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Trump’s economic fiction, Russia and California Wilfires

Trump’s economic fiction, Russia and California Wilfires

By HOPE YEN and CHRISTOPHER RUGABER | The Related Press

WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump is distorting the reality on U.S. economic progress and jobs, pointing to record-breaking figures that don’t exist and not telling the complete story on black unemployment.

He cites the highest-ever gross home product for the U.S. that’s not there and predicts a spectacular 5 % annual progress price within the present quarter that hardly any economist sees. On black joblessness, he boasts of a “new” report low, however the numbers the truth is have lately ticked upward, with larger declines seen through the Obama administration.

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The statements marked every week of fiction through which Trump additionally made misguided claims concerning the California wildfires and the Russia investigation and falsely declared that his tariffs on overseas items will assist erase $21 trillion in nationwide debt.

In the meantime, Sen. Bernie Sanders skimmed over the information in asserting that his “Medicare for all” plan would scale back U.S. well being spending by $2 trillion.

A take a look at the claims:

ECONOMY AND JOBS

TRUMP: “One new and great FACT — African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in the history of our Country. So honored by this.” — tweet Friday.

TRUMP: “I am proud to have fought for and secured the LOWEST African American and Hispanic unemployment rates in history.” — tweet Saturday.

THE FACTS: Not precisely. He omits essential caveats.

Black unemployment did attain a report low, 5.9 %, in Might. That fee has since risen to six.6 % in July.

Regardless of some current progress, the black unemployment fee is now almost double that of whites, which is three.four %. 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.

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TRUMP: “Economic growth, last quarter, hit the 4.1. We anticipate this next quarter to be — this is just an estimate, but already they’re saying it could be in the fives … I think we’re going to be very shortly in the fives.” — remarks Tuesday earlier than a gaggle of enterprise executives.

TRUMP: “As you know, we’re doing record and close-to-record GDP.” — remarks Tuesday.

THE FACTS: No. These are the newest in a string of exaggerated claims that Trump has made concerning the U.S. financial system.

Whereas economists are usually optimistic about progress, only a few anticipate the financial system will broaden at a 5 % annual price within the July-September quarter the president referred to. Macroeconomic Advisers, a consulting agency in St. Louis, forecasts three.2 % progress within the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase economists have penciled in three.5 %. The Federal Reserve Financial institution of Atlanta pegs it at four.three %.

Regardless of the ultimate quantity seems to be, none of those figures represents report or close-to-record progress for gross home product, the broadest measure of the nation’s output. The four.1 % progress within the second quarter was merely probably the most since 2014.

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TRUMP: “We’ve created 3.9 million more jobs since Election Day — so almost 4 million jobs — which is unthinkable.” — remarks Thursday at jail reform occasion in Bedminster, N.J.

THE FACTS: It’s not that unthinkable, since extra jobs have been created in the identical interval earlier than the November 2016 election than afterward.

It’s true that within the 20 months since Trump’s election, the financial system has generated three.9 million jobs. Within the 20 months earlier than his election, nevertheless, employers added four.three million jobs.

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TRUMP: “Great financial numbers being announced on an almost daily basis. Economy has never been better, jobs at best point in history.” — tweet Aug. 6.

THE FACTS: He’s exaggerating. The financial system is wholesome now, nevertheless it has been in higher form at many occasions up to now.

Progress reached four.1 % at an annual price within the second quarter, which Trump highlighted late final month with remarks on the White Home. However it’s solely the perfect prior to now 4 years. To date, the financial system is increasing at a modest fee in contrast with earlier economic expansions. Within the late 1990s, progress topped four % for 4 straight years, from 1997 via 2000. And within the 1980s enlargement, progress even reached 7.2 % in 1984.

It’s not clear what Trump particularly means when he declares that jobs are on the “best point in history,” however based mostly on a number of indicators, he’s off the mark.

The unemployment price of three.9 % isn’t at the perfect level ever — it’s truly close to the bottom in 18 years. The all-time low got here in 1953, when unemployment fell to 2.5 % through the Korean Struggle. And whereas economists have been stunned to see employers add 215,000 jobs a month this yr, a wholesome improve, employers actually added jobs at a quicker tempo in 2014 and 2015. A higher proportion of People held jobs in 2000 than now.

Trump didn’t point out in all probability crucial measure of economic well being for People — wages. Whereas paychecks are slowly grinding greater, inflation is now canceling out the positive aspects. Lifted by greater gasoline costs, shopper costs elevated 2.9 % in June from a yr earlier, probably the most in six years.

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RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

TRUMP: “‘Bob Mueller, isn’t your whole investigation premised on a Fake Dossier, paid for by Hillary, created by a man who hates Donald Trump, & used to con a FISA Court Judge. Bob, I really think it’s time for you to give up your phony investigation.’ No Collusion!” — tweet Sunday, citing Fox Information Channel host Jeanine Pirro.

THE FACTS: Trump quotes partially Pirro to falsely declare that particular counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is predicated on a “fake dossier.” In truth, the FBI’s investigation started months earlier than it acquired a file of anti-Trump analysis financed by the Democratic Get together and Hillary Clinton’s marketing campaign. The FBI probe’s origins have been based mostly on different proof — not the existence of the file.

The Republican-controlled Home Intelligence Committee discovered the Russia probe was initiated after the FBI acquired info associated to Trump marketing campaign overseas coverage adviser George Papadopoulos, not the file. The committee’s remaining report was praised by Trump.

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TARIFFS AND THE DEFICIT

TRUMP: “Because of Tariffs we will be able to start paying down large amounts of the $21 Trillion in debt that has been accumulated, much by the Obama Administration, while at the same time reducing taxes for our people.” — tweet Aug. 5.

THE FACTS: This isn’t going to occur.

The Treasury Division estimates that each one tariffs at present in place will increase about $40 billion in income within the 2018 finances yr, which ends Sept. 30. Even with the current tariff will increase Trump has carried out or threatened to place in place, it clearly wouldn’t be sufficient to scale back the $21 trillion nationwide debt. It’s simply 5 % of what the president would wish to get rid of the annual finances deficit of $804 billion that the Congressional Finances Workplace predicts for this yr. The nationwide debt represents the buildup of all of the annual deficits.

The president appears to consider that foreigners pay tariffs, however they’re import taxes paid for by American companies and shoppers. They could make it more durable for different nations to promote issues in america, however they’re simply one other type of tax and don’t end in decrease taxes for the American individuals general.

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FOOD STAMPS

TRUMP: “Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps — that’s since the election. … That’s some number. That’s a big number.” — Ohio rally on Aug. four.

TRUMP: “More than 3.5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps — something that you haven’t seen in decades.” — remarks at White Home on July 27.

WHITE HOUSE: “More than 2.8 million have stopped participating in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) — commonly known as food stamps — since Trump’s first full month in office.” — info sheet launched Tuesday, citing Fox Enterprise report.

THE FACTS: Trump and the White Home omit essential context and overstate his position in decreasing the variety of individuals on meals stamps. Neither is it correct that current declines are the most important in many years. It’s true, because the White Home conveys, that greater than 2.eight million individuals stopped collaborating in this system in the course of the 15-month interval from February 2017, Trump’s first full month in workplace, to Might 2018, the newest Agriculture Division knowledge obtainable. However this decline is according to a longer-term downward development in meals stamp utilization due to an enhancing financial system. At present there are 39.three million individuals in this system; meals stamp utilization peaked in 2013 at round 47.6 million, following the recession.

As an example, within the 15-month interval earlier than Trump’s first full month in workplace, meals stamps declined by three.three million — bigger than the two.eight million that dropped off beneath Trump’s watch.

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WILDFIRES AND WATER

TRUMP: “California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.” — tweet Aug. 6.

THE FACTS: That’s not what state specialists say.

“We have plenty of water” for battling the huge blazes burning in hills north of San Francisco, stated Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Division of Forestry and Hearth Safety. The present spate of wildfires occurs to be inside vary of huge Northern California lakes and the state’s largest river, McLean stated.

Neither is having sufficient water an issue in battling California wildfires generally. Firefighting plane can dip in and out of cattle ponds or different small our bodies of water to scoop up water for dropping and spraying on flames. When fires burn in an space that occurs to be with out ponds, lakes or rivers, state officers sometimes name in additional planes to ferry in water, McLean stated.

California’s battles over divvying up water within the arid state are endless, however a battle between firefighters and the Pacific Ocean hasn’t been considered one of them, in response to Jay Lund, a civil and environmental engineering professor on the College of California, Davis, and a longtime analyst of the state’s water wars.

Trump’s declare “is so physically impossible, you don’t even really want to respond,” Lund stated.

For one factor, the wildfires are within the hills, removed from the Pacific Ocean and from the man-made storage and distribution system that carries water from California’s wetter north to the drier, extra populated south.

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TRUMP: “Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water – Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.” — tweet Aug. 6.

THE FACTS: Trump is elevating an previous dispute in California, the nation’s prime farm state: the competitors for water between agricultural and environmental teams, fishermen and others who need extra water for wildlife and habitat. However the dispute has little to do with firefighting.

Republican lawmakers in California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley complain the state and federal governments permit an excessive amount of of the state’s rainfall and snow soften to stream naturally by means of rivers and into the Pacific Ocean, as an alternative of being diverted for irrigation.

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VETERANS

TRUMP: “The Democrats are obstructionists. The only thing they do well, they’re lousy politicians, they have horrible, stupid policies. You know, let’s get rid of law enforcement, let’s get rid of our military, let’s not take care of our vets — all of these things. … They’ll do anything they can really to obstruct or resist.” — remarks Aug. four at Ohio rally.

THE FACTS: Quite the opposite, with regard to veterans’ points, each main invoice signed into regulation by Trump has handed with robust help from each Republicans and Democrats. In a single case, Home Democrats did block an emergency funding invoice for the Veterans Selection private-sector program after veterans teams complained that it targeted on an excessive amount of personal care as an alternative of core VA packages. The Democrats’ dissent resulted in further funding for each personal care and VA packages within the revised invoice.

Extra just lately, Robert Wilkie was confirmed by the Senate to function VA secretary on an 86-9 vote. It was a second of robust bipartisan show in comparison with the partisan discord over different Trump nominees.

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Related Press writers Chad Day, Eric Tucker, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Chloe Kim and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.