SOTU FACT SHEET – President Trump: Failing Hard-Working American Families on the Economy
IN PRESIDENT TRUMP’S OWN WORDS:
- “When I took office three years ago, America’s economy was in a rather dismal state… I knew we were on the verge of a profound economic resurgence, if we did things right — one that would generate a historic wave of investment, wage growth, and job creation.” [1/21/2020]
- “For the first time in decades, we are no longer simply concentrating wealth in the hands of a few. We’re concentrating and creating the most inclusive economy ever to exist. We are lifting up Americans of every race, color, religion, and creed.” [1/21/2020]
- “The American Dream is back — bigger, better, and stronger than ever before. No one is benefitting more than America’s middle class.” [1/21/2020]
The headlines tell a very different story.
- Reuters: U.S. Farm Bankruptcies Hit an Eight-Year High [2/3/2020]
- New York Times: American Consumers, Not China, Are Paying for Trump’s Tariffs [1/6/2020]
- CBS News: 2020 Is Three Days Old and Drug Prices Are Already Jumping [1/3/2020]
- Washington Post: The Finance 202: The Trump administration isn't producing the economic gains it promised [1/31/2020]
- New Yorker: New Reports Show That Trump’s Economic Promises Were Empty [1/31/2020]
FACTS: AMERICAN FAMILIES PAYING HIGH PRICE OF TRUMP TRADE WARS
- American farmers are in an increasingly precarious financial situation as a result of the Trump Trade War. In 2019, family farm bankruptcies rose 20 percent reaching an eight-year high. And nearly one-third of projected net farm income comes from farm subsidies to offset the impact of President Trump’s failed trade policies on the agriculture sector. According to the Farm Bureau, without the federal farm bailout, farm-related crop and livestock income would have been at the second lowest level in a decade.
- The CBO estimates that Trump’s tariffs will reduce the level of real GDP by 0.5 percent and raise consumer prices by 0.5 percent in 2020 – reducing real family incomes by $1,277 (in 2019 dollars) this year.
THE FACTS: RISING COSTS OF HEALTH CARE HITTING AMERICAN FAMILIES HARD IN THE POCKETBOOK
- One of the top economic concerns of American families is the rising costs of health care, and in particular the rising prices of prescription drugs. Despite all of President Trump’s promises to bring down drug prices, President Trump has not taken any significant steps and is even blocking the House-passed bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.
- Under the last three years under President Trump, health care costs and prescription drug prices have continued to skyrocket. For example, in the first week of 2020 alone, prescription drug companies raised the prices of 524 prescription drugs. More than 70 percent of those medications don’t have generic alternatives. These price hikes, in one week, averaged 5.6 percent, more than twice the rate of inflation.
- Also, because of President Trump’s sabotage of Americans’ health care, the uninsured rate is going up for the first time since 2010, as costs rise.
THE FACTS: TRUMP-GOP TAX SCAM HIT THE ECONOMY & AMERICAN WORKERS
Time and again, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have pursued policies that stack the deck against hard-working American families in favor of big corporations and the wealthiest few – among the most significant of these is the Trump-GOP Tax Scam that was signed into law in December 2017.
- The Trump-GOP Tax Scam will add $1.9 trillion to the deficit over the next decade – saddling our children with the bill for this debt-exploding tax giveaway to the very wealthy. According to the Joint Economic Committee: “The personal income tax cuts were weighted to the very wealthy, with the top 1 percent of households – those with average incomes of almost $2 million – projected to receive an average tax break of nearly $50,000 in 2020. Their tax cuts alone are worth more than the entire average annual income of the households in the bottom 40 percent.”
- President Trump and his Administration claimed the Tax Scam would increase annual income for families by an average of $4,000 – but there was no significant change in the median household’s disposable income between 2017 and 2018. In fact, annual household income growth in 2018 was $550 – below the three years previous to the Trump-GOP Tax Scam (2017: $850, 2016: $1,900, and 2015: $2,900).
- Instead of investing the $90 billion in savings reaped in the first year of the Trump-GOP Tax Scam in raising workers’ wages, big corporations and businesses used that windfall to further enrich themselves by issuing dividends to shareholders and buying back shares of their own stock. In fact, in business investments in warehouses and buildings declined for the third straight quarter in Q4 and fell more than 10 percent in all of 2019.
According to a recent poll conducted by Navigator Research, the vast majority of Americans say the costly Trump-GOP Tax Scam has had no clear impact on their personal finances. Only 18 percent say it has improved their situation, 20 percent say it made their financial position worse and 62 percent said it had no impact or they are unsure of the impact it has on their personal situation. Moreover, just 35 percent of Republicans polled said the GOP Tax Scam has had a positive impact.
THE FACTS: HARD-WORKING AMERICANS STILL STRUGGLING; DESERVE DIGNITY IN WORKPLACE
Over the past three years, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have made every effort to further enrich the wealthy few but they have gone out of their way to stand in the way of progress and economic justice for hard-working middle-class Americans.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased 0.6 percent from December 2018 to December 2019 but that slight increase was erased by the 0.6 percent decrease in the average workweek for these same workers.
- Much more needs to be done to achieve full fairness in our economy for women, as the gender wage gap continues to rob millions of women who work full-time, year-round of more than $400,000 over the course of their working lives, leaving too many women struggling to meet the everyday needs of themselves and their families. Today American women still earn, on average, only 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man, while African American women earn only 62 cents and Latinas earn only 54 cents for every dollar paid to men.
- In the fourth quarter of 2019, the median weekly earnings for African American men working full-time were 73 percent less than what white men working full-time earned. And the median wage of a full-time male worker is lower than what it was 40 years ago.
- In the United States, one job should be enough but, according to the Census Bureau, an estimated 13 million hardworking Americans work more than one job and about 900,000 of those work more three jobs or more to make ends meet.
- A recent survey released by Gallup, the Lumina Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Omidyar Network found that less than half of U.S. workers would consider themselves in “good” jobs – taking into consideration income, employment benefits, advancement opportunities, job security and other key attributes important to workers. Unsurprisingly, women and workers of color are more likely to be in less satisfying and lower quality jobs than their white and male counterparts.
- At least 11 million Americans identify as LGBTQ and almost 9 in 10 are in the labor force. The Trump Administration has gone out of their way to make these workers feel less secure in the workplace – arguing in the highest court in the land that federal law allows private sector employers to discriminate against employees and potential employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- For working parents, the high cost of childcare is a necessary expense but one that is increasingly unmanageable. More than 12 million children under the age of five are enrolled in some form of childcare, many because their parents are in the workforce part or full time. According to the Economic Policy Institute, working parents are spending $42 billion on childcare and early child education.
- Business Insider: It’s Official: Trump’s tax cuts were an economic bust
- Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz: The Truth About the Trump Economy
- Washington Post: U.S. Economy Grew 2.3 Percent in 2019, the Slowest of Trump’s Presidency