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Facing the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt galvanized America around a bold set of actions taken in the first 100 days after his 1933 inauguration. Ever since, “the first 100 days” have become an important benchmark for every presidency. The issues that a president focuses on during those 100 days usually come to define a large measure of his (or, certainly, some day - her) legacy.

Given what we’ve already seen, healthcare, trade, taxes, deregulation and immigration should receive early attention. Each will impact small business. Of course, the unforeseen lurks around every domestic and, especially, global corner. So, while the three big topics discussed here will undoubtedly be among the first issues in play after the inauguration, it is quite possible that something unexpected and equally or more imperative will happen. The best advice is always to plan both for what we know and what we don’t, to the best of our ability. Here’s what we know. For what we don’t - buy insurance, save for rainy day, and keep your legal house in order.


Whether you or your employees are one of millions of Americans covered by the Affordable Care Act, healthcare is likely to be a hot topic to watch in the coming months. 

Trump stated early on that repealing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare would be his first order of business when he takes office. So, it came as no surprise that one of his first acts with presidential authority officially in his hands, was to sign an executive order designed to scale back the healthcare law. Still, as Margot Sanger-Katz writes, “that order, alone, won’t allow (Trump) to unwind the sprawling health law…” Definitive legislative action will be more complicated. Last week, the Washington Post reported that several GOP senators were urging their party to hold off on repealing until a replacement is drawn up. Geoff Colvin wrote in Fortune that “The details of the Republicans’ vowed ‘repeal and replace’ policy are far from complete; the process will be extremely complex.” Repealing Obamacare without replacing could pose major issues for employers and employees alike.


Throughout the campaign, Trump sounded nationalist tones, repeatedly denouncing globalism and trade deals, like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Already, via executive order, the administration is expected to take action to pull back from TPP. Trade runs in two directions, however. Participation in the global marketplace provides growth opportunities for US entrepreneurs, who may be negatively impacted by a trade war.


Because Republicans control not only the White House, but both chambers, expect tax cuts to be brought up again and again. The question will be whose taxes to cut. Contrary to campaign rhetoric, American corporations are not over-taxed. Our tax system, is, however, overly complex and sometimes regressive, meaning that it actually favors those at the higher end of the income level, while penalizing those with the least means to pay. As the Tax Policy Center notes:

"Although the overall federal tax system is progressive, with total federal tax burdens a larger percentage of income for higher-income households than for lower income households, not all taxes within the federal system are equally progressive. Some federal taxes are actually regressive as they are a larger percentage of income for lower-income than for higher income households...payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare and excise taxes are regressive."

Trump will push for what he calls the Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act, according to AJC. The economic plan proposed is designed to grow the economy 4 percent per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy.

In addition to the Middle Class Tax Relief and Simplification Act, Bloomberg reports that Trump wants a tax-code overhaul, which can be summarized as “lower, simpler, fairer, and pro-growth.” How such tax cuts will not balloon the federal budget deficit remains to be seen.


Deregulation will likely be another priority of the Trump administration. In addition to dismantling the Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010 to solidify financial regulations after 2008 financial crisis, Trump would like to roll back the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has said that as much as 75% of regulations can be cut or "maybe more."

The Obama administration has supported a pro-net neutrality FCC the past eight years, which will likely change when Trump is at the helm. Not only will Trump encourage more mergers and less competition, appointing net neutrality opponents Jeff Eisenach and Mark Jamison to the Federal Communications Commission’s sends a clear message: Net neutrality is in grave danger, according to Wired.


Hiring and trade between the US and Mexico is due for an overhaul for many small businesses. While Trump campaigned on the promise to build a wall along the US-Mexico border in order order to curb illegal immigration (leaving Mexico to foot the bill that’s expected to cost between $12-$38 billion), it now looks like he will be asking Congress to provide the funds and requesting reimbursement later, according to an article in the LA Times.

The proposed wall along the US-Mexico border is not the only change to immigration policy that Trump plans to make. He has vowed to overturn executive actions on immigration, such as DACA, according to Reuters. DACA was signed in 2012 by Obama and allows children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents to remain in the country on temporary authorizations, which allows them to attend college and work.

Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse: What Trump’s First 100 Days Means for Small Business

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

Charley Moore
Charley Moore
Founder and CEO, Rocket Lawyer

Charley is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Lawyer Incorporated. His experience as an attorney representing startups exposed him to both the high cost and high value of great legal advice. So, he started Rocket Lawyer to deliver high value legal services at a price nearly everyone can afford. Today, Rocket Lawyer is one of the most widely used legal services in the world, with operations in the United States and the United Kingdom. Charley has been engaged in Internet law and business since beginning his career as an attorney at Venture Law Group in Menlo Park, California. He represented Yahoo! (IPO), WebTV Networks (acquired by Microsoft) and Cerent Corporation (acquired by Cisco Systems) at critical early stages and was the founder of Onstation Corporation (acquired by The Cobalt Group). Charley graduated from the United States Naval Academy (BS) and the University of California at Berkeley (Juris Doctorate). He served as a U.S. Naval officer and is a Gulf War veteran. He currently serves on the board of directors at Matriculate.

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