Trump's State of the Union Address dismisses impeachment inquiry

By MATTHEW BEDELL
On February 12, 2020

Photo courtesy of gage skidmore, Flickr

President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union on Feb. 3, highlighting improvements to the economy, healthcare and the military. His speech echoed early messages of his presidential re-election campaign, but it failed to touch on the impeachment inquiry. 

Trump focused much of his time on key points that are important to voters, mimicking a Trump rally, but utilizing words and statements that were calculated in an effort to court independent voters.

“I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world — and it’s not even close,” Trump said. “From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy – slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.”

Trump mostly focused on the economy, emphasizing the higher GDP and lower unemployment rate for all Americans. 

“Since my election, U.S. stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible,” he said.

Trump also took the time to talk about the trade plans he passed in order to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

“Six days ago, I replaced NAFTA and signed the brand-new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement into law,” Trump said. “The U.S.M.C.A. will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs, and massively boost exports for our farmers, ranchers, and factory workers.”

Trump went on to discuss how his administration has improved healthcare, with efforts to make prices more transparent, apparently helping American consumers.

"The American patient should never be blindsided by medical bills," he said. 

To his credit, he has allowed many more generic drug brands to begin operating in the U.S., which has dropped prices. Most Americans are unable to access the healthcare markets without the risk of obtaining crippling debt.

Trump also talked about a partnership with the Chinese government as part one of his trade deal comes to a head. Trump would like to work further with China now that, as he claims, they have someone whom they can respect and make a deal with.

On the military front, Trump touted the “revival” of the U.S. military. He claims that the expansion of the military’s budget has helped it become fully rebuilt and made it the strongest armed force in the world.

However, the United States Armed Forces were already regarded as the strongest military in the world. The budget increases only continue to add to the country’s debt after Trump enacted his tax cuts back in 2017.

Some of the biggest takeaways are that the president did not decide to acknowledge the impeachment inquiry and trial launched against him, making no mention of it. Perhaps this shows that Trump thinks it is beneath him, and thus he is putting it past him. Perhaps he is trying to belittle it. Nonetheless, he gave it no breath.

Some of the work he has done was only made due to proposals by Democrats in Congress adding amendments onto the bills, including policies for the USMCA, Space Force and federal pay leave. He did not and was not likely to accomplish these many achievements without bipartisan help.

Another important point is Trump's indirect attacks on progressive and socialistic candidates in the Democratic primary. Using Venezuela as his example, Trump talked about how socialism destroys and corrupts nations, but "freedom unifies the soul."

His words were ironic; in another part of the speech, Trump promised to defend both Social Security and Medicare. Both are socialist policies that are highly popular with Americans.

 

mbedell@ramapo.edu

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