The president"s resolve included false and misleading cases on jobs, wages, energy, immigration and more.

by Eugene Kiely, Brooks Jackson, Lori Robertson, Robert Farley, D'Angelo Gore, Jessica McDonald and Isabella Fertel

Posted ~ above February 5, 2020


In his 2020 resolve to Congress, chairman Donald trump stretched and distorted the facts:

Trump declared the economy is “the ideal it has ever been.” however GDP development fell to 2.3% last year and economists predict additional slowing this year.He said he brought about low unemployment by reversing “years of financial decay” and also “failed financial policies,” as soon as in fact over 1 million more jobs were included in the 35 months prior to he take it office than in the an initial 35 month since.Trump boasted that the “unemployment price for women got to the shortest level in virtually 70 years.” it is true, however it had actually been trending down for number of years prior to he took office. The president mistakenly said, “After decades of flat and also falling incomes, earnings are climbing fast.” They’ve gone up under Trump, but also have climbed under the last numerous presidents.Trump claimed that people’s 401(k)s and also pensions have increased “60, 70, 80, 90, and 100% and also even more.” Some might have, but that’s far higher than the average.He said “real median household income is now at the highest possible level ever recorded.” However, the Census Bureau provided that was partly as result of a readjust in survey questions in 2014. Based on “adjusted” figures, median family income to be slightly greater in 1999 보다 in 2018.Trump declared the brand-new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico “will create nearly 100,000 … auto jobs.” but an independent federal commission puts the job gains in ~ 28,000 over 5 years.The chairman boasted that “a long, tall, and very powerful wall is being built” follow me the southern border, and an ext than 100 miles have actually been completed. Yet only one mile is located where no obstacles previously existed.Trump claimed “illegal crossings” in ~ the southwest border “are down 75% due to the fact that May.” but total apprehensions in 2019 were 81% higher than in 2016, the year prior to Trump took office.He stated that “after losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has actually now gained 12,000 brand-new factories under mine administration.” he’s referring to what the bureau of job Statistics calls manufacturing “establishments,” and also most the the development under trumped has remained in facilities through fewer than 5 employees.Trump compared apples to oranges in claiming a copy of insurance allowance premiums in 5 years before he took office and also “less expensive” plans under his administration.The president stated he make an “iron-clad” promise come “always protect patients v preexisting conditions,” however that ignores the fact he has actually supported Republican wellness plans that would minimize the present protections under the Affordable treatment Act.He suggested, misleadingly, the his management was responsible for the U.S. Becoming the world’s optimal producer that oil and natural gas. But the U.S. Has actually been No. 1 in the human being for natural gas for an ext than a decade, and tops in petroleum due to the fact that 2013.Trump claimed “300,000 working age people” left the workforce throughout Obama’s eight years. Actually, the workforce prospered by 5.4 million.

You are watching: Fact checking the state of the union

We also reviewed the Democratic solution and discovered that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer obtained the story on salaries wrong, too, as soon as she stated they have “stagnated when CEO pay has actually skyrocketed.” Pay at the top may have grown more rapidly over the lengthy term, yet wages in its entirety have unable to do up.


Trump delivered the State that the Union ~ above Feb. 4, a day before the Senate is supposed to acquit the in the impeachment trial and also nine months before the presidential election.

Trump’s Twisted ‘Comeback’

The president twisted the facts once he said his administration “launched the great American comeback” ending “years of financial decay.” Actually, as we reported 3 years ago when he take it office, the economy was already experiencing steady development in output, jobs and incomes in the years before he took office.

GDP — trump card boasted the “our economic climate is the ideal it has ever before been,” which isn’t true.

As that the most recent official estimate the nation’s genuine (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product flourished 2.3% critical year. It flourished 2.9% in 2018 and additionally in 2015, before Trump’s tenure. And it grew 3.8% in 2004 and also 3.5% in 2005.

Most economic experts predict further slowing this year; critical month’s Wall Street Journal’s monthly survey of business and university economists produced an mean prediction that 1.9% growth for this year, for example.



Trump declared that the new trade covenant with Canada and also Mexico “will create almost 100,000 brand-new high-paying American auto jobs.” yet the U.S. International Trade Commission estimates the job gains in ~ 28,000 over 5 years.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which Trump signed into regulation Jan. 29, replace instead instead the phibìc American totally free Trade Agreement. The Trump administration has estimated that the will produce 76,000 automotive jobs over five years. 

However, in the April 2019 analysis of the new trade deal, the USITC said that the trumped administration’s estimate is too high. The trade commission is “an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency.”

“U.S. Government officials who are familiar with USMCA negotiations and have accessibility to accumulation data from car manufacturers estimate that the affect of USMCA will certainly be an increase of 76,000 vehicle and parts production jobs, and investments totaling $34 billion over 5 years,” the analysis said. “This estimate is larger than the Commission’s estimate, i beg your pardon predicts boost of 28,000 jobs.”

The USITC additionally reviewed 3 independent analyses of the profession deal and also found that two of them to be “generally consistent” through the commission’s findings. A third — native the facility for Automotive research study — expanded its analysis to include “impacts top top downstream business employees (e.g., at dealerships), i m sorry concludes with a more negative result” 보다 the USITC.

The commission stated that one an essential difference between its estimate and also the administration’s is in the area of auto manufacturing. The management projects rise in automobile manufacturing jobs, if the board of directors “finds a decrease due to lessened volume.”

“It’s not at every clear that there is walk to it is in a positive effect on tasks in the auto industry,” mar Lovely, a senior fellow in ~ the Peterson institute for worldwide Economics, which developed one that the reports reviewed by the USITC, told the New York Times last year. “This is the difficult lesson of economics, i m sorry is usually there’s a lot of determinants here.”

Wages have actually Gone up Under past Presidents

Trump was wrong as soon as claimed: “After years of flat and also falling incomes, salaries are rising fast.”

Wages have gone increase under Trump, however they haven’t been “flat” because that “decades.” genuine wages, adjusted for inflation, have actually gone up end the last numerous presidencies.

During Obama’s last 4 years in office, the mean weekly earnings for production and also nonsupervisory employees went up 4.9%. Over his eight year in office, earnings went increase 4.2%.

Under chairman George W. Bush, wages additionally increased by 4.2%, and also they climbed by 6.4% under President invoice Clinton.

During Trump’s time in office, those wages have actually gone increase by 2.6%.

These figures come from the bureau of labor Statistics. The irreversible trend mirrors a U-shaped curve, not a flat line. Actual wages hit their top in the early on 1970s, and also then generally dropped prior to beginning to increase again starting in the mid-1990s.

Democratic Response likewise Wrong on Wages

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asserted in the Democratic response to the State of the Union: “In my own state, our neighbors in Wisconsin and Ohio, Pennsylvania and all over the country, wages have stagnated while CEO pay has skyrocketed.” together we explained, wages, adjusted for inflation, have been rising.

Whitmer has a point that salaries for those in ~ the top, end the long-term, have grown much more rapidly than for those in lower-income groups. The economic Policy Institute, a think tank that advocates for low- and middle-income workers, said in a 2019 report the every revenue percentile saw some expansion in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings from 1979 to 2018, despite the 50th percentile observed a 14% rise while the 95th percentile skilled a 56.1% increase.

Household Income

Trump declared that “real median family members income is currently at the greatest level ever recorded.” that’s true by one inflation-adjusted measure, yet not through another.

As we created in ours latest update of “Trump’s Numbers,” the Census Bureau’s main measure of median family members income got to $63,179 in 2018 – i m sorry is the highest ever before recorded. But Census public official said current figures are due in part to a change in the survey concerns in 2014. Due to the fact that then, the yearly survey has included extr sources of earnings that were previously left out.

According to the “estimated adjusted” figures Census officials published to reflect the change, the median family income in 2018 was less than it was in 1999 – $63,231.


Trump exaggeration the success that the stock sector gains under his leadership, claiming, “Since my election, United claims stock markets have soared 70 percent.” And, that said, “All the those millions of human being with 401(k)s and pensions space doing far better than castle have ever before done before with rises of 60, 70, 80, 90, and also 100% and even more.”

As we wrote freshly in “Trump’s numbers January 2020 Update,” share prices continued their decade-long increase with trumped in office. But he is overstating that success, and he’s goosing the number a little by taking credit for gains while Obama was still in office, yet after Trump’s election.

At the nearby on Feb. 4, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock average was 45.2% greater than it to be on the day of Trump’s inauguration. Over the exact same period, the Dow Jones commercial Average, consisted of of 30 huge corporations, to be up 45.3% under Trump. And also the NASDAQ composite index, comprised of an ext than 3,000 companies, to be up 70.4%.

It’s certainly possible that part 401(k) plans have increased dramatically, even as high together 100%, together the chairman said. Yet those would be outliers. Follow to an analysis by Fidelity Investments, the average 401(k) balance increased about 1% in between the very first quarter that 2018 and also the an initial quarter of 2019, and increased 8% between the an initial quarters that 2017 and also 2018.

And as we have written, no everyone in the U.S. Is enjoy it the stock sector gains. Only about half of U.S. Families owned stocks straight or indirectly (through shared funds, trust funds or pension plans) in 2016, according to a paper published in November 2017 by the national Bureau of economic Research. And also only about a third of Americans add to a 401(k), according to the U.S. Census.

Border Wall

Trump boasted that “as we speak, a long, tall, and also very an effective wall is being built” follow me the southern border. “We have actually now completed over 100 miles,” that said.

The administration has boosted the obstacles along the southerly border, but virtually all building and construction has to be to replace existing barriers — not expand the length of the mile of physical barriers between the U.S. And Mexico.

As of budget year 2015, there were 654 miles of primary obstacles on the southwest border, “including 354 miles of main pedestrian barriers and also 300 mile of primary automobile barriers,” follow to a July 2018 report by the federal government Accountability Office. As of Jan. 24, U.S. Customs and Border protection “has 655 miles of primary barriers on the southwest border,” according to a CBP fact sheet.

Under Trump, “approximately 99 miles of brand-new border wall surface system created in ar of dilapidated and/or outdated designs and also approximately 1 mile of new border wall system created in areas where no barriers previously existed,” the truth sheet said.

In addition to those main barriers, CBP claimed the administration has completed so much 10 mile of second barriers, which are situated behind the major barriers.

Border Apprehensions

Trump said “illegal crossings” at the southwest border “are down 75% because May.” however measured over a longer duration of time, border apprehensions under Trump space up, no down.

Trump: As a result of our extraordinary efforts, illegal crossings are down 75% since May — dropping eight right months in a row.

There room technically no statistics because that those who cross the border illegally, however apprehensions by U.S. Customs and Border defense are used to measure such trends.

Total southwest border apprehensions did decrease by nearly 75% from 132,856 in might to 32,858 in December, according to CBP. Yet attempted border crossings often tend to be highest possible in March, April and May and also lowest in December.

As we wrote in “Trump’s number January 2020 Update,” there to be 799,669 total apprehensions at the southerly border in 2019, the highest yearly total due to the fact that 2007 and also 81% greater than in 2016, the year prior to Trump take it office.


Boasting about growth in manufacturing, trump claimed: “After losing 60,000 factory under the previous two administrations, America has actually now acquired 12,000 brand-new factories under my administration.” but there’s less here than meets the eye.

He’s most likely referring to Bureau of job Statistics data on the “Number of facilities in exclusive Manufacturing,” which indicates there to be a decline of 54,865 production “establishments” between the very first quarter that 2001 and the very first quarter of 2017. The was a around 13% decrease during the administrations of George W. Bush and also Barack Obama. And there has been boost of 12,074 of those establishments (3.5%) in between the very first quarter the 2017 and also the second quarter of 2019, the last quarter for which together data is available.

However, part context is in order. The BLS counts all facilities “engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into brand-new products.” back manufacturing facilities “are often defined as plants, factories, or mills” — Trump referred to as them “factories” — and “characteristically use power-driven machines and also materials-handling equipment,” they additionally include “establishments that transform materials or building material into new products by hand or in the worker’s home and those engaged in marketing to the basic public assets made top top the very same premises indigenous which they space sold, such as bakeries, candy stores, and custom tailors.”

The figures likewise include all sizes the establishments, and when we looked into this case in October, Caleb Foote at the Information modern technology and Innovation foundation noted the the vast majority of benefit under Trump’s watch have actually been establishments with under than five employees.

Also, the upward tendency began before Trump took office. In Obama’s last 4 years, the variety of establishments prospered by 10,407.

Health insurance money Premiums

The president compared apples to oranges in claiming, “Before ns took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. Ns moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our brand-new plans space up come 60 percent less expensive and also better.”

The management had asserted a copy of the “average premium” indigenous 2013 come 2017, but, as we wrote, the compares individual industry premiums before the Affordable care Act’s significant provisions go into result with 2017 exchange premiums. The ACA compelled insurers to charge the very same premiums, nevertheless of health and wellness status, and also include a minimum set of benefits. So, cheap, barebones plans can no much longer be available to those that buy their own insurance.

Also, as we explained in detail, the room of Health and also Human Services report that included these approximates said there were number of limitations and caveats, including relying on data because that 2013 the HHS recognized wasn’t a “perfect comparison.”

As because that the “affordable alternatives” trump card touted, his management has issued rule to expand cheaper, less an extensive insurance options, together as short-lived insurance. Whether those plans would certainly be “better,” together Trump claimed, would certainly be a issue of opinion, as we’ve said before. Castle would expense less since they wouldn’t need to cover certain benefits and could differ premiums much more widely than the ACA allows.

Not so ‘Iron-Clad’ on Preexisting Conditions

Trump claimed he make an “iron-clad” promise come Americans: “We will constantly protect patients with preexisting conditions.” but he has actually backed Republican wellness plans that would certainly lessen the current protections for those with preexisting conditions, and his administration has sustained a lawsuit against the Affordable care Act by suggesting the health law’s preexisting problem protections would have to be eliminated.

As we’ve explained, under the ACA, insurers can’t refuse coverage or collection premiums based upon an individual’s medical conditions. The GOP health and wellness plans questioned in 2017 and supported by Trump, however, can have led to some with health conditions to pay higher premiums. (See “Bloomberg, trump Spar top top Preexisting Conditions” because that more.)

The Republican plaintiffs in the court case, Texas v. United States, say the entire ACA have to be found unconstitutional. We don’t recognize what the administration would do regarding preexisting problems if the plaintiffs eventually win that case, however a 2018 Justice room letter said that two provisions that the ACA would should be got rid of if the fit were successful: those guaranteeing that human being can’t be denied coverage by insurers or charged much more based on details factors, together as health status.


As he has actually done previously, trump attributed the U.S.’s position as the peak producer of oil and natural gas to his administration’s actions. “Thanks come our bolder regulatory reduction campaign,” he said, “the United claims has become the No. 1 producer the oil and also natural gas anywhere in the world, through far.”

While power production has risen under Trump, the hydraulic fracking eight that has actually propelled the U.S. To its current heights began under previous administrations — and some of the optimal rankings to be hit year ago.

As we have written on other occasions once Trump has actually made similar claims, consisting of in last year’s State the the Union, the U.S. Outstripped Russia to come to be the world’s largest producer of natural gas more than a te ago, in 2009.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Also took the height spot for petroleum manufacturing well prior to Trump remained in office, in 2013. Full petroleum, EIA explains, is “made increase of numerous different varieties of fluid fuels, consisting of crude oil and also lease condensate, tight oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen.”

Trump was president as soon as the U.S. Gone beyond Russia on crude oil oil production in the summer of 2018. The achievement, however, was long expected, and also based on a surging in crude that began about a decade ago. The International power Agency’s 2012 power outlook, because that example, predicted that the U.S. Would end up being the biggest crude oil producer by 2020, primarily since of advancements in fracking technology.

Trump also claimed the U.S. Was power independent, saying, “With the tremendous development we have made end the past three years, America is now power independent.” While there isn’t necessarily a single definition for energy independence — and as a ide it might be impossible, given global markets — one metric would certainly be whether the U.S. Produces an ext energy 보다 it consumes. 

The recent monthly data from EIA, which is current up come October 2019, mirrors that for 6 out the the 10 month of last year, U.S. Complete primary power production exceeded total consumption.

The U.S., however, still has actually energy imports.


Trump make a puzzling and misleading claim when he said, “In eight years under the last administration, end 300,000 working-age people dropped the end of the workforce. In just three year of my administration, 3.5 million people, working-age people, have joined the workforce.”

The reality is the the total civilian workforce grew during Obama’s eight years — adding 5.4 million. It has grown faster under Trump, including 4.9 million during his an initial 35 months.

(The labor force is comprised of those age 16 and also over who room either to work or search employment.)

It’s no clear what Trump way by “working age.” If he supposed to refer to workers in what is commonly referred to as the “prime” working years of 25 to 54, climate he would be exactly to to speak there to be a decline. However the loss to be actually close to 1.6 million (not 300,000) throughout Obama’s time. And also there has actually been a acquire under trumped in this age group, yet the number is simply under 2.5 million (not 3.5 million).


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