aside Fact Checking The President’s State Of The Union Speech/ Stacey Abrams Response

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Here’s a link to NYT transcript: TranscriptTrump’s State of the UnionAnnotated

The republican President Donald J. Trump’s 2019 State of The Union Address went about as expected. It was a well performed theatrical delivery as he targeted his conservative message to mostly his base of voters. The Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was circumspect throughout the entire event and she kept the democrats in line with a slight hand signal.

As per a 2/5/19 Washington Post report,  “The women of the House wore white. The men wore dark suits. And the contrast laid bare the growing gender gap between Democrats and Republicans.”

“Wearing the color of the suffragists, the Democratic women of the House put on a stunning display of solidarity during the State of the Union address Tuesday.”

“They paid tribute to the women who came before them and gave a nod to their own achievement, as more women than ever are now representatives in the House.”

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But as usual, he kept the fact checkers working overtime.

See FactChecking the State of the Union

See NYT: Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background

There were some surprises that the pundits have been discussing. The president pointed at the Democrats for broaching socialism. Democrats can count on hearing this assertion as a frequent talking point.

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President Trump broached the subject of abortion as he referred to democrats in the States of Virginia and New York as sponsoring less restrictive abortion laws which included as women’s access to late term abortions. While there are sound medical reasons for the democratic legislators to enact less restrictive abortion laws, it behooves them not to appear celebratory in the process, as it just further sparks the culture divide and wars. These procedures are rarely done as the reasons for them are due to extreme circumstances. This fact has been true before and after legislation. When it was barred in New York and Virginia, those requiring medical treatment had to go out of state.

As per 2/5/19 USA Today report, Trump charged lawmakers in New York with having “cheered with delight” after recently passing legislation to “allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.”

He accused Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam of “basically” stating that “he would execute a baby after birth.”

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As per a 2/5/19 VOX report, “During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Donald Trump seemed to warn House Democrats not to investigate him, claiming it could hurt the economy.”

“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations,” Trump said.”

“He continued: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”

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Stacey Abrams pf Georgia was a shining star as she delivered the Democratic Party response to the president’s 2019 State of the Union Address. Her best line was along the lines, that we, as democrats, wish the president success but we also want him to stop the lies.

As per a 2/5/2019 CNN report, “The 45-year-old narrowly lost a gubernatorial bid in the reliably red state of Georgia last fall, but rose to national prominence in the process. She made history as the first black woman to give the Democratic response to the State of the Union.”

“Abrams, who has made voting rights a signature issue, warned during her speech that voter suppression is “real” and described protecting the right to vote as “the next battle for our democracy.” After outlining a host of Democratic priorities, she said, “None of these ambitions are possible without the bedrock guarantee of our right to vote,” adding, “Let’s be clear: voter suppression is real.”

Here are excerpts as per 2/5/2019 AP/ABC Fact Checking publication:


“TRUMP, describing progress over the last two years: “Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.”

THE FACTS: “The number of people receiving food stamps actually hasn’t declined that much.”

“Government data show there were 44.2 million people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program in 2016, before Trump took office. In 2018, there were 40.3 million people participating in SNAP. That’s a decline of 3.9 million, not the 5 million that Trump talked about.”

“The number of people participating in the SNAP program peaked in 2013 and has been going down since that time.”

“Trump’s last budget proposed cutting SNAP by $213 billion over 10 years. The administration also has been pushing to give states more flexibility in implementing the program, including tightening work requirements.”

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TRUMP: “These (border) agents will tell you where walls go up, illegal crossings go way, way down … San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in our country. In response, a strong security wall was put in place. This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings … Simply put, walls work and walls save lives.”

THE FACTS: “It’s a lot more complicated than that.”

“Yes, Border Patrol arrests in the San Diego sector plummeted 96 percent from nearly 630,000 in 1986 to barely 26,000 in 2017, a period during which walls were built. But the crackdown pushed illegal crossings to less-patrolled and more remote Arizona deserts, where thousands died in the heat. Arrests in Tucson in 2000 nearly matched San Diego’s peak.”

“Critics say the “water-balloon effect” – build a wall in one spot and migrants will find an opening elsewhere – undermines Trump’s argument, though proponents say it only demonstrates that walls should be extended.”

“The Government Accountability Office reported in 2017 that the U.S. has not developed metrics that demonstrate how barriers have contributed to border security.”

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TRUMP: “We recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods – and now our treasury is receiving billions of dollars.”

THE FACTS: “This is misleading. Yes, money from tariffs is going into the federal treasury, but it’s largely coming from U.S. businesses and consumers. It’s not foreign countries that are paying these import taxes by cutting a check to the government.”

“His reference to money coming into the treasury “now” belies the fact that tariffs go back to the founding of the country. This revenue did not start with his increased tariffs on some goods from China.”

“Tariffs did produce $41.3 billion in tax revenues in the last budget year, according to the Treasury Department. But that is a small fraction of a federal budget that exceeds $4.1 trillion.”

“The tariffs paid by U.S. companies also tend to result in higher prices for consumers, which is what happened for washing machines after the Trump administration imposed import taxes.”

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TRUMP: “Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement – or USMCA – will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers: bringing back our manufacturing jobs, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: MADE IN THE USA.”

THE FACTS: “It’s unlikely to do all those things, since the new agreement largely preserves the structure and substance of NAFTA.”

“In one new feature, the deal requires that 40 percent of cars’ contents eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour – that is, in the United States, or Canada, but not in Mexico. It also requires Mexico to pursue an overhaul of labor law to encourage independent unions that will bargain for higher wages and better working conditions for Mexicans.”

“Still, just before the agreement was signed, General Motors announced that it would lay off 14,000 workers and close five plants in the US and Canada.”

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TRUMP: “We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs.”

THE FACTS: “5.3 million jobs have been added since President Trump’s election in November 2016, but he did not become president until January 20, 2017.”

“Nearly 4.9 million jobs have been created since February 2017, including 454,000 manufacturing jobs. The unemployment rate at 4 percent is at levels last seen in late 1999 and 2000. The uptick in the unemployment rate in the most recent jobs report was likely because of the government shutdown. The unemployment rate in November 2018 was 3.7 percent which was a level last seen in 1969, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

“African American unemployment is at historic lows at 6.8 percent – but it has ticked up in recent months after hitting an all-time low of 6 percent toward the end of last year. Similarly, the Hispanic unemployment rate at 4.9 percent has ticked up from recent lows of 4.4 percent toward the end of last year.”

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TRUMP: “Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, they’re growing faster than anyone else thought possible.”

THE FACTS: “This is an unsupported statement because the data on hourly wages for private workers only go back to 2006, not decades.”

“But data on wages for production workers date back to 1939 – and Trump’s claim appears to be unfounded.”

“Average hourly earnings for production and non-supervisory workers are up 3.4 percent over the past year, according to the Labor Department. Those wage gains were higher as recently as early 2009. And they were averaging roughly 4 percent before the start of the Great Recession in late 2007.”

“There are other ways to track wage gains – and those don’t work in Trump’s favor, either.”

“Adjusted for inflation, median weekly wages rose just 0.6 percent in 2018. The gains in weekly wages were 2.1 percent in 2015.”

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“TRUMP: “I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”

“THE FACTS: This is false. Trump has repeatedly sought to reduce the number of people legally allowed into the United States.”

“Last fall President Trump set the lowest cap in the history of the refugee admission program — permitting only just 30,000 a year. In President Obama’s last year he proposed a cap of 110,000 amid the height of the crisis in Syria. In fiscal year 2017 the Trump administration allowed the second fewest refugees ever.”

“Trump also won a battle in the Supreme Court to restrict all forms of travel and immigration from 7 countries, five of which have Muslim majority populations. Just last week, the administration began selectively enforcing a new policy at the southern border that requires migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their applications are processed. He has also called for the elimination of the diversity visa program, which typically awards up to 50,000 immigration visas each year.”

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“TRUMP: “In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom – a boom that has rarely been seen before. There’s been nothing like it. … An economic miracle is taking place in the US.”

“THE FACTS: The president is vastly exaggerating what has been a mild improvement in growth and hiring. The economy is healthy but not nearly one of the best in U.S. history.”

“The economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.8 percent last spring and summer, a solid pace. But it was just the fastest in four years. In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 percent for four straight years, a level it has not yet reached under Trump. And growth even reached 7.2 percent in 1984.”

“Almost all independent economists expect slower growth this year as the effect of the Trump administration’s tax cuts fade, trade tensions and slower global growth hold back exports, and higher interest rates make it more expensive to borrow to buy cars and homes.”

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“TRUMP: “We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the child tax credit.”

“THE FACTS: The president said that his tax plan provides tax cuts to working families and while that’s true in the short term, multiple analyses found wealthier Americans and corporations will receive the largest benefit over the long term.”

“The GOP tax plan reduces taxes on average for all income groups initially, including middle-class Americans.”

“The average household will see a tax cut of $1,610 in 2019 according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank. Overall, most Americans — eight in 10, according to the center — will pay lower taxes this year.”

“But multiple independent analyses concluded that wealthier Americans and corporations will receive the largest benefit over the long term. “In general, higher-income households receive larger average tax cuts as a percentage of after-tax income,” the center found. “On average, in 2027 taxes would change little for lower- and middle-income groups and decrease for higher-income groups.” The corporate tax rate cuts are permanent.”


  1. Gronda, this started in rhe fall with the chaotic decline in the stock market. For the year, 2018 stock market returns were negative on average. There is significant concern about a slowing of the economy in 2019 due to the sugar rush from the tax cuts subsiding coupled with tariffs and trade wars. Just to illustrate these concerns, Italy is officially in recession and China growth has slowed.

    So, since the President has patted himself on the back for economic growth that is closing in on 120 consecutive months (almost 10 years) and job growth which is passed 100 consecutive months, he has to blame someone else as it slows. In the fall, he said the Federal Reserve is the enemy of the people (i.e., it is their fault) and warned of voting Democrat. Now, he is saying Democrats’ investigating his campaign and Presidency will thwart the economy.

    Two things. The economy and job growth started well before Trump became President. While a President gets too much credit and blame for the economy, they do provide headwinds and tailwinds – this President has done both.

    But, when a Trump fan says what a great job Trump is doing with the economy as justification for everything else, tell them you just complimented President Obama as well. Almost ten years of growth, with a President who has only been in charge for two years, means Obama oversaw about seven and a half years of growth. When the Trump fan does not believe you, tell them to Google current economic growth length. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      The president is fortunate that the economy with the low unemployment rates and growth have continued for as long as it has. But all the experts show that that the US economy will be slowing by 2020, which means he won’t have a leg to stand on.

      His claim to fame regarding the 2017 tax cuts bill and regulation reforms which has thrilled the rich and the corporations, along with the placement of conservative justices on the US Supreme Court and Federal court benches; the military transgender ban and the fact that he appears to be fighting for the wall will be all she wrote when he runs again. It’s obvious that what he has done is cater to a minority of US voters. He can’t win this way. His economic plan has not delivered for the average Joe as he had hoped. His tariffs and trade war rattling has ended up hurting them.

      This is the coalition that doesn’t care about President Trump’s ties to Russia, his adding $2 trillion dollars at a minimum to the US deficit; who tried his best to kill ACA.

      Hugs, Gronda


  2. After two years whatever he says I just switch off. If he had any credibility it was squandered within the first few months of tenure at The Whitehouse.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Roger,

      I refused to watch him in real time as I can’t stomach listening to him for even 5 minutes. But I get a pretty good idea by reading a transcript and by reviewing all the news reports. Nothing he says can be relied on but it is a window into his warped mind.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • As 2020 beckons we must hope for his humiliation as sitting president loosing the election, that would really hurt his ego.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I second what Roger said. I didn’t watch it, read the transcript, and said, “Yep, same ol’, same ol'”. I find it interesting that his ‘theme’ was unity, when he’s the one who has destroyed whatever unity we once had. I do hope there is somebody else to give the address next year. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jill,

      President Trump is not capable of unifying this country as he doesn’t mean it for 2 seconds. He is such a vindictive man that he can’t wait to take a swipe at whoever he feels has slighted him. He’s still spouting his rage over Sen McCain having been that one senator who stopped him and his GOP cronies from killing ACA.

      Remember those GOP ‘Dark Money’ donors were paying those GOP lawmakers lots of monies to kill ACA. These donors don’t seem to care that there’s a Russian asset in the White House.I have a lot of anger towards these guys.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know about you, but I see his behaviour in still blaming a man who has been dead for 6 months, on still blaming Obama, and Hillary … for slights, real or imagined, as a sign of severe mental illness! Nobody in their right mind behaves this way! I share your anger … toward virtually anybody who played a role in putting this creep in the White House, and to those voters who still support him. It has become, for me at least, impossible to find any more excuses for them.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Give him a day or two and he’ll be back to his old rotten lying narcissist self. The speech was obviously written for him and selected for his base and left out important issues of climate change and high number of gun murders in the US and not by illegal immigrants ( though he found one of a handful and not to downplay the horribleness of that crime).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mary Plumbago,

      It’s only getting worse. His vindictiveness knows no bounds. He has been whining away that President Obama had never been harassed with congressional investigations. He obviously is not a man who knows his history.

      White the GOP lawmakers had to go fishing a lot to find a morsel of possible wrongdoings were there were -0- indictments, the democrat oversight committees have big fish jumping out and landing on top of them. This was the GOP answer to President Obama. They picked a real bonafide crook instead of a decent man, President Obama.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

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