President Donald Trump laced his State of the Union speech with puffed-up numbers and partial truths Tuesday as he hailed an “financial miracle,” warned of human traffickers flooding throughout the border and appeared to put Afghanistan within the Center East as an alternative of the place it’s, Asia.
Trump used info selectively in claiming a drop in drug costs not seen in half a century and promised the nation it might see bountiful advantages from a commerce deal that hasn’t been permitted, won’t be and in any occasion makes solely modest modifications from the established order.
For her half, Democrat Stacey Abrams mirrored a current and deceptive speaking level by her celebration when she slammed the Trump administration for selecting to “cage youngsters” on the border, ignoring a follow additionally employed by the Obama administration to carry migrant youngsters in amenities with chain-link fencing.
Right here’s a take a look at a number of the statements from State of the Union night time:
MIDDLE EAST WARS
TRUMP: “Our courageous troops have now been preventing within the Center East for nearly 19 years.”
THE FACTS: Trump exaggerated the size of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The struggle in Afghanistan started in October 2001, within the aftermath of the Sept. 11 assaults. The invasion of Iraq was in March 2003. The U.S. has been at struggle for a bit greater than 17 years.
Additionally, he refers to preventing within the Center East. Iraq is within the Center East, however Afghanistan is in south and central Asia.
TRUMP, describing progress during the last two years: “Almost 5 million People have been lifted off meals stamps.”
THE FACTS: The variety of individuals receiving meals stamps truly hasn’t declined that a lot.
Authorities knowledge present there have been 44.2 million individuals collaborating within the Supplemental Vitamin and Help Program in 2016, earlier than Trump took workplace. In 2018, there have been 40.three million individuals collaborating in SNAP. That’s a decline of three.9 million, not the 5 million that Trump talked about.
The variety of individuals collaborating within the SNAP program peaked in 2013 and has been taking place since that point.
Trump’s final price range proposed slicing SNAP by $213 billion over 10 years. The administration additionally has been pushing to provide states extra flexibility in implementing this system, together with tightening work necessities for recipients.
ABRAMS: “The Republican tax invoice rigged the system towards working individuals. Quite than bringing again jobs, crops are closing, layoffs are looming and wages wrestle to maintain tempo with the precise value of dwelling.
THE FACTS: The financial system is doing higher within the wake of the Trump administration’s tax cuts than Abrams suggests. The variety of individuals in search of unemployment advantages, a proxy for layoffs, briefly fell to a five-decade low final month. And common hourly pay is operating forward of inflation.
TRUMP: “These (border) brokers will inform you the place partitions go up, unlawful crossings go means, method down … San Diego used to have probably the most unlawful border crossings in our nation. In response, a robust safety wall was put in place. This highly effective barrier virtually utterly ended unlawful crossings … Merely put, partitions work and partitions save lives.”
THE FACTS: It’s much more difficult than that.
Sure, Border Patrol arrests within the San Diego sector plummeted 96 % from almost 630,000 in 1986 to barely 26,000 in 2017, a interval throughout which partitions have been constructed. However the crackdown pushed unlawful crossings to less-patrolled and extra distant Arizona deserts, the place hundreds died within the warmth. Arrests in Tucson in 2000 almost matched San Diego’s peak.
Critics say the “water-balloon impact” — construct a wall in a single spot and migrants will discover a gap elsewhere — undermines Trump’s argument, although proponents say it solely demonstrates that partitions must be prolonged.
The Authorities Accountability Workplace reported in 2017 that the U.S. has not developed metrics that exhibit how obstacles have contributed to frame safety.
TRUMP: “We just lately imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese language items — and now our treasury is receiving billions of dollars.”
THE FACTS: That is deceptive. Sure, cash from tariffs goes into the federal treasury, nevertheless it’s largely coming from U.S. companies and shoppers. It’s not overseas nations which are paying these import taxes by chopping a examine to the federal government.
His reference to cash coming into the treasury “now” belies the truth that tariffs return to the founding of the nation. This income didn’t begin together with his elevated tariffs on some items from China.
Tariffs did produce $41.three billion in tax revenues within the final price range yr, based on the Treasury Division. However that may be a small fraction of a federal finances that exceeds $four.1 trillion.
The tariffs paid by U.S. corporations additionally are likely to end in larger costs for shoppers, which is what occurred for laundry machines after the Trump administration imposed import taxes.
TRUMP: “Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Settlement — or USMCA — will exchange NAFTA and ship for American staff: bringing again our manufacturing jobs, increasing American agriculture, defending mental property, and making certain that extra automobiles are proudly stamped with the 4 lovely phrases: MADE IN THE USA.”
THE FACTS: It’s unlikely to do all these issues, because the new settlement largely preserves the construction and substance of NAFTA. As well as, the deal has not been ratified and its possibilities in Congress are unsure.
In a single new function, the deal requires that 40 % of automobiles’ contents ultimately be made in nations that pay autoworkers a minimum of $16 an hour — that’s, in america, or Canada, however not in Mexico. It additionally requires Mexico to pursue an overhaul of labor regulation to encourage unbiased unions that may discount for greater wages and higher working circumstances for Mexicans.
Nonetheless, simply earlier than the settlement was signed, Basic Motors introduced that it might lay off 14,000 staff and shut 5 crops in the USA and Canada.
Philip Levy, senior fellow on the Chicago Council on International Affairs and a commerce official in Republican President George W. Bush’s White Home, says: “President Trump has significantly overhyped this settlement.”
TRUMP: “Already, because of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug costs skilled their single largest decline in 46 years.”
THE FACTS: Trump is selectively citing statistics to magnify what appears to be a slowdown in costs. A broader take a look at the info exhibits that drug costs are nonetheless rising, however extra reasonably. Some unbiased specialists say criticism from Trump and congressional Democrats could also be inflicting pharmaceutical corporations to point out restraint.
The Shopper Worth Index for prescribed drugs exhibits a O.6 % discount in costs in December 2018 in comparison with December 2017, the most important drop in almost 50 years. The federal government index tracks a set of medicines together with model medicine and generics.
Nevertheless, that very same index confirmed a 1.6 % improve when evaluating the complete 12 months of 2018 with your complete earlier yr.
“The annualized quantity provides you a greater image,” stated economist Paul Hughes-Cromwick of Altarum, a nonprofit analysis group. “It might be that one thing quirky occurred in December.”
Individually, an evaluation of brand-name drug costs by The Related Press exhibits there have been 2,712 worth will increase within the first half of this January, as in contrast with three,327 will increase throughout the identical interval final yr.
The dimensions of this yr’s will increase was not as pronounced. Each this yr and final, the variety of worth cuts was minuscule. The knowledge for the evaluation was offered by the well being knowledge agency Elsevier.
TRUMP: “Wages are rising on the quickest tempo in many years, and rising for blue collar staff, who I promised to battle for, they’re rising quicker than anybody else thought potential.”
THE FACTS: That is an unsupported assertion as a result of the info on hourly wages for personal staff solely return to 2006, not many years.
However knowledge on wages for manufacturing staff date again to 1939 — and Trump’s declare seems to be unfounded.
Common hourly earnings for manufacturing and non-supervisory staff are up three.four % over the previous yr, in accordance with the Labor Division. These wage good points have been larger as lately as early 2009. They usually have been averaging roughly four % earlier than the beginning of the Nice Recession in late 2007.
There are different methods to trace wage features — and people don’t work in Trump’s favor, both.
Adjusted for inflation, median weekly wages rose simply zero.6 % in 2018. The features in weekly wages have been 2.1 % in 2015.
ABRAMS, within the Democratic response: “We all know bipartisanship might craft a 21st century immigration plan however this administration chooses to cage youngsters and tear households aside.”
THE FACTS: The cages that Abrams mentions are literally chain-link fences and the Obama administration used them, too.
Youngsters are held behind them, inside holding Border Patrol amenities, beneath the Trump administration. As properly, Obama’s administration detained giant numbers of unaccompanied youngsters inside chain hyperlink fences in 2014. Pictures that circulated on-line of youngsters in cages in the course of the peak of Trump’s household separations controversy have been truly from 2014 when Obama was in workplace.
Youngsters are positioned in such areas by age and intercourse for security causes and are held for as much as 72 hours by the Border Patrol.
The Division of Homeland Safety inspector common visited 5 detention amenities for unaccompanied youngsters on the Texas border with Mexico in late June, in the course of the peak of the furor over household separations, and located they appeared to adjust to detention requirements. The federal government watchdog reported that cleanliness was inconsistent however that the youngsters had entry to bogs, meals, drinks, clear bedding and hygiene gadgets.
On the peak of the household separations, about 2,400 youngsters have been separated. Since then, 118 youngsters have been separated. Immigration officers are allowed to take a toddler from a mother or father in sure instances — critical felony expenses towards a mum or dad, considerations over the well being and welfare of a kid or medical considerations.
That coverage has lengthy been in place and is separate from the now-suspended zero-tolerance Trump administration coverage that noticed youngsters separated from mother and father solely as a result of that they had crossed illegally.
TRUMP: “African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest ranges ever recorded.”
THE FACTS: What he’s not saying is that the unemployment charges for all three teams have gone up since reaching report low ranges.
Black unemployment reached a document low, 5.9 %, in Might, however rose to six.eight % in January.
Latino unemployment fell to four.four %, its lowest ever, final October, and Asian unemployment fell to a document low of two.2 % in Might. However Latino and Asian unemployment even have elevated, partially due to the federal government shutdown, which elevated unemployment final month.
The African-American price continues to be almost double the jobless fee for whites, at three.5 %.
Probably the most dramatic drop in black unemployment got here beneath President Barack Obama, when it fell from a recession excessive of 16.eight % in March 2010 to 7.eight % in January 2017.
TRUMP: “Human traffickers and intercourse traffickers benefit from the extensive open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle hundreds of younger women and girls into the USA and to promote them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.”
THE FACTS: His administration has not provided proof that ladies and women are smuggled by the “hundreds” throughout distant areas of the border for these functions. What has been established is almost 80 % of worldwide trafficking victims cross by means of authorized ports of entry, a stream that may not be stopped by a border wall.
Trump distorts how typically trafficking victims come from the southern border, in accordance the Counter-Trafficking Knowledge Collaborative , a worldwide hub for trafficking statistics with knowledge contributed by organizations from around the globe.
The Nationwide Human Trafficking Hotline, a enterprise supported by federal cash and operated by the anti-trafficking group Polaris , started monitoring particular person sufferer data in 2015. From January via June 31, 2018, it tracked 35,000 potential victims. Of these, there was a close to equal distribution between foreigners on one hand and U.S. residents and authorized everlasting residents on the opposite.
A lot of the labor trafficking victims have been overseas, and a lot of the intercourse trafficking victims have been U.S. residents. Of overseas nationals, Mexico had probably the most steadily trafficked.
TRUMP: “In simply over two years because the election, we’ve launched an unprecedented financial growth — a growth that has not often been seen earlier than. There’s been nothing prefer it. … An financial miracle is happening in the USA.”
THE FACTS: The president is vastly exaggerating what has been a light enchancment in progress and hiring. The financial system is wholesome however not almost among the best in U.S. historical past.
The financial system expanded at an annual price of three.eight % final spring and summer time, a strong tempo. Nevertheless it was simply the quickest in 4 years. Within the late 1990s, progress topped four % for 4 straight years, a degree it has not but reached beneath Trump. And progress even reached 7.2 % in 1984.
Virtually all unbiased economists anticipate slower progress this yr because the impact of the Trump administration’s tax cuts fade, commerce tensions and slower international progress maintain again exports, and better rates of interest make it costlier to borrow to purchase automobiles and houses.
WOMEN IN WORKFORCE
TRUMP: “All People might be proud that we’ve extra ladies within the workforce than ever earlier than.”
THE FACTS: In fact, there are extra ladies working than ever earlier than. However that’s resulting from inhabitants progress — and never one thing that Trump can credit score to any his insurance policies.
The large query is whether or not a higher proportion of girls is working or looking for a job than at any level in historical past. And on this rely, ladies have loved higher occasions.
Ladies’s labor pressure participation price proper now’s 57.5 %, based on the Labor Division. The speed has ticked up lately, however it was greater in 2012 and peaked in 2000 at roughly 60 %.
TRUMP: “We now have unleashed a revolution in American power – america is now the primary producer of oil and pure fuel on the planet.”
THE FACTS: True, if “we” means Trump and his current predecessors. It’s not all to Trump’s credit score. The federal government says the U.S. turned the world’s prime pure fuel producer in 2013, beneath Barack Obama’s administration.
The U.S. now leads the world in oil manufacturing, too, beneath Trump. That’s largely due to a growth in manufacturing from shale oil, which additionally started underneath Obama.
SOURCE AP FACT CHECK
This entry was posted on February sixth 2019 at 7:33am/07:33 and is filed beneath Stay Information Column 1, Politics. You’ll be able to comply with any responses to this entry by way of the RSS 2.zero feed.
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