First, the State of the Union. Click here for the full analysis.
- Trump claimed the economy is “the best it has ever been.” But GDP growth fell to 2.3% last year and economists predict further slowing this year.
- He said he brought about low unemployment by reversing “years of economic decay” and “failed economic policies,” when in fact over 1 million more jobs were added in the 35 months before he took office than in the first 35 months since.
- Trump boasted that the “unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years.” That’s true, but it had been trending down for several years before he took office.
- The president wrongly said, “After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast.” They’ve gone up under Trump, but also have risen under the last several presidents.
- Trump claimed that people’s 401(k)s and pensions have increased “60, 70, 80, 90, and 100% and even more.” Some may have, but that’s far higher than the average.
- He said “real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded.” However, the Census Bureau noted that was partly due to a change in survey questions in 2014. Based on “adjusted” figures, median household income was slightly higher in 1999 than in 2018.
- Trump claimed the new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico “will create nearly 100,000 … auto jobs.” But an independent federal commission puts the job gains at 28,000 over five years.
- The president boasted that “a long, tall, and very powerful wall is being built” along the southern border, and more than 100 miles have been completed. But only one mile is located where no barriers previously existed.
- Trump said “illegal crossings” at the southwest border “are down 75% since May.” But total apprehensions in 2019 were 81% higher than in 2016, the year before Trump took office.
- He said that “after losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my administration.” He’s referring to what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls manufacturing “establishments,” and most of the growth under Trump has been in facilities with fewer than five employees.
- Trump compared apples to oranges in claiming a doubling of insurance premiums in five years before he took office and “less expensive” plans under his administration.
- The president said he made an “iron-clad” promise to “always protect patients with preexisting conditions,” but that ignores the fact he has supported Republican health plans that would reduce the current protections under the Affordable Care Act.
- He suggested, misleadingly, that his administration was responsible for the U.S. becoming the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. But the U.S. has been No. 1 in the world for natural gas for more than a decade, and tops in petroleum since 2013.
- Trump said “300,000 working age people” left the workforce during Obama’s eight years. Actually, the workforce grew by 5.4 million.
As I write this, Republican senators are about to say that nothing a president does — if he thinks (or says he thinks) it’s in the public interest — is impeachable. As Adam Schiff made so compellingly clear, this defies all logic, precedent, and the oaths they took as jurors and as senators.
To those who rationalize this by saying the goal of the impeachment is to overturn the 2016 election, our own distinguished professor emeritus Paul deLespinasse explains: impeachment does NOT overturn an election.
It’s not easy to stand up to a bully — just look how much trouble the Republican senators are having — but if you wanted, you could sign this entirely non-political pledge, as a start.
Quote of the Day
You can observe a lot just by watching.~Yogi Berra
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