Alwaght- Donald Trump has delivered his third State of the Union speech, boasting about how great America has become since he took office.
During his speech at the House chamber on Tuesday night, Trump talked of how strong the US economy is, claiming that "years of economic decay are over."
"Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results. Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again!"
"I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been," he added.
Democrats, however, have criticized Trump for reneging on his promise to rejuvenate working America, arguing that his sweeping 2017 tax cuts had, in a large part, benefited the wealthy.
“American workers are hurting . . . Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed,” Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governor of Michigan, said in the text of her party’s response to the president’s remarks.
Democrats also believe that Trump has failed to fulfill his pledges to rejuvenate industrial America and that his trade policies had mainly backfired.
Meanwhile, many economists blame trade wars Trump waged with China and other countries for the US economy’s deceleration.
The 18-month-long trade war with China last year fueled fears of a recession and although the economic outlook has improved with this month's signing of a Phase 1 deal with Beijing, economists still do not foresee a boost for the US economy with American tariffs remaining in effect on $360 billion of Chinese imports, about two-thirds of the total.
During his speech, Trump hailed "the groundbreaking new agreement" the US signed with China, saying, it "will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown right here in the United States of America."
He accused China of taking "advantage of the United States," and added that "now we have changed that."
At the same time, he said Washington has improved ties with Beijing, claiming,"We have perhaps the best relationship we have ever had with China, including with President Xi."
US has 'most affordable' healthcare
Trump claimed that under his administration, American families have had "the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system on Earth."
"Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just 5 years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive. I have also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions — that is a guarantee. And we will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security."
Critics say that Trump he has not done much to find a way to reduce rising insurance costs that badly affect middle-class Americans.
In his speech, Trump said a plan by Democrats to expand government-funded health insurance was equal to a “socialist takeover” that would cause the country to go bankrupt, reduce benefits for those who have them now and provide care to undocumented immigrants.
“We will never let socialism destroy American healthcare!” Trump said.
Trump calls his so-called peace plan 'groundbreaking'
Trump described as "groundbreaking" his so-called "deal of the century," which envisioned the recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
"Last week, I announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Recognizing that all past attempts have failed, we must be determined and creative in order to stabilize the region and give millions of young people the change to realize a better future."
Under his plan, Israel would be annexing the settlements that the Israeli regime has built in the West Bank since the occupation.
This is while all previous foreign-mediated agreements between the Palestinians and Israelis as well as repeated United Nations’ resolutions have mandated Tel Aviv to withdraw behind the 1967 borders.
Palestinians, who want Jerusalem al-Quds’ eastern part as the capital of their future state, opposed Trump's scheme soon after his announcement.
Trump claims victory against Daesh
In his speech, Trump said that the US forces have destroyed the Daesh "territorial caliphate" in Iraq and Syria, saying the American forces perfectly carried out an operation that led to the death of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
"Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS (Daesh) held over 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS — the bloodthirsty killer Al‑Baghdadi — is dead!"
On October 27, Trump said al-Baghdadi blew himself up, dying "like a dog," and "like a coward" after American forces trapped him inside a dead-end tunnel the night before.
An American scholar said then that Al‑Baghdadi was in fact a US or an Israeli agent, noting Trump's announcement "was full of hilarious lines."
The announcement was a "comedy" that made people "helplessly laugh', meant to entertain the Americans and give them a sense of gratification, Kevin Barrett, an author, journalist and radio host with a Ph.D in Islamic and Arabic Studies, told Press TV in an interview in October.
Also, Iranian minister of information and communication technology reacted to Trump's announcement, downplaying the importance of the operation and noting that al-Baghdadi was created by the United States in the first place.
“Not a big deal! You just killed your creature,” Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said in a tweet then.