When President Trump gives his State of the Union speech tonight, the strong U.S. economy will be a central theme. The President frequently claims credit, but in fact, he inherited a strong economy from President Obama, who helped pull the United States out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. He repeatedly has cited economic statistics that have been widely debunked, keeping legions of fact checkers fully employed. The following is a short economic guide to the President’s State of the Union address.

I am pleased to have been named Vice Chair Designate of the Joint Economic Committee for the 116th Congress. I look forward to working with members of our committee, from the House and the Senate and from both parties, to analyze the economy and to provide economic information to our colleagues and the public.

There are major economic challenges facing the country – from stagnant wages and a stubborn gender pay gap to rising prescription drug prices and the growing costs of climate change. Our job at the JEC is to promote greater understanding and awareness of these and other economic issues. I’m excited to lead the Democratic Congress in this important work.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

The legalization of cannabis has significant implications for state economies, as well as the national economy. The industry totaled more than $8 billion in sales in 2017, with sales estimated to reach $11 billion this year and $23 billion by 2022. There were more than 9,000 active licenses for cannabis businesses in the U.S. in 2017, with the industry employing more than 120,000 people.
A federal judge’s decision to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if upheld, would increase the number of people without insurance by more than 17 million and raise premiums for those who are able to hang onto their coverage. As many as 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could again be denied coverage or offered unaffordable insurance.
For millions of Americans, the promise of owning a home remains a cornerstone of the American Dream. Homeownership provides an avenue for accumulating wealth, promotes financial security, and plays a critical role in the development of family and community life. Yet, nearly a decade since the Great Recession ended, owning a home remains out of reach for many millennials (defined as those roughly between the ages of 22 and 37).
Difficulty accessing affordable and high-quality child care puts a strain on family pocketbooks and well-being and can hinder child development. This is the case for far too many American families, especially in rural and lower-income areas. Three in five rural communities lack adequate child care options. Child care deserts are also associated with lower rates of maternal labor force participation. Participation rates among mothers with young children in child care deserts are roughly 3 percentage points lower than participation rates in neighborhoods with an adequate child care supply. Improving access to affordable high-quality early learning and care kills two birds with one stone: it promotes healthy child development and allows parents to remain in or enter the workforce.
From destructive fires in California to devastating hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico, it is no secret that the frequency, intensity, and cost of severe weather events are increasing. Government reports and scientific research, along with the lived experiences of millions of Americans, all point to the devastating impact that climate change will have on people’s health, the environment, and the economy. Already, it has cost the federal government more than $350 billion in the decade ending in 2016 and is projected to reduce annual economic growth in the United States by one-third over the next century. Taking action to address climate change will mitigate long-term economic consequences and has the potential to create economic opportunity through building the clean energy sector.
Although the U.S. economy overall continues its expansion following the Great Recession and associated financial crisis, the recovery can look very different from state to state. The lion’s share of economic gains are not only concentrated at the top of the income and wealth distribution, but also in a small share of regions. While some parts of the country have surged ahead, millions of Americans in urban and rural communities are still waiting for their wages to start rising again and struggling to make ends meet.
Joint Economic Committee Democrats today released a report that outlines the threat of climate change to the economy following the recent National Climate Assessment report. The report states that the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather events continue to place the American economy at risk by threatening household wealth and property and upending insurance markets. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond projects that climate change could reduce annual economic growth in the United States by one-third over the next century. The report calls for immediate action to mitigate the economic damages of climate change.
In a series called "Innovation Spotlight," Joint Economic Committee Democrats are highlighting cutting-edge policy solutions that empower small towns and rural communities across the nation. The latest edition looks at a community revitalization project in Albert Lea, Minnesota.