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  • U.S. Senators, including Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Ed Markey and Bernie Sanders, listen to U.S. President Trump

    U.S. Senators, including Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Ed Markey and Bernie Sanders, listen to U.S. President Trump's State of the Union address. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 January 2018

The progressive senator from Vermont poked holes in Trump’s first State of the Union address as the president affirmed his ultra-conservative agenda.

Former U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders issued a strongly-worded response to President Donald Trump’s state of the Union address, calling him "compulsively dishonest" and a "bully" and slamming him over failing to follow through on his promises to U.S. workers, reversing healthcare benefits, his intimate relationship with corporations, his crackdown on immigrants as well as failing to mention Climate Change.

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“I want to talk to you about the lies that he told during his campaign and the promises he made to working people which he did not keep,” Sanders said in a video posted to on his official Facebook profile shortly after Trump’s speech at U.S. Congress.

The independent senator went on to describe how while Trump boasted about the U.S. economy performing well under his watch, Trump’s first year in office saw the lowest job creation since 2010 and that the wage of the average worker increased by only 4 cents an hour.

“And, as is often the case, that tiny wage increase disappeared as a result of soaring health care costs,” he lamented. “Meanwhile, at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, the rich continue to get much richer while millions of American workers are working two or three jobs just to keep their heads above water.”  

He added that while Trump claimed that big corporations are giving out big bonuses to their employees after the passage of his pro-business tax cuts bill, the fact is, and what Trump failed to mention, that “only 2 percent of Americans report receiving a raise or a bonus because of this tax bill.”

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The tax bill that narrowly passed through Congress and was signed into law by Trump late last year will cost US$1.5 trillion and see increased taxes on middle and working class families and major cuts on corporations and high-income families. Trump stands to make up to US$15 million a year from the new tax law.

Trump also failed to say that many of those giant corporations that he gifted with massive tax cuts have laid off thousands of workers, while other employees struggle to make ends meet and are using food stamps, like the case is with many Amazon workers, the senator said.

“The taxpayers of this country should not be providing corporate welfare to the wealthiest families in this country.”

Sanders also called out Trump for lying about giving “health insurance for everybody” during his presidential campaign, because once he became president his first order of business was trying to take away government coverage from dozens of millions of citizens by canceling his predecessor's Affordable Healthcare Act.

Meanwhile Trump has been cozying up to Wall Street executives and corporations despite the fact that he promised during his campaign to limit their influence in Washington for causing “tremendous problems for us,” according to the progressive senator. 

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“As president, not only has Trump not taken on Wall Street, he has appointed more Wall Street billionaires to his administration than any president in history.” 

Away from what Sanders called “Trump’s dishonesty” he further slammed him for not addressing the threat of Climate Change as part of his first State of the Union address to lawmakers.

“No, Mr. Trump, climate change is not a ‘hoax’,” the longest-serving independent lawmaker in the U.S. Congress said referring to what Trump said once in a tweet claiming Climate Change was a myth created by China to ruin U.S. economy.

Since he took office year ago, Trump has been enacted policies that undermine his country’s efforts to combat Climate Change, introducing cuts to the environment agency, ending regulations on fossil fuel exploration and opening up more land for oil and gas companies. 

Also just months into his presidency Trump pulled the U.S. out of the historic Paris Climate Agreement, making the United States the only country in the world not to be part of the non-binding pact.

 


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