State of the Union 2020: Trump economic claims fact-check

State of the Union 2020: Trump economic claims fact-check


To hear President Trump tell it in his State of the Union speech Tuesday, he rescued a declining, hollowed-out economy from ruin to create the greatest era of prosperity in U.S. history.

Trump has presided over a solid economy since taking office in 2017 but mischaracterized the state of the economy under President Obama and overstated his accomplishments. In truth, the economy has mounted a steady recovery since the Great Recession of 2007-09, marking the longest expansion in American history.

“You have seen a continuation of the trend,” says Elise Gould, senior economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

Here’s a reality check of some of Trump’s assertions.

The economy

Trump: “The years of economic decay are over,” he said. “In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline.”

Facts: Obama spearheaded an economic stimulus and bailout of banks and other companies that are credited with digging the nation out of recession. The economy grew an average 2.2% a year during Obama’s tenure. That’s a bit less than the 2.5% average under Trump. But Trump spearheaded a $1.5 trillion tax cut and spending increases to achieve that pace by juicing growth to near 3% in 2018. Growth is expected to slip below 2% the next two years.


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