By Evan Henerson
Given his history of hammering away first at candidate Donald Trump then at President Donald Trump, Vermont Senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders didn’t figure to join a lot of standing ovations during his first State of the Union earlier this week.
The president made some lofty statements about job creation…Bernie brought those statements right back down to earth.
Here’s Trump during the State of the Union on matters economy-related, and Bernie’s responses.
Donald Trump: Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages. Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.
Bernie Sanders: Well, he’s right. Official unemployment today is 4.1 percent which is the lowest it has been in years and the stock market in recent months has soared. That’s the good news. But what President Trump failed to mention is that his first year in office marked the lowest level of job creation since 2010. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 254,000 fewer jobs were created in Trump’s first 11 months in office than were created in the 11 months before he entered office.
Donald Trump: Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses…We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.
Bernie Sanders: Over the last year, after adjusting for inflation, the average worker in America saw a wage increase of, are you ready for this, 4 cents an hour, or 0.17%. Or, to put it in a different way, that worker received a raise of a little more than $1.60 a week. And, as is often the case, that tiny wage increase disappeared as a result of soaring health care costs.
Donald Trump: Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.
Bernie Sanders: What he forgot to mention is that only 2 percent of Americans report receiving a raise or a bonus because of this tax bill. What he also failed to mention is that some of the corporations that have given out bonuses, such as Walmart, AT&T, General Electric and Pfizer, are also laying off tens of thousands of their employees. Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, recently said they were using money from the tax cut to restructure — laying off more than 5,000 workers and closing 10 plants.
Donald Trump: As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.
Bernie Sanders: The simple truth is that, according to virtually every poll, Donald Trump is the least popular president after one year in office of any president in modern American history. And the reason for that is pretty clear. The American people do not want a president who is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation. That is not what the American people want. And that reality is the bad news that we have to deal with.