President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address late Tuesday night on Capitol Hill. The president used his nearly 90-minute speech to celebrate his administration’s legislative achievements of 2017 and went on to detail an ambitious outline for further progress in 2018.
Soon after taking the podium, the president proclaimed that “the state of our union is strong” and that a “new tide of optimism” had swept over our nation.
Objectively speaking, it is hard to argue with his assertion. Not since the 1980s have Americans seen this degree of economic prosperity. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. economy has created more than 2.4 million new jobs, the stock market has gained $6.9 trillion in value and small business confidence is at a historic high.
Even more impressively, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 196,000 new manufacturing jobs in 2017, compared to a net loss of 16,000 the year before. Unemployment rates currently sit at a 45-year low, and African-American and Latino unemployment rates have reached their lowest points in U.S. history.
Last year was, indeed, historic for the Trump administration and, consequently, for our country. President Trump’s defining accomplishment of the year was signing into law the Tax Cuts and Job Act, the most significant reform of the federal tax code in nearly 37 years. The bill reduces taxes for more than 80 percent of Americans while slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, which has already resulted in more than 3 million American workers receiving bonuses.
Another substantial victory for President Trump and the Republican party was the nomination and subsequent Senate confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, a protégé of the late Antonin Scalia, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch, known for his staunch advocacy for judicial originalism, essentially guarantees a conservative-controlled court for decades to come.
The president has also nominated 12 federal appellate judges – a presidential record for a single year.
In addition, illegal crossings over our southern border are at a 46-year low, more than 1,500 financial regulations have been slashed and ISIS-controlled territory has been decimated.
While the mainstream media has infatuated itself with trivial tweets and virtue signaling, President Trump and the GOP have been at work implementing their agenda and reshaping our country for decades to come.
President Trump has successfully delivered on a vast number of his campaign promises, much to the despair of the Democratic party. Compared to just one year ago, the United States is wealthier, safer and more prosperous.
American optimism is reaching new heights, and international leadership has been restored. Once again, the state of our union is strong.
Wright Ricketts is a junior banking and finance major from Memphis.