Real estate mogul Donald Trump didn’t mince words in his presidential announcement Tuesday, slamming President Barack Obama, some of his 2016 Republican rivals and putting forth some bold policy suggestions on issues ranging from jobs to fighting ISIS to immigration.
Here is a look at some of the positions he highlighted in his speech – and the realities of making them happen.
“Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody,” Trump said.
“Within our military, I will find the General Patton, or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around.”
He elaborated on Fox News later that night.
“I say that you can defeat ISIS by taking their wealth,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly. “Take back the oil. Once you go over and take back that oil, they have nothing. You bomb the hell out of them, and then you encircle it, and then you go in. And you let Mobil go in, and you let our great oil companies go in. Once you take that oil, they have nothing left.”
But taking over ISIS’s oil supplies would almost certainly require more troops. Obama recently announced plans to send 450 troops to Iraq to aid Iraqi Security Forces in fighting ISIS, adding to the 3,050 U.S. personnel already there. But there’s a lack of political appetite in Washington to send thousands of soldiers back to the country.
“I would build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border,” Trump said. “And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
However, there seems to be no consensus on just how much a fence along the entire border would cost. The total length of the border is 1,954 miles.
A 2009 analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office stated that the cost of pedestrian fencing would be an average of $3.9 million per mile. And the price of less expensive vehicle fencing was an average of $1 million a mile.
Representatives from the office said this week that they have not produced a study with more recent numbers since then.
That same year, the Department of Homeland Security spent up to $21 million per mile to build a primary fence near San Diego with the belief that it would cost an estimated $16 million per mile to build a fence along three and a half additional miles.
And Trump didn’t elaborate on how he would make Mexico pay for the wall.
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that. I’ll bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places. I’ll bring back our jobs, and I’ll bring back our money,” Trump said.
It is not clear which jobs Trump wants to bring back to the U.S. But most reshoring experts admit that some manufacturing jobs will never return.
A recent study, “Global Supply Chain Benchmark Study: An Analysis of Sourcing and Re-structuring Decisions,” conducted by University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University professors, said the process of reshoring is complicated and involves multiple factors beyond labor costs.
“It seems pretty clear that predictions of wholesale reshoring back to market related countries like the U.S., Canada, Europe is not happening on a large scale,” Morris Cohen, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told Knowledge@Wharton, the online business analysis journal of the Wharton School of Business.
“It is happening. And in selected industries, it’s a major thing. But just as much as companies are returning, there are other situations where companies continue to offshore, either to Asia or to other parts of the world,” he said.
“We have to repeal Obamacare – and it can be – and it can be replaced with something much better for everybody. Let it be for everybody. But much better and much less expensive for people and for the government. And we can do it.”
But aside from the new President getting the necessary votes in Congress to repeal the law, ending the Affordable Care Act could be costly.
A new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the cost of repealing the taxes levied by Obamacare, and the cost controls imposed by the law, would by themselves increase the deficit by $353 billion between 2016 to 2025.
“End Common Core,” Trump said. “It is a disaster. … Education has to be local.”
Supporters of the initiative argue that there is too much variation between the states when it comes to competency, and that Common Core would make achievement consistent and better position the country to compete internationally. But opponents argue that standards should be determined locally not at a federal level.
States that do not want Common Core have the option of opting out of the national education initiative that aims to establish national math and language arts standards. Most states initially adopted the standards, which were drafted by a group of governors and state-level education chiefs. But since then it has become a popular target for conservatives, and a number of Republican governors – and presidential hopefuls – have announced plans to back out of the program, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
But ending it in the states that have adopted it may not be easy. According to the Education Law Center, a New Jersey-based education advocacy organization, ending Common Core in some states could be unconstitutional if thorough changes are not made to state’s education initiatives.