Thoughts On Trump’s 1st State Of The Union Speech

Last night, President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to a joint sessions of Congress.

Random thoughts:

• It was long – the longest since Bill Clinton’s 2000 address.

• For the most part, Trump stayed on script which is about the best thing that can be said.

• No new policies were introduced during the speech.

• It was odd to watch Trump himself clap during each pause. Or, considering it’s Trump – not so odd.

• The Trumpster only spent 49 seconds on the opioid epidemic that’s killing 64,000 people a year in America.

• Teleprompter Trump is better than unfiltered Trump.

• It’s notable that as he stepped up to the mic, Trump’s approval rating – 37% – is the lowest of any modern president as he enters his second year.

• Lots of inaccuracies throughout the address. Non-partisan, Pulitzer Prize-winning site Politifact did fact checking along the way.

Just some of what they found.

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

It is False that the tax-cut package passed in December is the largest cut ever, as Trump has repeatedly claimed.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, the recent tax bill is the fourth-largest since 1940. And as a percentage of GDP, it ranks seventh.

“The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people.”

We rated Trump’s claim False. While lottery applicants are randomly selected, they must meet education and work experience requirements. They must also be vetted by the United States government before being allowed to come to the United States.

“African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”

The black unemployment rate is indeed at record lows, and the Hispanic unemployment rate reached the lowest levels in history during Trump’s tenure.

That’s a continuation of an earlier trend. Under former President Barack Obama, the unemployment rate for both groups fell by more than half.

Much more over at Politifact.

For more in-depth coverage of the speech, head over to The New York Times‘ recap here.