protection and accountability. The increased regulations however made it more difficult for individuals to do business due to the complexity of the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Some changes are certain to be enacted. Bank stocks have already rallied in anticipation of these changes.

One of the biggest areas of proposed change is the Affordable Care Act (Obama-care). It will be difficult to enact a economical health plan due to the aging population, which has the higher cost medical needs. The aging population will also make economic viability of Social Security very difficult to protect. While it is a good objective to improve healthcare and social security, it will be very difficult to accomplish.

One of the bright spots for our area is the energy sector. The trend toward deregulation and energy independence should provide increases in the job market, especially in the oil and gas industry, which is heavily invested throughout Louisiana.

One of the key items that won over many Trump voters was the prospect of nominating a conservative justice for the Supreme Court, especially the current position left vacant by the death of Anthony Scalia. This is the one area he is certain to get right. The Republican controlled senate and U.S. House of Representatives should also help to enact legislation supporting the President-elect’s agenda.

While there is a sense of optimism related to the new administration, there is no sure pathway to change as the social, political and foreign environment is diversified and constantly changing.

President-elect Trump clearly has his work cut out for him. Let’s hope he has just the right card to play when needed. Let us all pray for his success to make America great again.

Happy New Year!

A.J. Burns Jr.

West Monroe, LA