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Fact Checking 12 Statements at President’s SOTU

The president’s recent State of the Union Address was the third longest  SOTU address by an American president since 1966 coming in a 89 minutes. The longest was Bill Clinton and the shortest was Ronald Regan. While all presidents get to take center stage without taking questions or responding to their audience, take a look at how twelve of these statements align with the facts. 

1. “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.”


Only about 1.8 million jobs have been created since January 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the slowest jobs gain since 2010.

2. “After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.” 


Wages have been moving upward trend since 2014, according to the BLS. Their growth slowed during the first year of Trump’s presidency.

3. “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.”


Jobless claims rose to 233,000 last week. So it’s a six-week low, not a 45-year low. Besides, the number of jobless Americans who even qualify for unemployment insurance keeps shrinking.

4. “The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.”


The S&P 500 gained about 33.3 percent from Obama’s inauguration through his first State of the Union, compared with 25.5 percent under Trump.

5. “Just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history.” 


This is false when one compares it in inflation-adjusted dollars, the recent tax bill is the fourth-largest since 1940. And as a percentage of GDP, it ranks seventh.

6. “Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.”


 A raft of independent analyses show that more than three-quarters of the individual tax cuts will go to people who earn more than $200,000 a year in taxable income – the richest 5 percent of all taxpayers.

8. “Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.”


Fewer than 2.5 percent of American workers have received one-time bonuses so far, and many of the companies offering bonuses are on Wall Street.  

9. “Since we passed tax cuts … Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.”


 Apple didn’t say whether its moves had been long planned or spurred by the tax changes, or even whether it’s increasing its level of U.S. investment from previous years.

10. “Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan.”


 Chrysler’s plan to invest $1 billion in a factory in Michigan was in motion before Trump’s election, according to its CEO, who credits talks with the United Auto Workers in 2015.

11: Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.” 


An immigrant who becomes a U.S. citizen could petition a parent or siblings to become U.S. Citizens but there is a long queue for certain relatives to come through family sponsorship. For brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, the waiting period is over 13 years.

12. “We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling and the underprivileged all over the world.”


As a percentage of our total economy, the United States is one of the least generous of all wealthy nations, ranking 22nd out of 29 – putting us between Slovenia and Portugal.




Thanks to Robert Reich, Washington Post, Politifact and other researchers for these fact checks on President’s Trump State of the Union Address. 

About Linda Gross

Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.

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