Donald Trump, who already holds the record for telling the most lies of any President in modern history during his first year in office, continued that practice last night during the State of the Union address. His vision of America was premised on lies, half-truths and distortions.
Trump essentially stuck to the script and avoided the wild and inflammatory statements he’s known for.
Instead, he spoke of bipartisanship and unity. But he couldn’t mask his administration’s cynical, divisive agenda, or avoid making, in some cases stupendously, false claims about his accomplishments in his first year in office.
Trump holds the record for presidential lying.
During his first year in office, he’s told more than 2,001 false or misleading claims, according to a Washington Post database used to track Trump’s misstatements.
Trump has no problem repeating falsehoods even after his claims have been debunked.
To justify his wall, he’s repeated the same drug smuggling lie at least 17 times, according to the newspaper. In just two months, he’s falsely described the diversity lottery 12 times.
His State of the Union speech was no different. It was peppered with lies, half-truths and distortions to justify his agenda or pump-up his accomplishments.
The following are just some of the fact-checks, IM gleaned from his speech, plus other fact checks reported by other publications. This list is by all means, not all inclusive. All are sourced.
“Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.”
Fact Check: Current law prohibits Immigrants from bringing in an unlimited number of “distant relatives.” There are quotas and huge lines for siblings and there’s no sponsorship at all for uncles, aunts, cousins. Source: U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services Administration
“As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.”
Fact Check: As of 2017, the U.S. had 6,800 nuclear warheads; 2,800 are retired and awaiting dismantlement, leaving 4,018 warheads as part of the U.S. stockpile. That’s enough to destroy every city in Russia, China and Iran, with more than 2,000 warheads to spare. –Source: Arms Control Association
“One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.”
Fact Check: Trump’s support for lower drug prices is a sham. Virtually every Trump appointee who would have influence over the importation of lower priced drugs from Canada, the quickest way to lower prices, is flatly opposed to the idea as are the majority of Republicans in Congress.
“The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.”
Fact Check: After year one of Trump, U.S. stock returns are besting the historic average but are lagging Obama’s first year significantly. Half the U.S. households do not benefit from the stock market. On the day of Trump’s speech, the stock market plunged, losing 1% of its value. –Source: Financial Planning Magazine, Gallup
“Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.”
Fact Check: The administration’s new “America First” budget slashes funds for the Education Department by 13.5 percent, or $9.2 billion, which will cause a reduction in programs. –Source: NPR
“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.”
Fact Check: A year after Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to revive the ailing U.S. coal industry, the sector’s long-term prospects for growth and hiring remain as bleak as ever. In addition, the U.S. has been an exporter of energy for years. It was expected to become a net exporter of energy (exporting more than it imports) in 2017 and saw a doubling of U.S. petroleum exports under the Obama administration. Restrictions on exporting crude oil were lifted in December 2015. –Source: Fortune, U.S. Energy Information Administration
“In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.”
Fact Check: Nationally, gas prices are 10 cents more expensive than one month ago and 30 cents more than one year ago. Every penny increase in gasoline costs U.S. consumers $1 billion. –Source: AAA Gas Prices, BusinessInsider
“Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country. This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.”
Fact Check: BMW opened its first U.S plant in 1994. Toyota opened its first plant in 1986 and will open its newest plant in 2021. Volvo, Hunydai, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagon and Mercedes all have opened plants in the U.S. Fiat Chrysler is investing $1 billion in a Michigan factory, but Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat Chrysler chief executive, credits talks with the United Auto Workers in 2015 as the catalyst for the move, not Trump. –Source: Reuters, Detroit Free Press
“Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.”
Fact Check: Trump often inflates the number of jobs created under his presidency by counting Election Day, rather than when he took the oath of office.About 1.8 million jobs have been created since January 2017. That’s the slowest gain in jobs since 2010. –Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, WashingtonPost
“After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”
Fact Check: Wages have been on an upward trend since 2014. In fact wage growth slowed during the first year of Trump’s presidency. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
“Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.”
Fact Check: Unemployment claims fluctuate on a weekly basis. For the week ended Jan. 13, claims hit 216,000 the lowest since 1973. But this week they’re back up to 233,000 claims only the lowest since only December, six weeks ago. Source: TradingEconomics
“African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”
Fact Check: The African American unemployment rate has been steadily declining since it hit a peak of 16.8 percent in March, 2010. The rate was 7.7 percent when Trump took the oath of office and now is 6.8 percent. Trump can take credit for only 0.9 percent of the decrease, but has enacted no policies to specifically address the issue. Source: U.S. Labor Department
“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. Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.”
Fact Check: Trump’s tax cut equals nearly 0.9 percent of GDP. In contrast, Reagan’s 1981 cuts equaled 2.89 percent of GDP. Trump’s tax cut is the eighth-largest and smaller than two of Barack Obama’s tax cuts. Source: U.S. Labor Department
“Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.”
Fact Check: Trump initially promised a “massive” 35-percent tax cut for America’s middle class, but the final bill lowered taxes by about 10 percent and only for eight years. They expire in 2025. Source: Newsweek