Editor’s Note: a guest post from Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser for Donald J. Trump for President Inc.
The Christmas season is upon us, and Donald Trump has given the people of Texas much to celebrate during the holidays.
Despite relentless obstructionism by Democrats in Washington, President Trump succeeded in implementing an agenda that has made an overwhelmingly positive impact on Texas, rejuvenating our economy while ensuring that the federal government fulfills its obligations to care for our veterans and keep our communities safe.
Thanks to President Trump’s pro-growth economic policies, particularly tax cuts and deregulation, Texas has added close to 800,000 new jobs since January 2017, including more than 70,000 manufacturing jobs. During the same time period, the state unemployment rate dropped by 1.4 percent, and has been hovering at a record-low of 3.4 percent since June.
All those new jobs have generated unprecedented prosperity for families across the Lone Star State.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the two-year average poverty rate in Texas was 14.3 percent in 2015-2016, but fell to 13.4 percent in 2017-2018 — translating to more than a quarter-million Texans who have been able to escape poverty thanks to the strong and growing economy. The data on food stamps are even more encouraging, with nearly 400,000 fewer Texans relying on those benefits today compared to 2016.
Boosted by the President’s middle-class tax cuts, which saved Texans $1,325 on their federal income taxes in 2018, the state economy grew by a whopping 4.7 percent in the most recent quarter — the fastest GDP growth rate in the nation.
While economic growth has become synonymous with the Trump presidency, the administration has made major breakthroughs on other issues that impact Texas, as well, such as caring for our many veterans.
After inheriting a dysfunctional, scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs that had disgracefully allowed veterans to die while awaiting vital medical care, for instance, President Trump immediately set about fixing the problem. In 2018, he signed the landmark VA MISSION Act, which allows veterans to use their medical benefits to pay for private care so that they aren’t forced to languish on VA waiting lists. Additional legislation and executive orders have introduced further reforms to the agency, introducing transparency and accountability to a bureaucracy that had allowed inefficiencies to fester for years.
With these crucial reforms in place, the President was able to secure a whopping $86.5 billion budget for the VA last year — the largest amount ever allocated to the agency.. The vast majority of that money will go directly toward medical care for more than 7 million veterans, with a special emphasis on funding for mental health services.
Texans can also celebrate the fact that President Trump has made unprecedented progress toward securing the U.S.-Mexico border and fixing our broken immigration system. For decades, criminals were able to exploit our weak border enforcement and loophole-ridden immigration laws to infiltrate American communities — and Texas, with its 1,254-mile stretch of border, was especially vulnerable to the human smugglers, sex traffickers, street gangs, and international drug cartels operating along the southern border. Now, though, border security is finally being strengthened by the construction of new physical barriers, and U.S. law enforcement agencies are cracking down on the dangerous criminals who have already made it into the country.
Thanks to the Trump administration’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team, for instance, convictions of human traffickers have more than doubled in targeted regions. Moreover, President Trump has signed legislation providing more than $400 million for the victims of human trafficking, and his administration also increased support for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which helped to identify 16,862 potential new human trafficking cases between October 2017 and March 2019.
Every day under Donald Trump is a holiday for Texans: we’re in the midst of a record-setting jobs boomy; our veterans are finally receiving the care and support they deserve; enhanced border security is steadily bringing the illegal immigration crisis under control.
Thanks to the President’s policies, Texans are significantly better off today than we were just three years ago — and that’s something we can all celebrate this Christmas season.