IT IS an arbitrary measure, but given his obsession with comparisons, Donald Trump’s 100th day in office today is being seized on by supporters and critics as an excuse for a first mid-term report.
Mr Trump took office promising to start work “immediately” on a raft of major reforms, setting out a 100-day action plan he called his “contract with the American people”.
It was widely seen as a reference to Franklin Roosevelt, who in a whirlwind of activity upon taking office in 1933, put through Congress 15 bills that initiated his “new deal” economics at the height of the great depression.
In contrast, some of Mr Trump’s most visible activity since January has taken place on Twitter, while, according to analysis by the Washington Post, he has broken five of his campaign promises and taken no action on more than half.
In an apparent gesture of defiance yesterday, Mr Trump indicated he had “no intention” of releasing his tax returns to the public, despite having pledged to do so before he campaigned.
US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin attempted to justify the action by insisting Americans already had “plenty of information” about their president’s financial matters.
Of his specific campaign promises, Mr Trump has reneged on a pledge to label China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office. He also failed to carry through promises to cancel visas to foreign countries that refuse to take back criminal illegal immigrants, reduce the cost of college education and impose a five-year ban on White House officials from becoming lobbyists.
But his most famous reversal has been his failure to fully repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. A hurriedly drafted replacement healthcare proposal failed to gain the support of enough hard-liners on both wings of his own party, and was abandoned in March.
Chief among the promises yet to be delivered is Mr Trump’s signature proposal to build a wall along the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border. Within days of his inauguration, the president signed an order kick-starting the project and contract requests had been prepared by mid-March.
But progress has stalled, with Mexico refusing to entertain the idea of paying for the wall, and Mr Trump forced to propose immediate budget cuts of £14bn from medical research, infrastructure and community grants and the allocation of £1.1bn for a down payment on the structure.