Differences between Obama and Trump Policies

Differences between Obama and Trump Policies

Government Policy


Government policy is the process through which the government sets protocols that guide the country while making critical economic decisions to enhance economic developments. Policies will contain guidelines and reasons that show how, where, and when a decision is to be completed and executed. Different presidents and governments set their policies while trying to achieve economic growth and cope with the hardships they may encounter without pressing the citizens. Democrats and the republicans approach economic growth differently, which was evident during former presidents Barack Obama (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican). When the two presidents were being voted in, they had made different promises to their citizens, and they had to set policies that would guide them through (Morgan & Lee, 2019). For example, Trump, a Republican, promised to improve the defense budget, minimize the country’s debt, and reduce the country’s budget, reduce taxes, and reduce trade deficits.  On the other hand, a Democrat promised to increase the taxes of the high-class people, improve the healthcare of the services in the country, and strengthen their regulations. The government two presidents had to set their policies as they tried to achieve their goals.


During the terms that Obama and Trump ruled, the defense department got allocated more funds than any previous financial year. Trump concentrated more on financing the military while Obama laid structures that would reduce the defense department’s budget (Bostdorff, 2017). For example, in the financial year 2020, Trump allocated the ministry of defense $576 billion. Congress also added another $174 for the overseas war. In addition, the military gets funded by the department of energy, the nuclear division, and other departments that financed the military-like the state department, homeland security, veteran administration, and justice departments who fund the FBI.

On the other hand, Obama eliminated Osama bin Laden whole was in charge of terror attacks across the world in 2011. Since the threats got reduced, the USA government withdrew their military from Iraq, although they returned after three years due to religious wars (Morgan & Lee, 2019).  The war put the world economy at risk because the two religions fought over a region that supplies the world with 20 percent of its crude oil.

In 2011 the war in Afghanistan ended through the aid of the U.S. army. It was hoped that through completing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military budget would reduce by a considerable margin, but it did so by just a tiny margin (Bostdorff, 2017). The financial year 2014 military budget was $600 billion that resulted in a significant deficit of military finance that year, increasing national debt (Stiglitz, 2018). The antiterrorism war has made the countries national debt increase by $2 trillion as of the financial year 2020. To control these, Obama used a non-military method to reduce Iran’s threat of nuclear weapons in 2015. He brokered the nuclear deal by lifting the economic sanctions in 2010, which significantly boosted Iran’s economic growth. When Triumph took over the powers, he pulled the United States out of the deal since he believed the United States would not negotiate with terrorists.

Recession and Recovery

Every government has experienced economic times, and they have to put in some policies that will guide them to overcome the problem. Both Obama and Trump have experienced some financial hardships during their reign, and they used different methods to help the country cope with the situation and eventually overcome it (Kaufman, 2017). Trump became president in 2016 because he was able to convince the citizens that they deserved better economic growth. He had promised that they would realize a 4 percent economic growth rate. In 2020, the economy experienced an economic recession due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The uncertainty of the corona pandemic resulted in the crash of the 2020 stock market; thus, the trend of the economic growth became bearish (Stiglitz, 2018). Trump’s government responded by declaring a national emergency, encouraging the citizens to stay indoors, closing schools and non-essential businesses to curb the spread of the virus.  Congress passed some acts to protect the citizens and the economy:

  • R 6074 provided and financed the federal agencies with $8.3 billion to respond to the spread of the virus.
  • R 6201 offered $3.4 billion that enabled the government to fund the paid sick leave, pay insurance that covered treatment, and test the coronavirus.
  • The Cares ate which provided $2 trillion to cover for the unemployment insurance, reduced taxation to legit taxpayers, finance affected business and local government
  • R 266 acts that provided $483.4 billion to cater for lost small-scale businesses, hospitals, and testing of the coronavirus.

Due to the pandemic, the United States unemployment rate rose by 14.7 percent because 881,000 jobs got lost. These resulted in reduced small-scale purchases hence the need for the government to implement the policies.

Barack Obama also experienced a recession in the year 2008-2009. He responded by signing the American Recovery and reinvestments Act that created jobs in the education sector, thus recovering by 2009 (Kaufman, 2017). Also, the government took over and secured the automobile industry, which resulted in saving over $3 million jobs across the county. The loss of the jobs would have affected other businesses since other business sales would have fallen significantly. Through the help of relief programs, Obama was able to start the Home Affordable Refinance Program that saved the citizens who the heavy mortgages had cornered.


Those who rejected the affordable care act stated that the main aim of Trump was to weaken the law. His administration stopped financing the low-income group’s insurance and raised the insurance premium by twenty percent (Albarasneh & Khatib, 2019). Therefore, making insurances that was short term more affordable and available (Albarasneh & Khatib, 2019). Even if the insurance was cheaper than that of Obama Care, it provided fewer benefits. People who benefited from the government insurance were also required to work as instructed to the local government by Trump. His administration passed the health and job acts, which he signed. The Act revoked the ACA act, which stated that every person must have insurance or get subjected to heavy taxation. When the Act got repealed, healthy people shied away from fit insurance cover, leaving the insurances with the unhealthy people who were costly. This resulted in increased premiums to enable the company to cater for their health expenses.

Trump press people blamed the Obama care for being expensive. Since they had lost the insurance cover from their employers, they later realized how individual policies were expensive in health care than they expected. The offer provided some essential services like maternity care which people thought was unfair to pay for (Morgan & Lee, 2019). Since the ACA had revoked the annual and lifetime limits, the insurance policies became expensive. The insurance companies got expanded to cover all people, including those who had pre-existing conditions (Bostdorff, 2017). Therefore, the insurance companies were put under more risk of losing more monies since they had to spend more while covering bills for those who had severe conditions and had paid little in terms of their contribution. While Trump was revising the ACA act, there are terms that he did not change. These terms were not favorable because the ACA recommended that more cover is on drugs prescribed and pay the hospital-based care instead of each test and procedure.

In 2014 the congress wanted to revoke the ACA taxes levied on individuals with earnings above $200,000 and those who did not have the insurance cover. The then-president of the United States explained that the sole purpose of introducing ACA was to reduce the medical costs that had threatened to sabotage the economy. The previous covers had some limits, such as the annual and lifetime limits (Albarasneh & Khatib, 2019). The boundaries were exceeded by some illnesses such as chronic disease, therefore, making the treatment cost rise. Some act benefits did not come into the application until 2014 when Obamacare replaced Medicare. ACA provided the cover for everyone, reducing medication costs because people would get tested and treated before the condition became severe. In 2012, the budget committee from the congress house recommended $1.1 trillion to improve and expand the Medicaid and children health centers; hence the low-income earners enjoyed the services.


As Tramp favored the bilateral agreement, he took issues with the many multilateral contracts. These resulted in the cancellation of the trans-pacific trade agreement that got predicted to be the most extensive free trade in the world. He also opted to renegotiate the NAFTA trade zone under the new name USMCA representing the USA, Mexico, and Canada (Kaufman, 2017). Former President Obama preferred both sets of trades. He started and concluded the negotiations of the TTP trade agreement, but the Trump administration withdrew from it. Some of the bilateral agreements negotiated by Obama include; South Korea 2010, Canada 2011, Panama 2011, and Peru 2009. Before the end of his term, Obama’s administration had started negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership agreement but did not conclude. When Trump took over the presidency, he did not show interest in continuing with the negotiations. As a result, the deal died, and the partnership did not materialize.

Trump always dreamed of making America great again, and he tried to achieve this by trying to protect its industry’s products. he did this by imposing tax tariffs on Chinese imported goods. For example, in 2018, his administration started imposing tariffs on washing machines and solar panels imported from China (Kaufman, 2017). In the same years, steel that got imported got taxed 15 percent while aluminum got taxed at 10 percent. One month after the tariffs got put into effect, the administration affected $34 billion worth of goods from the Chinese and the same month. They imposed another 25% of the $16 billion value of goods still from China. Trump tried to cut ties with China by referring to them as a currency manipulator (Stiglitz, 2018). He argued that if history was to get followed, the Chinese Yuan was overrated hence the high conversion rate. These created the trade wars between China and America that resulted in him lifting some tariffs. The trade war is most likely to affect the business and the consumers from the United States of America and could even result in an economic recession (Kaufman, 2017). Barrack Obama avoided such wars by ensuring that there were free and mutual trades between countries. He had other policies that protected the local industries from being subdued by imports.  He did these by imposing less taxation, thus reducing the production cost, meaning their products’ price would have cost as those from the imports or even cheaper. Companies were encouraged to produce durable and high-quality products that people would see their worth even if they were expensive.


In 2010, Obama signed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reforms Act that provided restrictions to bank operations. The Act was put in place to prevent a financial crisis from occurring again by regulating the financial companies that were not banks like hedge funds (Kaufman, 2017). The prepaid, debit and credit cards got regulated, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bill ended the payday of the loans. Trump was against the Act because he claimed that it prevented the banks from lending the businesses with the monies they required (Morgan & Lee, 2019). In 2018, congress reduced the regulations of the Act to these banks. Smaller banks like American Express benefited fully from the acts that revised the Dodd-frank rules. The rollback meant that the banks would not get selected as too big to fail. Therefore, they did not require much of the assets as security in case of a financial crisis. The Act prevented the banks and other financial institutions from operating smoothly. The SMEs would have to undergo an extensive process while trying to access loans and other financing forms due to restrictions (Albarasneh & Khatib, 2019). Therefore the businesses would go down, leading to an economic downfall. However, the Act rules got put in place to regulate and safeguard the customers and investors of the bank. They prevented the possible cash crunch that would result in loss of finances.

Deficit and Debt

It got believed that both presidents Obama and Tramp ran the most significant deficit ever since independence. Barack Obama had a stimulus plan that boosted the debt from that of the previous president by $283 billion (Albarasneh & Khatib, 2019). During the economic recession of 2009, the government revenue collection reduced by $600 billion; therefore, the budget had a shortage of $1.4 trillion. In 2010 and 2011, Obama reduced the taxes paid by the low-income earners. These resulted in a deficit of $1.3 trillion, but due to rapid economic growth, the debt had reduced $585 billion by the fiscal year 2016.

Under Trump, the budget deficit increased drastically because even before the Covid-19 pandemic, it had increased to $3.1 trillion. When the pandemic came knocking, more funds had to be allocated to relevant institutions and departments as they tried to expand and combat the spread of the virus (Morgan & Lee, 2019). People got advised to stay at home, and some non-essential jobs were closed, leading to reduced revenue collections.

When the government experiences a deficit on their budget, the presidents result in borrowing, increasing the countries’ debt. The people of America feel that Trump betrayed by failing to eliminate the debts (Stiglitz, 2018). Like any other Republican, he believed reducing the taxation would result in increased economic growth. Consolidating the debt required the economy to grow at a rate of more than six percent, something he did not achieve even before the coronavirus pandemic (Stiglitz, 2018). But Trump applied the cutting waste strategy to reduce foreign aids and increased defense funding to boost economic growth and cancelling entitlement programs. He directed all the monies save to development, but instead of reducing the debt, he increased its debt.


When government policies got put in place, the government found it easy to perform its duties and fulfill its promises. Both presidents had their agendas and approached their issues differently. They had policies that contradicted each other because their aims were different. In most cases, Trump got seen revising some of Obama’s acts to make them more flexible and favorable according to his plans. Not all policies got put in place that favors every leadership. Republicans and Democrats approach and view America differently. Therefore, every president who is elected will have to follow his party’s policies.