It should come as no surprise that Donald Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address was filled with distortions of the facts and complete untruths. Like last year’s address, Trump was not completely honest with the nation.
Let’s take a look at some of the bigger stretches of the truth that Trump stated on Tuesday night.
Trump took credit for the low unemployment rates and claimed that he reversed “years of economic decay” and “failed economic policies.” However, the fact is that more than 1 million jobs were added in the 35 months before he moved into the White House than in his first 35 months since he took office.
Trump also bragged that unemployment rates for women had “reached the lowest level in almost 70 years.” That statement is true, but what he didn’t share is that the rate has been drastically dropping for years before he took office.
Trump claimed that the “real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded.” The Census Bureau reports that that was partly due to a change in survey questions made back in 2014. Median household income was higher in 1999 than it was in 2018.
Canada and Mexico Trade Deal
Trump discussed the new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. He stated that the deal “will create nearly 100,000 … auto jobs.” An independent federal commission says that there will only be a job gain of 28,000 over a period of five years.
The Border Wall
It comes as no surprise that Trump took the time to brag about the border wall. He stated that “a long, tall, and very powerful wall is being built.” He claimed that over 100 miles of the wall has been built, but those 100 miles were not new construction but instead repairs done to the existing wall. Only one mile of new border wall has been built where no wall previously existed.
Trump would go on to claim that 500 miles of new wall would be completed by “early next year.”
Illegal Border Crossings
Trump boasted that illegal crossings at the southwest border “are down 75% since May.” The fact is that in 2019 illegal crossings were 81% higher than in 2016.
Trump claimed that he made an “ironclad” promise to “always protect patients with preexisting conditions” yet Trump continues to support Republican health care plans that would greatly reduce the current protections under Obama’s Affordable Care Act. In a recent television interview, Trump suggested that he would be making cuts to both benefits in the near future.
Trump claimed that more than “300,000 working-age people” left the workforce in the eight years that Barack Obama was president. The truth is under Obama the workforce grew by 5.4 million.
Trump bragged that he and his administration “launched the great American comeback” ending “years of economic decay.” However, three years ago when he took office the economy was making steady growth in jobs, incomes, and output.
On drug prices, Trump stated that “For the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.” However, prescription drugs have been edging down, but that is driven by generic brands. The prices for brand name medication continues to rise.
Oil and Gas
On oil and gas Trump boasted that “thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas, anywhere in the world, by far.”
Trump is taking credit for a boom in the industry that began while Obama was still in office. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the U.S. has been “the world’s top natural gas producer since 2009, the top petroleum hydrocarbon producer since 2013, and top crude oil producer since 2018.”
Medicare and Social Security
When it comes to Medicare and Social Security Trump claimed that his administration would always protect both. However, in a recent interview, Trump suggested that he was considering cuts to both in the near future.