Oceansiders weigh in on Trump’s first year


January 20, 2018 will mark the end of President Donald Trump’s first year in office. The Herald asked locals to reflect on the past year.

Charlie Rawlinson, 72, a volunteer for the Oceanside Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter called Trump’s freshman year “fantastic.”

“His monetary policies have helped everybody,” Rawlinson continued. “Especially for the 90 percent of the members of the VFW with a 401k. 401’s have gone through the roof,” he said, citing the president’s pushes to lift regulations that he said “were handcuffing businesses.”

“I wish he wasn’t tweeting as much as he was,” Rawlinson conceded, “and being more careful with some of the things he says.”

The Herald reached out to number of other Oceanside residents including local Republican club officials. All declined to comment on the president’s first year.

Rarely has Long Island felt Washington’s political reverberations as strongly as it has during the first year of Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

In November and December, Trump spearheaded the Republican effort to overhaul the federal tax system, reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to the low 20s, while also offering what Trump called middle-class tax relief.

The plan is projected to add $1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. It also limits state and local property tax deductions to $10,000 annually. Such reductions could impact Long Islanders who have depended on them to balance their books in the coming years, according to many, including U.S. Rep. Peter King, a Republican from Seaford, and Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from Glen Cove.

Passage of the GOP tax plan led to chaos at the end of 2017 as thousands of Long Islanders scrambled to pay part of their 2018 property-tax bills ahead of time and possibly lower their federal tax burden.

Trump visited Long Island in July, and described it as a “blood-stained killing field,” suggesting that the El Salvadoran gang MS-13 had taken over.

In Suffolk County, the number of crimes, however, dropped from 21,076 in 2015 to 19,877 the next year — a 5.7 percent decline. That was the smallest number of crimes committed in a single year since 1975, when Suffolk started recording such data, according to The Wall Street Journal. Violent crimes, including murder, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped by nearly 11 percent.

Meanwhile, crime in Nassau County fell to its lowest level in 50 years in 2016, when 26,153 crimes were recorded. Violent crimes fell 9 percent.

Nassau police estimated that there are about 700 gang members in the county — roughly 350 are active. Nassau has 1.4 million residents.

In June, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. His retreat came at a time when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released data describing how global warming could affect the state over the long term.