Donald Trump addressing congress for the first time on February 28th, 2017 (Photo by Jim Lo/ Scalzo)
Clad in his navy striped tie, instead of the infamous Donald Red, Trump addressed congress for the first time on February 27th, 2017 at the Capitol. Covering a variety of issues, from Healthcare to Jobs and Foreign policy, many of the statements made included the accomplishments of his predecessor.
Jobs- True “We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.”
The North American Free Trade Agreement or better known as NAFTA, is a trade deal that was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993. Since its approval, an estimated 10% of jobs have been lost according to the Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research. It is true that China has benefited from deals like NAFTA however, those 60,000 jobs were infiltrated by robots.
2. Health- Misleading “Obamacare is collapsing.”
Although Trump uses the term “collapsing” to describe the current Affordable Care Act, created by the Obama Administration, the current plan is not crumbling to pieces and is supporting a little over 20 million Americans. Changes like increased premiums for 2017 have given folks a reason to be upset, but that is due to insurance companies not making enough money from individual health plans. Those who are covered by other government programs such are Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Veteran Affairs are not affected.
3. Immigration- False “We’ve defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own border wide open for anyone to cross and for drugs to pour in and at a now unprecedented rate.”
There are about 21,000 border patrol agents who oversee who gains entry and who doesn’t into the US. so they are not “wide open.” Most, but not all are allocated on the U.S. Southern border along with a variety of fencing. It isn’t as easy to come into the country as Trump makes it seem. In the last few years, a record number of illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds have been deported (2.5 million). The vetting process to gain legal residency in the U.S. is also a very strenuous process, and for Syrian refugees alone, it may take up to two years.
4. Foreign Policy- False “America has spent approximately $6tn in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this $6tn we could have rebuilt our country – twice.”
Trump fails to specify the type of spending that was done in the Middle East. If he is referring to both the Afghanistan and Iraq war have cost the U.S. $4.79tn. The number isn’t correct, but his claim that our own infrastructure needs revamping isn’t a lie. Since the 50’s, this country hasn’t been able to successfully allocate money to rebuild our infrastructure
5. Crime-True “The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century. In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone – and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher.”
Trump is correct. According to the FBI the murder rate in 2015 experienced a 10.8% increase. This was the largest increase of manslaughter in a single year since the 70’s. This does not mean this was the record year of murders in the United States, because the year 1991 had a record high number of 24,703 compared to 15,696 murders in 2015. The Chicago statistic from last year does hold true, as the city has been battling with a high amount of gun violence during the last two years.