President Trump provided a clear vision throughout the speech: make America great again for all Americans. The State of the Union address proposed to do this by focusing on three key areas: a strong economy, a secure home front, and aggressive foreign policies.
Strengthening the Economy
President Trump campaigned heavily on the promise that he would deliver jobs to the American people as soon as he got into office. One year into his presidency, Trump has delivered to the tune of nearly 2.5 million jobs created. President Trump was apt to point out as well that both African American and Hispanic unemployment levels were at all-time lows in 2017, something the previous administration could only dream of having. The stock market is at an all-time high and continues to climb, and what that means is that all Americans are seeing their retirement accounts rise in wealth.
Another point that President Trump made during his State of the Union address was the fact that companies are finally starting to come back to the United States instead of leaving it. Toyota and Chrysler are both building manufacturing plants, and Apple and Exxon Mobil have recently announced that they were investing nearly $300 billion combined into expanding their operations within America, creating tens of thousands of jobs in the process.
Lastly, the tax reform plan signed by President Trump in late 2017 should provide added strength to the economy in 2018. The corporate tax rate was one of the highest in the world before President Trump came into office at 35%. With it being lowered to only 21%, it gives companies greater incentive to invest in and provide more jobs within the United States. We are already seeing the fruits of this with the previously mentioned companies investing billions into the economy, and there is no reason to believe why we shouldn’t see more throughout the upcoming year.
Bolstering the Home Front
Another campaign promise that President Trump made was to look after veterans. His signing of the VA Accountability Act has led to tremendous improvements in the care of veterans and has reduced waste and corruption within the Veterans Affairs department significantly.
On the topic of immigration, President Trump advocated not only an increase in the amount of border patrol and ICE agents along with a state of the art border wall, but also a comprehensive immigration plan that focuses on merit-based immigration. He stressed that it is time that the United States stops allowing any random immigrant to enter the nation, taking away low wage jobs from Americans who need them the most. President Trump wants immigrants who enter the country to respect the nation’s values as well, with one of the best reactions of the night coming from his reaffirmed stance that everyone should stand for the national anthem.
Pursuing Aggressive Foreign Policies
President Trump was unapologetic (unlike a previous administration) for America’s influence in the world, and furthered this point in his State of the Union address. Even though dozens of countries within the United Nations voted to condemn his action to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Trump maintained that America has the sovereign right to do so. More so, he stated that perhaps we should reconsider giving billions of dollars in foreign aid to countries who do not align with America’s interests. Trade deals should be “fair” in the sense that they benefit both parties involved, and President Trump stressed that he will reconsider any trade deal that does not benefit the United States, regardless of what other nations may think of it. His aggressiveness in the pursuit of the eradication of ISIS is also notable in that nearly 100% of the territory that the terrorist group held in Syria and Iraq has been liberated.
President Trump wants to “Make America Great Again,” and if his State of the Union address (along with the first year of his presidency) is any indication, we should have continued optimism that he will continue to lead the country back to where it belongs.