The State of the Union is Fantastical

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President Trump’s first state of the union speech was just as remarkable as his first year in office.

David Graham from the Atlantic had a good summary.

The reality is somewhat less rosy: By a wide margin, Americans believe that the nation is on the wrong track, and the president’s approval rating is historically low. Trump has struggled to push his agenda through Congress, just squeaking a big tax cut in at the end of last year. That presents three challenges for the president, and his speechwriters: How do you boast about victories you haven’t had? How do you present new proposals when many of the old ones are still on the table? And how do you handle the Russia story that seems to consume most of politics each week?

The answer from Trump was simply to conjure his own reality, outlining a set of some accomplishments, delivering the standard list of policy proposals, and ignoring the Russia probe altogether.

This president is not often good at hiding his emotions, but he did so Tuesday. As a result, not only was the picture he painted of America removed from reality, but Trump himself was also practically unrecognizable. The speech somehow managed to render Trump the one thing he almost never is: boring.

One has to go no further than his claims of economic success to reveal the gulf between reality and fantasy that exists in the White House.

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.

Only 1.8M new jobs were created since he took office according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Instead of citing the real figure, he chose to cite a figure that included three months where jobs could only be attributed to Obama.  It’s also because during his first full year in office, the 1.8M new jobs was the slowest job growth since 2010. The reason is that employers are having a hard time finding workers, which is what he also could have said.  Instead he left the impression that this was an extraordinary accomplishment.

Of those jobs created during his time in office, 184,000 were in manufacturing which would also been a good number compared to the 16,000 jobs lost in 2016. But that doesn’t mean that manufacturing is in good shape. Total manufacturing employment is still down by more than 1M workers compared to 2007.

After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Wages did grow from 2014 through the third quarter of 2017, but the rate of growth has slowed and in Q4 wage growth actually declined (from $353/wk to $345/wk)  So why didn’t he mention that?

African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

During Trump’s campaign, he claimed that more than half of African American youth were unemployed. The real number was 19.2%. African American unemployment fell from a high of 16.8% in 2010 to 7.7% last January. Since then it has fallen to 6.8%.  Why didn’t he just say that?  It is still really good news, and given his past campaign exaggerations, would have indicted a new respect for the facts.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.

That statement was true on January 13th. Last week the number went up. That’s still a good number, but it is only a six week low, not a 45-year one.  Why not simply say that they hit an 45-year low two weeks ago.

The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401(k), retirement, pension and college savings accounts.

Only about 50 percent of Americans own stocks directly or through retirement funds, according to a Gallup survey. And most of the value in stocks is held by the top 10 percent. And the bull market in the US is actually weaker than market gains in the rest of the world. So the truth is that the US markets are just part of a larger global trend, and if anything Trump has discouraged investment in US markets rather than encouraged it.

BTW, the markets fell more than 1% on Monday as money moved from stocks to bonds. This is generally an indication that at least some traders think that this market may be near its peak. Almost $360B is stock market wealth (using Trumps calculus) disappeared as a result.

Just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history.

This claim is just wrong and has been widely debunked. Depending on how you count, it ranks 8th in terms of size. Both of Obama’s tax cuts were larger.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses

More wrong. This tax plan benefits large corporations and wealthy people. According to Moody’s, three-quarters of the $1.1T in individual cuts go to people earning more than $200K/year in taxable income. Those represent only 5% of all taxpayers. The same report warns that this plan will have negative consequences on federal and local government finances.

We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

More voodoo math. As FactCheck.org points out, if every household averaged a $4,000 increase in income, that would add up to $500B/year. Corporate taxes collected last year only totaled $300B. Even if all corporate taxes were eliminated and all of that money flowed directly into individual income, it still couldn’t add up to the increase Trump claimed.

The real numbers, according to the Tax Policy Center, are closer to $1,610. That’s $135/mo. Most people are smart enough to realize that they are not the ones getting a big break.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.

Less than 2.5% of the work force have received one-time bonuses.  That’s why the remaining 97.5% know that this wasn’t a good deal for them.

Since we passed tax cuts … Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

Apple DID give workers bonuses because of the tax plan. They do plan to repatriate $38B in overseas profit as a result of the plan. They did not say that their $350B five-year investment plan was the result of the tax plan. The capital part of that plan seems in line with past levels of annual investment.

The foundation of REAL economic growth is productivity. Productivity requires a large percentage of the population to be employed in doing things that make money. It is very difficult to increase productivity when you have a large growing retirement population. The only way to do that is to add as many new workers through immigration as you have retiring. You can’t simultaneously support lowering immigration, increasing retirement, and have a high growth economy. Japan already proved that it can’t be done.

The other end of productivity is businesses investing in new plants, new technologies, etc. That’s how you increase productivity without adding new workers. That investment is also NOT currently happening because businesses are able to make money without making those investments.

Another gauge of a healthy economy is the saving rate. Savings rates go up when people have more disposable income. The rate of savings is going down, which suggests that households are strapped for cash or they are drunk on spending. Neither is good. The first suggests that the cost of living is rising more rapidly than wages. The second suggests that any boost that the economy may be getting from consumer spending is short lived.

Finally, the government has a role in economic development too. That’s to stimulate the growth of new emerging industries. Trump is failing there too. That’s because of the stake in the ground that Trump planted regarding coal. First he has failed to keep the promise that he made to coal workers. Second his wrongheaded tariffs on solar panels is costing jobs in a rapidly growing sector of the industry while failing to make any difference in the coal industry which is in decline.

The problem with short term incentives like tax breaks and repatriation is that they are candy rather than substance. Bringing $38B of profits back to this country from Apple will make it appear as if something got made in this country. Unless Apple invests that money in making more stuff in the United States than it may have otherwise made, it will not be reflected in any increase in either jobs or productivity. If Apple just uses the money to buy back their stock and increase their dividends, any economic boost will be short lived and perhaps make the next stock market correction that much more severe.

When the President bases policy on false beliefs, the country will pay the price.

Adding $1.5T in additional debt now is a REALLY bad idea according to the IMF.

The I.M.F. warned against assuming that the current economic cycle would go on indefinitely, however, particularly given the towering debt of the United States and other countries. By borrowing so much, the government can crowd out other investors and drive up interest rates. At the same time, giant deficits crank up pressure to cut government spending on health care and housing, policing and schools. With less money to go around, spending dries up and consumer demand — the economy’s primary engine — slows.

This was the SAME warning that Republicans used during the Recession. It turned out not to be true, because that’s when the government SHOULD be spending money to get the economy going again. That deficit spending worked. The economy recovered. And NOW is the time to increase taxes in order to make investments in the future industries that will support the next generation of businesses and employment. That’s because a growing economy can support a higher tax rate.

Cranking down on immigration at a time of low unemployment and baby boomer retirement is another REALLY bad idea.

A single immigrant can bring in unlimited numbers of distant relatives

This was Trump’s big lie from his speech.  Politifact labeled is Mostly False.

We should be welcoming immigrants AND their families. New family formation is the bedrock of the consumer economy. Immigrants who bring in family members provide their own support system for those immigrants.  That means they will have places to live, jobs, churches, mosques, and people like them who will help them make the peaceful transition to becoming citizens. This family process that includes a path to citizenship is why we don’t have the same problems with domestic terrorism that we’ve seen in England, Germany, and France.  There is no good reason to scrape the family immigration system.

Trading citizenship for 1.8M Dreamers for cutting LEGAL immigration in half (from $2.1M to $1M) is a bad deal for the economy.  Dreamers are already here and already have jobs.  Reducing the ability for immigrants to bring in their family members will just reduce the number of legal immigrants.  I have no problem making our immigration system more merit-based, but the number of legal immigrants should be set by the number of unfilled jobs in the economy.  Right now that number is 6M.  What is wrong with expanding the H1B program which is merit and employer based until the number of unfilled jobs is reduced?

The only reason we can’t do that is because Trump has told the country that immigrants are dangerous.  He did that again last night.  Canada on the other hand has built their economy on merit-based immigration and has already told the world that if the US doesn’t want you, you are welcome to come to Canada where their political culture realizes the economic value of skilled immigrant workers.

The REAL problem we are dealing with in this country is the disconnect between reality and fantasy.

Until we have a government willing to tell the truth, we are going to struggle for any sort of reliable and unified plan for growth and stability.

16 Responses to “The State of the Union is Fantastical”

  1. Keith says:

    I’ve read this several times today from various sources. Comments on your last post argue much of what is posted above.

    The state of the union is just that, the state of the union. I can only call much of what I’ve read bunk. Take African American pay. I heard Trump state a fact. What I didn’t hear him do was take credit for it. Please tell me where he did? Your answer will only be “he didn’t say it the way I think he should have.

    I now know what I’ve always known, there will never be agreement….. can’t be. His position on imagration reform certainly was right wing conservative. How that speech last night was hateful and racist is beyound me.

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The state of the union is just that, the state of the union. I can only call much of what I’ve read bunk. Take African American pay. I heard Trump state a fact. What I didn’t hear him do was take credit for it. Please tell me where he did? Your answer will only be “he didn’t say it the way I think he should have.

    You are “straining out gnats”. While the case for African American unemployment was less egregious than some of his other statements, it still over inflated his accomplishments. The context of that statement was a laundry list of all of the good things that his administration accomplished because of a growing economy. In this particular case, African American unemployment went down a point from an already low number to an historically low number. But in the context of statements that he made during his campaign, those who weren’t paying attention would think that the reduction was miraculous. It wasn’t.

    I now know what I’ve always known, there will never be agreement….. can’t be. His position on imagration reform certainly was right wing conservative. How that speech last night was hateful and racist is beyound me.

    Agreement with whom? I didn’t call his speech hateful and racist. I just said it was disconnected from reality. Trump has used hateful and racist speech in the past, but the closest he came in this speech were his examples of crimes committed by immigrants. Again for those paying attention, immigrants make our country safer because immigrants (legal and illegal) commit fewer crimes than the rest of the population.

    My position is that we need MORE immigrants to fill the 6M jobs that our economy has generated that are currently going unfilled because our existing citizens either don’t want those jobs or (more likely) don’t have the needed skills. IMHO it makes no economic sense to cut legal immigration in half. It only makes political sense because Trump has decided to blame immigrants for the fear that working white america has because the disruptions occurring in our economy.

    Canada is facing EXACTLY the same disruptions but has a completely different view of immigration because their politicians over a decade ago wisely starting promoting immigration as a good way to attract more skilled workers to their country. Canada has a record number of unfilled jobs for them too – 361K. Our GDP is 5X theirs, but we have almost 10x more unfilled jobs than them.
    Their GDP growth tracks ours pretty closely. Their unemployment rate is 5.7%. Canada legally admitted 300K immigrants in 2016. We admitted 1.2M. So on a population basis, Canada admits one immigrant for every 115 citizens every year. We admit less than half that rate, one immigrant for every 258 citizens. When you have 6M unfilled jobs, THAT’S a problem.

    BTW it takes about two months to get a work visa in Canada. It takes over a year in to get a work visa in the us. If you have a work visa in the US, you have to wait five years to apply for citizenship. In Canada, you have to wait four years and a citizenship request is processed in six months.

  3. Keith says:

    Auto correct got me. Again I do all responses on an iPhone. Trumps imagration proposal IS NOT conservative Republican thoughts.

  4. Keith says:

    And I will agree with you. Unfortunately some view illegal imagration as the same thing as legal imagration.

    I have a very difficult time hiring people for $16-18/hr factory jobs. I have increase the minimum wage to $15 everywhere we are located… this has help regain workers but increasing the number is difficult. There appears to be a shortage…..

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Well if Trump is going to take credit for the stock marketing going up, he is also going to have to take the blame for the stock market going down. Looks like we are in the beginnings of a full scale correction. It it breaks the 50 day moving average on the downside, it may fall fair bit further. That’s probably the next downside level that is going to get tested.

    As far as keeping score, as I recall, the market needed to get to somewhere north of 27,000 in order to deliver the same 50% return that Obama’s bull market did. We’ll see next week if traders decide that there is more life left in this market, or if they all decide to take some profits. If it is the later, then hopefully you’ll admit that this run, while a good one, did not deliver the same returns as the previous one.

  6. Keith says:

    Jeff, let’s try this experiment and see what you think of it. Jeff you’re a liar and a deceptionist who lies and goes out of his way to tarnish the reputation of others. Case in point from Trumps comments you choose to weigh in on.

    *2,000,000 jobs were created since the day he was elected – true
    *Afican American unemployment is at its lowest – true
    *After years of stagnation wages are rising – true (and just wait for the upcoming year!!!)
    *Unemployeement claims have hit a 45 year low – they did hit a 45 year low TRUE – in the “hours” since it happened it’s STILL true. It hit a low!!!!
    *The stock market has hit one record after another…. True. (On a side note if you think it’s go for democrats to run against that well…..) you responded by saying only 50% own stocks. Pensions, Union workers, city workers, college funds, etc etc etc. ?
    *the tax cuts benefit the middle class and small businesses – TRUE. 90 % of all Americans get a tax cut
    *since we passed the tax cuts 3 million people received bonus’ and raises – true. (This number will and already has increase)

    Jeff you’re framing and being equally deceptive and smearing Trumps name. There is no pleasure to be taken in that. It was a state of the union. What is a President support to say???? Should President Obama while the Dems were on their feet applauding the passage of the ACA have stopped them because a mojority of people were opposed. Should he have said about job creation it’s only because we’re putting back the jobs that were lost. Should he have said about the stock market gains is only because the street had priced in Armageddon? Surely not.

    Jeff, respectfullymy friend, your comments are exactly like Fox News responses to President Obamas state of the unions. They are absolutely in keeping with what I heard on CNN and MSNBC immediate following Trumps speech.

  7. Keith says:

    As to the stock market. I only suggested that from the night Trump got elected his win had a positive impact on the market. So far no one except you denies that. At to the 45% gain and the EPS that was too much. That is easily explain by many unknkwables are in play. How much of a positive effect will the tax breaks have, particularly last year when they were only a happy thought, on earnings and share price? How much would new activity will they generate? Etc etc etc??? Trumps win however is the reason for the optimism.

    We haven’t had a 20% correction IN WAY TOO LONG!!! I have been waiting for it. I expect one. I’ve been mentioning in my responses to you for a while that the market had got ahead of itself. No news there right?

    Remember President Obamas words as he was headed out the door, as no one on either side does when in or out of power; it like a relay race, you’re given the botton for 4 – 8 years and you run with it the best you can. Paraphrasing of course. So you deal with the circumstances as they lay in front of you. Trump inherited a very slow growth economy. I believe the Dems rallying cry was 1.8% growth was the new normal. Heck anyone what was pro-business could rally the stock market. President Obama had low interest rates, and $9 point whatever trillion of deficit spending in a very slow growth economy which helped to inflate asset values. Trumps tax cuts and higher GDP growth will be tested to see in they can sustain the highly valued assets prices he inherited. The maker last week thought so to the tune of 45% undervalued since the day he was elected. We’ll see….. I don’t blame President Obama for anything…. I think he could have done better. Trump will benefit from the 8 years of pent up demand I think. He may NOT benefit as much if interest rates get ahead of the self. Savers, not too far from that stage of life, will certainly benefit, unlike that last 10 years.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Just to be clear, here is how Trump introduced the topics that you referenced.

    Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.

    If by this “WE” he was talking about the American People – I have no problem with most of the things that Trump said. The American People ultimately deserve the credit for everything accomplished in the economy. But that’s not what he meant, and that became clear as Trump moved down the list. The “WE” he was talking about was the royal “we” – him.

    So let’s take your list one by one.

    *2,000,000 jobs were created since the day he was elected – true

    If he had said the above, I would have agreed with him. Here’s what he said.

    Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.

    If you are going to let Trump take credit for job creation as President, you have to also give Obama credit for the 600K jobs that he created from Nov 2, 2016 to Jan 21, 2017. Since that time Trump, as President created only 1.8M jobs which was the slowest job growth year since 2010. Sorry but that is not an “extraordinary success”. As a result, it is a lie.

    Also as an aside, he mentioned manufacturing twice in his speech. Here where claimed credit for 20K more manufacturing jobs than he created, and when he referenced how Staub Manufacturing benefited from the tax cut. He didn’t once promise that the tax cut would restore the 1M manufacturing jobs that have yet to come back. At a campaign speech in Detroit, he said, “My plan includes a pledge to restore manufacturing in the United States.” According to Politifact, growth in manufacturing jobs continues at the same pace established in the Obama administration. In other words, in 12 months, the best he has been able to do is sustain the rate of growth established by his predecessor. Sorry this one also fails to qualify as “extraordinary success”. As a result, it is another lie.

    *Afican American unemployment is at its lowest – true

    What was Trump’s contribution to that number? During Obama’s time in office African American unemployment dropped 9.1% over six years. That’s an average of 1.5%/year. During Trump’s year in office it has dropped .9%. Definitely a reason to celebrate, but an “extraordinary success” that happened because of something that Trump did? Nope.

    *After years of stagnation wages are rising – true (and just wait for the upcoming year!!!)

    If Trump and the fed manage to avoid a recession, I agree that he may have good wage news to take credit for. But Q4 wages went down. Saying that wages are rising was a lie based on the most recent date. The trend remains up, but that’s not what he said.

    *Unemployeement claims have hit a 45 year low – they did hit a 45 year low TRUE – in the “hours” since it happened it’s STILL true. It hit a low!!!!

    But then it went back up. They also hit a low 45 years ago. So what? This was just another careless lie that you shouldn’t try to defend. There were 1000 ways that he could have said this better, but instead he chose to lie.

    *The stock market has hit one record after another…. True. (On a side note if you think it’s go for democrats to run against that well…..) you responded by saying only 50% own stocks. Pensions, Union workers, city workers, college funds, etc etc etc. ?

    Since Trump is going to take credit for the stock market going up, he should also take credit for the stock marketing having the single largest point drop in history. But he didn’t do that. That’s because he never holds himself accountable. The only good news is that he (and you) will stop claiming that he was responsible for an extraordinary gain in the market. As far as Democrats being able to run against the stock market, I think they will do fine with that issue. And if you don’t believe my statistic regarding stock ownership, please take it up with Gallup.

    *the tax cuts benefit the middle class and small businesses – TRUE. 90 % of all Americans get a tax cut

    I would still dispute that, but that’s not what Trump said.

    Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses

    I guess it depends on how you define “tremendous relief”. To demonstrate how out of touch Republicans are on this issue, Paul Ryan attempted to define “tremendous relief” as an additional $1.50 a week. Also the “tremendous relief” expires in 7 years. I already posted that the average household will see an additional $135/mo. IMHO, while perhaps a small benefit, that’s not “tremendous relief”. Another lie.

    *since we passed the tax cuts 3 million people received bonus’ and raises – true. (This number will and already has increase)

    BTW, he didn’t say that either.

    Here’s what he said.

    Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.

    See any mention of “raises” in there? Didn’t think so, but somehow that made it into your quote. Why was that?

    It’s true that 3M workers got one time bonuses (mostly $1000). What isn’t true is the suggestion that every worker will get a bonus or even a significant number of workers will get a bonus. As it is less than 3% of workers have received a bonus. IMHO adding $1.5T to the debt in return for $3B one-time financial stimulus that is now threatening to spike inflation and caused the stock market to lose $1T in value, does not sound like an “extraordinary success”.

    BTW, what about the outright lie about an estimated increase in average family income by more than $4,000? And what about the other outright lie that this was the biggest tax cut/reform in history? Those were a couple of whoppers.

    Jeff you’re framing and being equally deceptive and smearing Trumps name. There is no pleasure to be taken in that. It was a state of the union. What is a President support to say????

    A President is supposed to tell the country what HE accomplished and what his plans are for the future.

    Trump claims were like the fullback claiming HE score a touchdown on a one yard run after the team went 99 yards without him. As some have said, he is like the rooster who takes credit for the sun coming up every morning. My post pointed out the GAPS between his claims and reality. Each one of those gaps is a dangerous lie because it suggests that country is in a place that is different than where it really is AND that it will benefit from policies built on this fantasy.

    Should President Obama while the Dems were on their feet applauding the passage of the ACA have stopped them because a mojority of people were opposed.

    We’ve been through this before. When the ACA was passed 46% of people SUPPORTED it and 40% opposed it.

    Here’s what Obama said when he signed the ACA.

    The bill I’m signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see,” Mr. Obama said, adding, “Today we are affirming that essential truth, a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself, that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations.”

    Should he have said about job creation it’s only because we’re putting back the jobs that were lost. Should he have said about the stock market gains is only because the street had priced in Armageddon? Surely not.

    When Obama defended his environmental policies in December 2017 as job creators rather than job killers, here’s what he said.

    “We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far,” Obama said during his speech at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago. “A streak that still continues by the way. ‘Thanks, Obama.’”

    It was a joke and everyone in the audience laughed. The right wing media took him to take for “taking credit” for the good economy. That’s the core of the problem.

    What should Trump have said about job creation? That the economy is strong and continues to generate jobs at a robust pace. Unemployment is low including in the minority communities. Wages over the past year are on an upward trend.

    What should Trump have said about the stock market? We are all excited about the growth in the stock market. Our focus, however, is on building a sound fundamental economy that works for everyone, not just those who can afford to invest in the stock market.

    Here’s what Obama said during his first speech to Congress in 2009 about the economy.

    I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our economy is a concern that rises above all others, and rightly so. If you haven’t been personally affected by this recession, you probably know someone who has: a friend, a neighbor, a member of your family. You don’t need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis, because you live it every day. It’s the worry you wake up with and the source of sleepless nights. It’s the job you thought you’d retire from but now have lost, the business you built your dreams upon that’s now hanging by a thread, the college acceptance letter your child had to put back in the envelope. The impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere.

    But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

    Now is the time to act boldly and wisely to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jump-start job creation, restart lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that is what I’d like to talk to you about tonight.

    He didn’t accomplish everything that he had promised, but clearly he did leave the economy in MUCH better shape than when he entered office. But he didn’t spend any time the failures of others. Instead he laid out his plan for the future. That speech gave the country hope. Trump’s speech only provided comfort to his base.

  9. Keith says:

    “We” us, America.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    “We” us, America.

    As I said in my post, it started out that way, but then it was clear who “we” really are.

    Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

    This was America? It started out that way and then, just like the rest of the speech, it became clear what he was saying. “I call upon everyone else to do what I say because I was elected President and you weren’t.”

    And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

    Unlike the ACA, the American people widely opposed the tax bill. If they had put it to a vote, it would have lost. Translation “I said I was going to pass a big tax cut that would deliver most of it’s benefits to the working people. You liked that and elected me. I delivered on a tax cut where most of the benefits went to Corporations and the wealthy. You didn’t like that, but I signed it anyway.”

    To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit.

    America did all that work? Nope. Neither did Trump, BTW, but he is taking credit for it.

    We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans. We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

    America repealed the individual mandate? Nope we didn’t get a vote on that. It was part of the tax bill that most people hated. BTW, the Kaiser Family Foundation did a study that said once people understood the impact the individual mandate had on the ACA, they supported it.

    We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

    The America didn’t do that either. Nor did the America lie to the American people about how much family income was going up.

    Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.

    Getting old yet? Hope not because there is a lot more in the speech.

    For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.

    America was doing that? Nope. Unfortunately Trump wasn’t doing that either, even though he claimed he was.

    Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

    America appointed judges too? My gosh when did American get all of this power?

    We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

    He’s talking about himself here too.

    And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

    Nope he isn’t talking about America here either. Trump is just blaming the VA rather than appropriating the money that the VA needs to run properly.

    All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

    Pretty obvious that it is Trump who is bashing federal employees rather than America.

    In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

    Trump bragging again about something that the Wash Post says is almost impossible to count.

    We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal. We are now an exporter of energy to the world.

    America was at war with coal? Nope. America already made their choice, which is cheap clean NG and renewables. Trump is again only talking about himself.

    In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.

    Trump claiming credit for Detroit’s rebirth which has much more to do with Obama’s efforts to save the auto industry than the fictional mandates (fuel efficiency standards) that supposedly were hurting autoworkers. What is hurting Detroit’s autoworkers are Michigan legislators attacks on unions.

    We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

    American believes that? I don’t know, but I suspect that Trump doesn’t really believe it either.

    From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.
    We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.
    And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.
    As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

    All Trump, and bad ideas too. $200B for infrastructure is a joke.

    As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.
    We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

    All Trump.

    We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world

    This sentence only makes sense if Trump is proud that American does more.

    Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.
    Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

    Trump lying again. He believes compromise is when everyone else does what he wants them to do.

    So please don’t make claims like this. They are just embarrassing.

  11. Keith says:

    http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_feb09

    His number are higher then President Obamas. Interested as to your thoughts.

    No response to your comments above. I would only be repeating myself. The only one I winced at when he said it was about Detroit. The recovery is so old it’s almost in decline. Lol.

  12. Keith says:

    YS)
    Trump lying again. He believes compromise is when everyone else does what he wants them to do.

    MR) really? Who doesn’t? President Obama was found, and rightly so, of saying “we won” or something like that. (Referring to he was elected.) Jeff you simply won’t allow that Trump won.

    His Budget proposal is proof once again that he isn’t a far right conservative… the only thing I recognize is military spending.

    Millions upon millions getting raises and or bonuses. I don’t know what you were referring to above…

    Just a few….. comments not all of them.

  13. Keith says:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/amphtml/USA/Politics/Politics-Voices/2014/1121/Elections-have-consequences-Does-Obama-regret-saying-that-now

    I’m only asking you to be consistent…

    Also, nothing from you about the FBI, DOJ etc going after Trump? President Obama? Surely you’re a minimum a little curious?

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_feb09

    His number are higher then President Obamas. Interested as to your thoughts.

    We’ve talked about this before. Rasmussen has a Republican bias which means that it is going to rate Republicans higher and Democrats lower. Also we talked about the value of aggregating all of the polls in order to get a fair view of the real state of the public mind.

    Fivethirtyeight.com does a good job of aggregating all of the polls and comparing them to the performance of past presidents at the same point in their administrations.

    You can see that while Trump’s approval ratings have improved somewhat, they aren’t even close to Obama’s at the same point in his Presidency.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?ex_cid=rrpromo

    No response to your comments above. I would only be repeating myself. The only one I winced at when he said it was about Detroit. The recovery is so old it’s almost in decline. Lol.

    Actually Detroit remains on a roll. Saving the domestic auto industry was key to that turnaround. Trump is claiming that changing the auto fuel efficiency standards are going to have a big impact. He’s wrong.

  15. Keith says:

    I’m consistent in using that same poll. My only point it his numbers are improving. All polls show this as you’ve agreed.

  16. Keith says:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/local/no-there-havent-been-18-school-shooting-in-2018-that-number-is-flat-wrong/2018/02/15/65b6cf72-1264-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html

    Mass media…..
    Any incorrect or biased Fox comment has a counter influence which is 3 or 4 times larger. I think this article does a good job of pointing that out as you read who was broadcasting the propaganda. The same is true durning election cycles.

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