Donald Trump’s first official State of the Union address was last night, and much like our food is gonna be once he gets done deregulating everything, there was significantly more bulls*t in it than just a couple years ago. Let’s start digging!
1. “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.”
This is bullshit for a variety of reasons. First of all, measuring job growth “since the election” and not “since the inauguration” or “since the tax cuts went into effect” is like measuring your height when you’re wearing stilettos. This is his first lie in a pattern of lies designed to take credit for economic trends that were well underway before his inauguration. In reality, the economy created 1.8 million jobs since Trump took office, which is relatively sluggish compared to earlier in the Obama recovery.
2. “After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”
Kinda true! This is Trump trying to take credit for Obama’s success again. Wage growth picked up starting in 2013 and has slowed recently, but it’s still growing.
3. “African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”
Once again, Thanks Obama! The downward trend in unemployment that started under our 44th president has continued under our 45th president. Also, remember during the campaign when Trump, in a straight-up lie, said African-American unemployment was 58%? It required a feat of mathematic gymnastics to get there, but for some reason he’s now decided that the measure Obama was using for minority unemployment is, in fact, the correct one. Also, African-American unemployment is still roughly double white unemployment.
The Congressional Black Caucus responding to Trump bragging about low African-American unemployment. #SOTU pic.twitter.com/1rokp95wKj
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) January 31, 2018
4. “Just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history. Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.”
Measured as a percentage of GDP, Trump’s tax cut was barely one of the top ten largest tax cuts in history and was smaller than two of Obama’s. Also, it wasn’t really a “reform” of the tax code as much as it was just a big tax cut. Secondly, most of the benefits of the tax cuts are NOT going to the middle class and small businesses but to the rich, the uber rich, and the idle rich. Oh, and giant corporations!
5. “We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.”
This is where he tries to really make that trickle-down sell, baby! While the corporate tax rate on paper was 35 percent, the amount corporations actually end up paying was less than 20 percent. But the bigger lie is that $4,000 number. (If you don’t believe me, go ask your boss when you’ll be getting that $4,000 raise.) The researcher who wrote the report the Trump administration mangled to get that number says the actual average “raise” would be about $800.
6. “Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.”
There are a few of lies here. First of all, many of the “tax cut bonuses” (which is not really a thing) are just corporate PR attempts to re-frame already planned bonuses as bonuses that were caused by tax cuts. Secondly, many of the companies loudly trumpeting these “tax cut bonuses” aren’t being quite so vocal about the thousands of workers they’re laying off at the same time (*cough* Walmart *cough*). Thirdly, Apple was probably already going to invest that much regardless of the tax code changes.
Corporations are attributing the Obama recovery to the Trump corporate tax cuts as a kind of protofascist quid pro quo, deserve a merciless comeuppance. https://t.co/r2paJDwj0M
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) January 25, 2018