President Trump's State of the Union was objectively an excellent center-right speech. He told stories of strength in the face of adversity and heroism through individual Americans from all walks of life, effectively projecting the image of a unified, meritocratic, compassionate, prosperous and ascendant America on the brink of achieving world peace and Martian exploration.
It was one of the best national addresses in decades.
The problem is that it isn't true. Here are the numbers on Trump's two central campaign promises: trade and immigration.
Trump's signature issue, controlling immigration, has been put on the backburner in three years of his presidency when it comes to effective and permanent solutions.
The president touted a supposed 75% reduction in illegal border crossings last month compared to May, a superficially impressive number.
In truth, statistics on illegal border crossings are not available, only arrest numbers. The vast majority of illegal immigrants during the Trump-era willingly give themselves in to border guards in order to claim asylum. The assumption is that border patrol catches every last illegal alien, which is not true. With that said, estimated successful entries dropped significantly under the last two years of the Bush administration and throughout the Obama administration.
Furthermore, illegal crossing attempts always rise in the spring and fall during the winter, due to less agricultural work being available.
For the sake of argument, we will use apprehension statistics to check Trump's claim. In March 2019, illegal border crossings hit 13-year highs on these terms. Crossings today are overall 81% higher than they were in 2016, when Trump was sworn into office.
In Trump's defense, many aspects relating to asylum law and the agreement with Mexico to hold "asylum-seekers" until they get their court date could bolster his overall immigration enforcement clams. NumbersUSA has given Trump an A for effort and blamed the bureaucracy for his lack of achievements, but that doesn't change the fact illegal immigration has dramatically risen in the last three years.
Claims of building the wall are comparatively indefensible and risible. Only one mile of new barrier has been built, not "100 miles." The wall is not "tall and very powerful," but slated fencing being built in the place of older existing fences that smugglers are already cutting through with household tools. This is a far cry from the highly successful Israeli-style concrete wall structure Trump campaigned on and invokes when he misrepresents what his administration is actually building.
Trump has centered claims of unprecedented economic success around the record numbers the New York Stock Exchange has been putting up.
The Trump economy has indeed been a miracle for Wall Street. The Nasdaq has gone up 70%, while S&P and Dow Jones have enjoyed a boost of 45%.Finance-capital, while did everything in its power to block Trump's election, benefited greatly from the Republican party's tax-cuts and deregulation, which allowed a boon in parasitical, unproductive activities like buybacks and mergers, further concentrating wealth in the hands of the billionaire class.
Trump in his speech tried to generalize this financial growth by claiming this has benefited pensioners with 401(k)s.
The problem is that only 1/3 of Americans even contribute to a 401(k) and less than 1/5 of employers even offer a retirement plan. Furthermore, while hedgefund managers and connected capitalists can toast to the 70% boost, typical 401(k)s have increased by 10% since 2017.
The impact things like the Trump tax-cuts will have on the coffers of social programs Americans will become even more reliant on for retirement in the future, like Social Security, remains up for debate.
Trump in his SOTUS promised not to cut Social Security and Medicare, but this too is a lie. The president and the GOP have used the deficit hole produced by their own billionaire tax-cuts as an excuse to push for trillions in cuts to the programs. The way they are doing it is by making states set the standards so low, through Medicaid spending caps and block grants, that only the poorest will be able to get public health care, further locking out the largely white lower middle class who struggle the hardest to get by.
On trade, Trump celebrated new agreements like the USMCA and Phase One with China.
Trump's use of tariffs to fight back against trade deficits are a noble effort, but have been ineffective. 700,000 jobs have been lost to China since Trump's election, and the trade deficit has ballooned.
Under the new trade agreement, one of the main culprits behind the unfair trade, currency devaluation by the Chinese state and dollar overvaluation thanks to private speculators in America and beyond, is not addressed. The artificially inflated dollar will continue to make imports cheaper than exports, thus leaving the lopsidedness in tact.
On the USMCA, Trump claimed the new agreement will produce close to "100,000" new jobs, but independent federal committees estimated the real number at 28,000. This is better than nothing, but it's by no means a radical overhaul of NAFTA.
Trump's economic agenda, which is run by Wall Street Jews like Larry Kudlow, is never going to be willing to do what it takes to save American jobs and truly put America first. Without a structural overhaul that at the very least bans speculation on the dollar and implements a muscular state that plans for "Made in the USA" industry and punishes corporate outsourcing, the sucking sound of jobs will continue with little interruption.
Lastly, Trump celebrated his low unemployment statistics, which he previously and rightfully dismissed as fake during the Obama years. The average unemployment rate under Trump hovers just below 4%, down from 4.7% when Trump took office. Compared to the term averages of 5% under Clinton and Bush, and 7.4% during the Obama administration (partially thanks to the "Great Recession"), this is technically true but not nearly as impressive as the speech wants us to believe. What the actual unemployment rate is remains a mystery. The 6.7 million new jobs also check out, but 8 million jobs were supposedly created in the three years before Trump took office as well.
Wages too are up in some labor sectors, but this is more to do with over a dozen states increasing their minimum wage. Trump has expressed interest in a successful House bill that would increase the Federal minimum wage to $15 dollars (up from a pathetic $7.25 today), but his top economic advisor Larry Kudlow has expressed outrage at the idea.
Household Income has been ticking upwards, but the typical family is still poorer than in 1999. The steady rise in household incomes since the 1970s and 80s is unimpressive when you take into account that they are mostly thanks to the "two-income" trap of women going into the work force.
Trump apologists can make the argument that he is hamstrung by the courts, his advisors and his own party.
But he was elected specifically to take risks and purge the GOP, appoint the plethora of figures just as "unqualified" as Betsy DeVos or Jared Kirchner outside of Washington who support his agenda, and mobilize popular power against a corrupt, unconstitutional and tyrannical plutocrat's judiciary, as with the man he has previously compared himself to, Andrew Jackson.
Instead all the authors of our national misery have gotten significantly more powerful and ushered in an era of runaway corruption: Wall Street, the FBI, Silicon valley and Zionists.
But the power of Trump's personality will assure his fans that everything is fine.