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7 Reality Checks on the True State of the Union

Living under the Trump regime can feel like making your way through a dystopian novel. And after last night’s State of the Union, a few reality checks are in order.

By Robert Weissman

Reality Check #1: The Trump tax scam will not help regular families.

The tax scam was designed to benefit corporations and the superrich — like Donald Trump and the people in his Cabinet — and will actually encourage job outsourcing.

The small bonuses conferred by a few corporations have been dwarfed by the enormous sums spent on stock buybacks.

Reality Check #2: Trump’s deregulatory attacks are making Americans poorer and weaker.

Because of regulatory rollbacks completed or underway, we will breathe dirtier air, be subjected to dangerous products, pay more at the gas pump, be far more likely to be cheated by banks and have overtime pay denied.

Reality Check #3: Trump has not delivered on his trade promises.

Contrary to Trump’s claim that our trade policy “has turned a corner” in his first year, job outsourcing has continued, with even the Carrier workers whom Trump pledged to protect seeing their jobs shipped to Mexico.

Trump provided no clue as to how he might deliver on his pledge to redo NAFTA to benefit working people or address our China trade deficit.

Reality Check #4: Drug companies continue to spike prices under Trump.

Trump placed a pharmaceutical company lobbyist in charge of his medicine cost working group, and named a Big Pharma executive to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Not surprisingly, they are not rushing forward reforms.

Reality Check #5: Trump has been all talk and no action on the opioid epidemic.

Trump announced a public health emergency regarding the opioid epidemic, but he didn’t devote more money to treatment or take steps to make treatment more affordable.

States say the administration has done nothing more than give those impacted a “hope and prayer.”

Reality Check #6: Trump is not bringing back coal jobs.

With or without the Clean Power Plan, only 500 new coal jobs have been created since Trump came into office. And even Trump’s coal baron cronies have admitted that Clean Power Plan repeal won’t save the declining industry.

Rolling back the Clean Power Plan will, however, cost households money, in every state in the nation, and will lead to needless death and illness.

Reality Check #7: Trump is offering false hope to terminally ill patients.

In urging Congress to pass so-called “right-to-try” legislation — more appropriately termed the “False Hope Act” — Trump falsely asserted that terminally ill patients in the U.S. today must travel to other countries to receive experimental treatments.

And then there’s this: Yes, the American Dream in all its dimensions is a defining part of our national story.

But the American Dream embraces opportunity for all and has been a beacon of hope for immigrants.

Trying to turn “Dreamer” against the heroic movement trying to fix DACA, a movement that represents the best of America — which is exactly what Donald Trump did last night — is outright disgusting.

Trump’s State of the Union was notable for its unusual lack of policy specificity. The only thing Trump was concrete about was his hostility to immigrants.

America is better than this.