Stating the obvious can be clarifying. There are no perfect presidents. Be it George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, or any other president, none were perfect. Once imperfection and the human condition are admitted, a look at President Donald J. Trump’s term in office — especially from the vantage-points of manufactured homeowners, affordable housing seekers, and independent manufactured home professionals — becomes easier.
A periodic critic from Republican ranks of President Donald J. Trump, former NJ Governor Chris Christie, said he would give President Trump an A-grade as president. There are others who would give him a F or D-grade. What grade would MHProNews give?
- Are we grading the 45th U.S President on the curve?
- Are we grading in comparison to the first 100 days of the Biden Harris regime?
Before answering the questions, let’s note that looking at his 2020 campaign promises, Joseph “Joe” R. Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, have kept some of their campaign promises and clearly violated others. To see that part of the discussion, check out the weekly headlines in review below.
For instance. There are interesting insights that include the one cited by Sun Communities Gary Shiffman. Shiffman, intentionally or not, let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
- Or what about Biden’s claims of transparency?
- Of avoiding giving favoritism to the donor class?
- So far, what journalist turned pundit Chris Plante has satirically called “the Biden-Harris Junta” is marked by numerous false claims and obvious rewards to those who elected him. Again, a look at the headlines that follow and an objective mind are enough to test that claim.
That said, the Biden campaign site made several allegations about President Trump that are worth pondering. A common left-wing and Democratic theme has been that President Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Another claim is that he enriched himself from federal use of his properties.
Without digging into legal side of the details about those claims – even if they were true, they are – at best – misleading. Why?
Because President Trump left office – per Forbes – about $700 million dollars poorer than when he entered the White House. Forbes was hardly a friend to the 45th president in 2021, or since the 2020 election for that matter. That $700 million lower net worth was reported by left-leaning Newsweek too, among others. Oops. So much for the claim of enriching Trump corruption?
Those facts sure seem to call into question the Biden campaign statement, per the Joe Biden website, that “Donald Trump has presided over the most corrupt administration in modern history.” Without questioning that some corruption occurs in every modern presidency, there should be factual reasons to question if President Trump benefited from his time in office directly. The fact of having lost $700 million dollars of net worth while in office prove otherwise.
- Additionally, President Trump gave his salary away. Will Biden be doing that? Let’s see.
One of the more common themes of the White House Resident Biden era is that almost every move he has made has directed benefits to his donors and supporters, as is shown above. More on that in the headlines in review that follow.
MHProNews has been reporting on that pattern of apparent benefits to the Biden donors from early on in the Biden-Harris time in Washington’s limelight. Benefits are arguably flowing to those who put him in power.
Now, in fairness, President Trump could be accused of that too. But in the 45th President’s case, it was the American people at large who benefited more. The income and improving housing data graphics below tell that story.
But that is still not giving President Trump a specific grade.
Let’s press the point that during his term in office, MHProNews called into question the prudence of the Brian Montgomery appointment for conflict-of-interest reasons. Because MHProNews and our MHLivingNews sister site are seeking to be honest, evidence-based brokers of information and analysis, that was an error then, and we stand by that call that it was a mistake now.
MHProNews also asked out loud several times: did HUD Secretary Ben Carson – who could have made changes for the benefit of millions of Americans and manufactured homeowners — did Carson know about the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and “enhanced preemption?”
- Or, what did Dr. Carson know about the 10/10 rule with respect to FHA Title I loans/Ginnie Mae?
- Those questions are unanswered. That and more merits a federal hearing.
- While Secretary Carson deserves credit for doing more to lift the image of manufactured homes during his time at HUD than anyone in the 21st century, he nevertheless failed to do what could have made a big difference for independents and potentially millions of consumers.
- So, at best, that is a mixed bag.
- But in fairness, that is also a reflection on kind and quality of engagement made by the powers that be in manufactured housing and at HUD.
Who says? How about the Biden Campaign website?
Per candidate Obama-era VP Joe Biden’s site: “Ensure truly public access. In Washington, the ability to schedule a meeting with an elected official or his or her staff is a form of currency.” Well, well…MHI has been touting their access to HUD, Secretary Carson, FHFA Director Mark Calabria, and a range of other elected and appointed officials. What did MHI do with all of that access? What did they give to manufactured housing independents and consumers in return for that access?
The facts reveal that those photo-ops and videos that are so lightly viewed that even some of the mid-sized MHI-member companies can’t say that their own staffs have seen those videos. Declining shipments of new HUD-Code manufactured homes occurred during the Trump pro-business, pro-housing presidency. The case can be made that MHI’s apparent failures and treachery are revealed in several ways by the entire term of the Trump presidency and in the early days of the Biden-Harris era too.
For more on President Trump and manufactured housing, as hinted, at the FHFA, something similar could be said. Pretty words in support of manufactured housing nevertheless failed to find matching action. Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing mandated by HERA 2008 is still a mirage in a hot desert with little green to show for it, save for the notable exception of larger community operators often using “DTS” to get great financing deals on buying or refinancing land-lease communities.
There is more to unpack in this analysis of the Trump years. But let’s do that in our postscript for today that follows our headlines in review.
In the headlines for the week that was, there are plenty of reports that reflect the concerns that the cold, hard facts and evidence-oriented industry professionals and consumers should have about what lies ahead.
With no further adieu, let’s pivot to the headlines for the reports, news, and analysis of the week that were from to April 25 to May 2, 2021.
What is New on MHLivingNews
The Latest from Washington, D.C. from MHARR.
The Latest on the Masthead
What is News on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
Postscript – American Dream or American Nightmare?
Data can be spun or twisted by those who have an agenda. But when facts and evidence are looked at correctly, they do not lie.
For millions, it is safe to say that the American Dream of home ownership, of having a business or enterprise that someone could call their own has been illusory at best. There are 111 million people living in rental housing, per the Apartment List. Living in a manufactured home is less costly for millions of them, per the National Association of Realtors research. Yet still only some 22 million live in a pre-HUD-Code mobile home or a post-HUD-Code manufactured home? Isn’t the depth of MHI’s failures – and that means those who are the powers behind them – revealed by those facts?
In fairness, the American Dream has come true for significant numbers. But for others, it is the American Nightmare. Too many are wasting away in substance abuse which is arguably made worse by policies that thwart the opportunities that politicos and groups talk about but fail to deliver on.
In 2015, a real estate mogul and media maven turned politician road down the Golden Escalator with Melania Trump by his side. That memorable moment in Trump Tower began his controversial run for the Republican nomination for presidency. He spoke unlike other politicians. He appeared more comfortable with the everyday American than many are.
Donald Trump took on his party’s Establishment and upended the likes of the Bush dynasty. Then, he took on the Democratic Party Establishment and upended what most every pundit and poll said would be Hillary Clinton’s coronation and the resumption of the Clinton Dynasty, which was poised to engorge the cash cow and purportedly corrupt Clinton Foundation. When Hillary Clinton lost, the Clinton Foundation’s overseas and domestic contribution collapsed.
In beating Hillary in November of 2016, Donald J. Trump also defeated President Barack Hussein Obama. Both the Clinton and Obama political machines were bested by a political upstart. For objective minds, when much of the mainstream media, big tech, and big business, and Davos types opposed Trump, the outcome of 2016 was a stunning rebuke to politics as usual.
Candidate Trump accomplished that upset with less money, and as noted, largely negative media and big tech opposition. As information has slowly seeped out, the Trump Campaign also apparently beat the nexus of American intelligence interests that worked during and after his campaign to keep him from taking office. Russian Collusion turned into a nothing burger, just as MHProNews informed its readers in 2017 was being revealed by those who looked at the facts instead of the negative media hype.
Once in the White House, President Trump faced the intelligence community’s and justice system bureaucratic wrath for years. Senator Charles Chuck Schumer (NY-D) proved insightful when he said in the interview below during January 2017 before then President-elect Trump took the oath of office that crossing swords with the intelligence community was risky. “They have six ways from Sunday to get you.” Senator Schumer – who sat on the Intelligence Committee – insightfully said.
For manufactured housing, the Trump Presidency was overall incomplete. Given the hurdles, two impeachments, the Iron Triangle, MHI, Buffett and Gates, plus so much more, perhaps it is understandable.
There is a body of supporting information that HUD Secretary Carson gave that is useful, if lawmakers and public officials can be energized to use it. That too will require that We the People to encourage action.
- Trump Rallies are said to be resuming. Who will the GOP field in 2024? The 45th president will have a big hand and a say in that process.
- Trump media is said to be nearing launch. More on that in the days ahead.
- Several Trump allies are launching various efforts. One of those was was spotlighted last Sunday. Another was spotlighted here. More will be examined in the days ahead. But they all arguably point to this reality. The 45th President looked at the landscape as he was exiting the White House and he began laying the groundwork for the Art of the Comeback.
- Additionally, and to the points above, the nexus between big business, big tech, big media, and big government has arguably never been more apparent than in the last year, and more broadly, during the Trump campaign and since. That is a huge gift to the American people, if they act upon those insights.
- It may sound odd, but for those who grasp the Christian concept of “dark grace” is arguably being manifest. 2 Cor. 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Or from the Hebrew Scriptures Christian “Old Testament” Isaiah 40:31 “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (Bible Study Aids).
Throughout human history, God has chosen the weak as well as those who seemed unlikely to accomplish the Divine will. David was a shepherd, one of the lowest rungs on the ladder of ancient Jewish society. He was not the oldest in his family, another strike against him in ancient Jewish thought. Yet he was the one that God raised up to lead ancient Israel. Examples from other cultures and places can be provided that make a similar point.
The case can be made that the forces of evil in America are vastly outnumbered by those who seek to do good.
If there is a Trump 2.0, it ideally should be different than the first Trump term. But the first Trump term revealed just how corrupt and how rigged the system is. It revealed just how much could be done by a truly motivated person willing to buck the system.
In the days ahead, we may explore what Trump 2.0 should look like. But in all fairness, Trump 1.0 made any of his 21st century rivals pale by comparison. Overall, while he could have done more for our industry and its homeowners, the 45th President did a fine job of exposing what was wrong and thus set the stage for accomplishing what is possible. Good things happened in the Trump White House years. Bad things happened. But the lessons learned are potentially priceless. Overall, a good job, but incomplete with respect to our profession.
It is up to We the People to learn and apply those lessons to make the American Dream’s true rebirth possible. We are in for the duration. How about you?
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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