The American people count on the President of the United States to keep them safe and to be straight with them about the challenges facing our country. However, in his first appearance before Congress, Donald Trump markedly failed in that duty. Trump made the foundation of his speech cynical lies about the American economy, the Affordable Care Act, the crime rate, and immigration to the United States. Meanwhile, he completely ignored the ongoing investigations into his administration’s ties to Russia, which the U.S. intelligence community unanimously found engaged in a large-scale hacking campaign to benefit him in the presidential election.
The President is clearly trying to dishonestly create an atmosphere of fear as he pursues policies that will be hurtful to everyday Americans.
Below is a compilation of some of the most egregious lies that Donald Trump had the temerity to make major components of his speech to a joint session of Congress tonight.
Associated Press: “THE FACTS: Trump has provided little detail on how this would happen. Independent analyses of his campaign’s tax proposals found that most of the benefits would flow to the wealthiest families. The richest 1 percent would see an average tax cut of nearly $215,000 a year, while the middle one-fifth of the population would get a cut of just $1,010, according to the Tax Policy Center, a joint project by the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute.”
Washington Post Fact Checker: “This is an absurd Four-Pinocchio claim, based on a real number. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, relying on a monthly survey known as the Current Population Survey (CPS), shows that, as of January 2016, 94.4 million Americans 16 years and older were ‘not in labor force.’…Who are the 94 million not in the labor force? The BLS has data for the year 2015. It turns out that 93 percent do not want a job at all. The picture that emerges from a study of the data shows that the 95 million consists mostly of people who are retired, students, stay-at-home parents or disabled. Trump is doing a real disservice in citing this 94 million figure and suggesting it means these people are looking for work.”
Associated Press: “That 94 million figure includes everyone aged 16 and older who doesn’t have a job and isn’t looking for one. So it includes retirees, parents who are staying home to raise children, and high school and college students who are studying rather than working.”
NBC Senior Correspondent Tom Brokaw: “Fact-checkers are going to be very busy to the next 24 hours or so taking a look at some of the claims that he made. For example, the 20 million people at the bottom of the Obamacare are pretty happy with the health care that they’re getting right now. They don’t want to eliminate that. It’s the focus of a lot of those protests.”
New York Times: “Premiums for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act increased substantially this year. Deductibles are often high. The number of insurance companies offering coverage has shrunk in many states. Big insurers, losing money in the public marketplaces, have curtailed their participation. But millions of people with modest incomes have obtained coverage, with federal subsidies that reduce their premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Republican efforts to repeal the health care law have created greater uncertainty, which threatens to destabilize the markets even more.”
Associated Press: “THE FACTS: Addicts and mentally ill people who gained access to treatment programs for the first time as a result of the Obama-era health care law are worried about the consequences if it’s repealed as Trump calls for.”
IMMIGRATION AND EMPLOYMENT
ABC News: “According to a major report last fall from the National Academies of Sciences, immigrants have ‘little to no negative effects’ on the wages or employment of native-born workers in the United States.”
IMMIGRATION AND VIOLENT CRIME
Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump likes to use anecdotes as evidence for associating violent crimes with illegal immigration, telling stories of victims of homicide by undocumented immigrants….Clearly, stories like this exist. But the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants do not fit Trump’s description of aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder. U.S. Sentencing Commission data shows homicides are a small percentage of the crimes committed by noncitizens, whether they are in the United States illegally or not.”
NBC Senior Correspondent Tom Brokaw
: “He talked about crime among immigrants – there’s a lot of crime in America that doesn’t involve immigrants, including shooting crimes. You know, we’ve had mass murders that don’t involve immigrants, don’t involve Islamic terrorists, as well. No one is condemning gun violence in the country only when it involves an immigrant of some kind. So he’s saying, ‘I want to be inclusive,’ but he singles them out.”
Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review and Bloomberg View: “I forget who said that Trump’s convention speech was like a lazy Susan, always coming back to immigration and crime. Same here.”
Published: Feb 28, 2017