2017 went by way too quickly. Donald Trump's first year in the White House shook up the entire planet, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next. Personally, as 2017 began, I was still having a hard time actually believing that Trump was going to be our president. Once he was finally inaugurated on January 20th, I was able to relax a little bit, but at that point I had no idea I would soon be running for Congress here in Idaho as a pro-Trump candidate. As 2018 begins, I think that it would be good to look back and remember some of the most important things that happened over the past 12 months. The following are 44 numbers from 2017 that are almost too crazy to believe:
1. During Donald Trump's first year, ISIS lost 98 percent of the territory that it gained while Barack Obama was in the White House.
2. The price of Bitcoin rose more than 1,300 percent during 2017.
3. According to The Washington Post, one out of every 10 young adults in the United States has been homeless at some point over the past year.
4. The United States has lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities since China joined the WTO in 2001.
5. On Donald Trump's first full day in office, he was 70 years, 7 months and 7 days old, and it happened in year 5777 on the Hebrew calendar.
6. The all-time record for the number of retail store closings in the U.S. was absolutely shattered in 2017. According to the latest figures, a total of 6,985 store locations were shut down last year, and we are expected to break the record again in 2018.
7. Incredibly, the number of retail store closings in 2017 was up 229 percent compared with 2016.
8. When Ronald Reagan entered the White House, the federal government was about $1 trillion in debt. Now we are $20 trillion in debt, with no end in sight.
9. Prominent names in the financial world such as John McAfee and James Altucher are predicting that the price of Bitcoin will eventually reach $1 million.
10. According to the most recent numbers we have, 41 million Americans are currently living in poverty.
11. A recent CNN poll found that only 37 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Democratic Party.
12. Ever since the beginning of April, Congress has had an average approval rating of less than 20 percent.
13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 5,000 points in 2017, and that absolutely shattered the previous record of 3,472 points in 2013.
14. At one point in 2017, the total market cap for all cryptocurrencies combined (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and so on) surpassed the half-trillion dollar mark.
15. Wildfires burned an astounding 9,791,062 acres over the past year.
16. t is being reported that less than 50 percent of all third, fourth and fifth grade students in the state of California meet minimum standards for literacy.
17. At one very poorly performing elementary school in California, 96 percent of the students are not proficient in either English or math.
18. Back in 1960, an average of $146 was spent on health care per person for the entire year, but today, that number has skyrocketed to $9,990.
19. Thanks to Obamacare, an appendectomy is 10 times more expensive in the United States than it is in Mexico.
20. Thanks to Obamacare, a family of four in Virginia is now facing the prospect of paying $3,000 a month for health insurance.
21. It is being projected that the average rate increase for Obamacare plans will be 37 percent in 2018.
22. In 2017, we found out that 264 cases of sexual harassment involving members of Congress have been settled for a grand total of $17,250,854 since the start of 1997.
23. Economic growth is starting to pick up under President Trump, but the U.S. economy only grew at an average rate of just 1.33 percent over the 10 years prior to 2017.
24. It is being reported that homelessness has become so pervasive in ultra-liberal Seattle that "400 unauthorized tent camps" have popped up around the city.
25. One survey that was conducted in 2017 discovered that 78 percent of all full-time workers in the United States live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.
26. According to the Federal Reserve, the average U.S. household is now $137,063 in debt, and that figure is more than double the median household income.
27. A staggering 59.8 percent of younger Millennials (18 to 25) are now living with relatives, and overall, an all-time record 38.4 percent of all Millennials are currently living with family.
28. Boston University professor Larry Kotlikoff says the federal government is facing a fiscal gap of $210 trillion over the next 75 years.
29. According to the National Center For Health Statistics, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. adults are now officially obese. That is an all-time record.
30. Our obesity epidemic is now costing us $190 billion a year.
31. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, and Warren Buffett now have more money than the poorest 50 percent of the U.S. population combined.
32. At this point, 20 percent of all U.S. households have "either zero or negative wealth."
33. U.S. stocks have increased in value by more than $5 trillion since Donald Trump was elected.
34. For the season, NFL television ratings were down about 9 percent, and many believe that the anthem protests were the primary cause for the ratings decline.
35. One very disturbing survey found that less than one out of every four Republican members of Congress supports building Trump's border wall. This is just one reason why we need to vote out the RINOs and replace them with pro-Trump candidates who will support President Trump's agenda.
36. Another survey discovered that 50 percent of all Americans favor a pre-emptive strike on North Korea even though many of them cannot even find North Korea on a map of the world.
37. Last year, criminals were able to hack into Equifax and make off with the credit information of 143 million Americans.
38. Venezuela, the 11th-largest oil producing country in the entire world, decided to stop using the petrodollar in 2017. This was one of the biggest news stories of the entire year, and yet the mainstream media in the U.S. didn't want to talk about it.
39. It has been reported that only 25 percent of all Americans have more than $10,000 in savings right now.
40. A study conducted by the Federal Reserve found that 44 percent of all U.S. adults do not even have enough money "to cover an unexpected $400 expense."
41. In the early 1970s, 70 percent of all men in the United States from the age of 20 to the age of 39 were married, but today that number has fallen to just 35 percent. Instead of getting married and starting families, a lot of our young men are still living at home with their parents. Today, 35 percent of all young men from the age of 21 to the age of 30 "are living at home with their parents or a close relative."
42. In 2017, the federal government spent more than $4 trillion for the first time ever.
43. Our government continues to waste money in some of the most insane ways imaginable. For example, in 2017 we learned that the U.S. military actually spends $42 million dollars a year on Viagra.
44. One survey discovered that 40 percent of all Americans now "prefer socialism to capitalism," and so we have much work to do if we intend to have any chance of turning this country around.
Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho's First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled "Living A Life That Really Matters" is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.
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