Originally published on February 7th, 2019
Before we get around to Trump’s State of the Union address, I wanted to say a few words about Stacey Abrams’ rebuttal. It was a pleasure actually watching someone give an address that didn’t look like a hostage video. She was warm, engaging and made a compelling case for Democrats going into the most consequential election in more than a generation. It was also quite clear from her demeanor that she not only has a future in the party, for all intents and purposes she represents the fastest growing segment of it.
Now onto the Liar in Chief. Let’s just cut to the chase: it’s easier keeping track of the few truths that emanate from Trump’s mouth than the many lies. In just under two hours, this president outdid even himself. It’s a wonder Nancy Pelosi didn’t keel over from laughter during his speech.
I did my best to list the more egregious offenses, and, surprise, surprise, almost all of them had to do with the border and illegal immigration. But a few had to do with another pet peeve of his: tariffs and trade.
The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.
Between 1993 and 2006, violent crime in El Paso fell 34 percent. In fact, the city had the third lowest violent crime rate prior to the construction of a 57-mile border fence, which was not completed until 2010.
Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.
While most illegal drugs do enter the U.S. via the southern border with Mexico, they arrive at legal ports of entry which would be unaffected by a border wall. However, the number one cause of drug-related deaths is prescription drugs. Indeed, the opioid crisis affects thousands of counties across this country, and no president – including this one – has come up with a solution for it.
Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens.
This is an absurd charge to make, given that the word “countless” is not quantifiable by any known metric. However, what we do know is that immigrants – illegal or not – are less likely than native born citizens to commit violent crimes. You can google this, it’s not that hard.
The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens.
For the umpteenth time, there is no security crisis at the border. Since 2000, apprehensions at the southern border have gone from 1.6 million to less than 400,000. As of 2018, it was at the lowest level in 45 years. This is due primarily to an increase in both technology and the number of border patrol agents deployed, the very things Democrats want to increase funding for in their budget proposal.
Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion dollars of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars.
He still thinks that tariffs go directly into the Treasury. The fact is exporters like China do not pay the tariff. It’s the importers who pick up the tab and then pass it on to consumers in the form of higher prices at the cash register. A first year economics major could figure this out.
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.
Actually, it doesn’t come close to dealing with any of the legitimate issues the U.S. has with China and net, net it will cause car prices to rise and the overall selection of cars to decrease. G.M. has already announced it is fazing out most of the sedans in its Chevrolet division.
In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before.
Actually, we have seen it before. In the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2014, to be precise. In both instances, U.S. GDP was 5.1 percent and 4.9 percent respectively, and both were considerably higher than the 4.2 percent in the 2nd quarter of 2018 that Trump likes to boast about. In fact, since the end of the recession in December of 2009, the Obama Administration saw the creation of more than 16 million jobs. During the Clinton Administration, the economy added 18.6 million jobs, by far the most of any presidency. So far, in the first two years of the Trump Administration, the economy has added 4.8 million jobs. Assuming Trump wins reelection and those numbers hold firm, they would eclipse both Obama’s and Clinton’s. But that’s a big if. Both Clinton and Obama had to contend with economic down turns that negatively impacted job growth. It is highly likely that a similar economic down turn will occur over the next couple of years, thereby depriving Trump the title of number one job creator. At any rate, there is nothing “unprecedented” about this economic boom.
The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.
If you subtract the 2nd quarter of 2018, the economy has grown pretty much at the same pace as it did under the Obama Administration. Indeed, Trump’s biggest accomplishment appears to be not completely screwing up the recovery that began under Obama. But give him time; I’m sure he’ll get around to it.
If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.
So, basically, what he’s saying here is that, sans him, the world would’ve ended in a nuclear holocaust. Because that’s ostensibly the logical conclusion. Any major war involving North Korea would undoubtedly lead to an exchange of nuclear weapons. The fact is this president has been no more successful in getting Kim Jong-un to give up his nukes than previous presidents. Indeed, Kim appears to be playing Trump the same way every other dictator has by stroking his massive ego. If anyone deserves credit for getting Kim to the table, it’s South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who welcomed North Korea’s athletes to the Winter Olympics at Pyeong Chang last year. Trump, through his use of the term Little Rocket Man to describe Kim in 2017, damn near started World War III.
There were a few more beauties in the speech, but I think you get the point. It was a bad night for the truth and an even worse one for this president, who seems to not care in the slightest that he is destroying the very nation he bragged he would make great again and which he also swore an oath to defend.