BY: EBENEZER NKUNDA
Article II of the US Constitution requires that the President of the United States deliver a State of the Union from time to time, including a budget report and legislative proposals. Every president uses the State of the Union as a way to update the people on what has been done and what there is to do in the country, but The State of the Union is nothing without some form of rebellion.
Memorable moments include Democratic Congresswomen wearing white in honor of the women’s suffrage movement; during Trump’s talk on gun laws, father of a killed Parkland student started to scream his disagreements and was escorted out by security shortly after. Also, something that stole the show and gained a lot of attention online was Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi who immediately ripped up her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union speech after he finished speaking.
One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s guests for the event, Fred Guttenberg, a gun violence activist who lost his daughter in the Parkland school shooting in 2018, was escorted out of the House chamber by police after loudly shouting something at the president during his address.
Here is a quick recap of what President Trump mentioned in the Speech.
- Monthly unemployment reached a 50-year low of 3.5% in 2019.
- The economy added 2.1 million jobs in 2019, a 1.4% increase from the total number of jobs at the end of 2018.
- Median wages increased 0.1% from 2017 to 2018.
- From November 2018 to November 2019, we imported $624 billion more in goods and services than we exported, a 1.1% increase from the previous 12 months.
- As of 2019, 328 million people lived in the United States.
- The US population grew by 1.6 million from 2018 to 2019, with 38% of growth coming from immigration.
- Our population is getting older.
- A greater proportion of people are living alone than at any point since 1980.
- The absolute number of non-Hispanic white people has been falling since 2017.
- The federal government collected $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2019..
- The federal government spent $4.4 trillion in 2019.
- Federal revenue grew 2% in 2019.
- Federal spending grew 6% in 2019.
- We spent 28% more than we collected in revenue, creating a $984 billion deficit.
Standard of living for the American People
- Middle-class families (the middle 20% of income earners) average $49,000 in market income from sources including wages, investments, and retirement.
- Middle-class families receive an average $19,000 in government assistance from programs like Medicare, Social Security, and food stamps.
- On average, middle-class families pay $15,000 in combined federal, state, and local taxes.
- Middle-class families collectively own 7% of all wealth.
- The poverty rate decreased from 15% in 2010 to 11.8% in 2018.
- Since 2000, spending per public school student increased 22% to $12,000, adjusting for inflation.
- College tuition averaged $23,835 in 2016, which is doubled the cost it average in 1996
- People with a bachelor’s degree earn 64% more than those with just a high school diploma.
- More than a third of the adult population has a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Personal healthcare spending in 2018 reached $3.1 trillion
- Average insurance spending is unequal across programs.
- The percent of Americans who are uninsured increased to 8.5% in 2018, up from the 2017 low of 7.9%.
- Life expectancy increased for the first time since 2014, from 78.6 in 2017 to 78.7 in 2018.
- Nearly half of deaths are caused by heart disease and cancer.
Criminal Justice System
- Reported property and violent crime rates are falling, and are down more than 50% since their 1991 peaks.
- Arrests are decreasing.
- The number of prisoners is falling, and is down 8% from a peak in 2009.
- Firearm deaths increased 18% from 2014 to 2017, accounting for 1.5% of all deaths.
- Active shooter events are increasing but make up a small proportion of gun deaths.
- Defense spending increased in 2019 but is 14% lower than its 2010 peak.
- The military is larger today than in 2016 but smaller than in 1980.
- We have fewer troops abroad, particularly in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
- Adjusting for inflation, foreign aid has declined slightly since 2008, and makes up less than 1% of the federal budget
- Veterans have higher levels of employment, lower rates of poverty, and higher rates of disability than the overall population.
- We are again increasingly a nation of immigrants.
- Most people who come to the US on visas or green cards are temporary workers, students, or coming to be with their families.
- The number of non-tourist visas and green cards granted as well as the number of refugees and asylees admitted fell from 2017 to 2018
- Border apprehensions more than doubled from 2018 to 2019.
- In 2018, immigration officials removed 337,000 people from the US.
- In 2019, the federal government spent $29 billion on infrastructure and transferred an additional $67 billion in infrastructure spending to states.
- Half of federal transportation spending goes to highways, with air and rail the next biggest categories.
- The condition of urban interstates and minor roads is improving.
- Train infrastructure is degrading.
- traffic congestion delayed vehicle commuters by an average of 54 hours a year.
- We are producing more energy than ever.
- Energy consumption per person in 2018 was 11% lower than in 2000.
- The share of our energy consumption from nuclear and renewable sources has nearly doubled since 1980.
- We are emitting less greenhouse gases per person than in 1990.
- We import 17% more energy than we export.
- Last decade averaged twelve $1 billion natural disasters per year.
- Wildfires burned an average of 7 million acres of land per year last decade.