Fact Check: Almost Everything Trump Said Last Night Was A Lie
Almost every claim Trump Made to Congress was false
When Donald Trump delivered his first speech to Congress, it was no surprise to find out that almost every major claim was a lie. Despite the fact that most of his address followed the same empty line of promises as his presidential campaign, he did make a number of claims regarding immigration, healthcare and tax reform, most of which contained false information. Fact checked by the Associated Press and The New York Times, this is just a look at some of the false claims:
“According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America’s taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.”
Not exactly true. The report from the National Academy of Sciences says immigrants contribute to the country’s finances by paying taxes and consuming public services, and although first-generation immigrants are more expensive to governments than native-born, immigrant children are one of the strongest economic and fiscal contributors. As told by the Independent:
“The report found that the “long-run fiscal impact” of immigrants and their children would probably be seen as more positive “if their role in sustaining labour force growth and contributing to innovation and entrepreneurial activity were taken into account.”
“We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price” of the F-35 jet fighter.
According to the Independent, the price reductions in the contract for the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet were announced on December 19 last year, weeks before Trump met with the company’s head. There is no evidence whatsoever that Donald Trump’s actions led to additional cost savings.
“We will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.”
Until now, Trump has not given any detail on how he plans to do that; in addition, independent analyses have concluded that most of the benefits would go to the wealthiest families in America. According to the Tax Policy Center, the richest 1% would see an average tax cut of nearly $215,000 a year; the middle class, one-fifth of the population, would get a cut of only $1,010.
“Ninety-four million Americans are out of the Labor force.”
Yes, but a majority of this number have chosen to be out of the labor force. The number given includes high school and college students, people with disabilities, stay-at-home parents and millions of retirees (people who have chosen not to work regardless of the economy of the country), which makes the number of Americans who would like to work but cannot find a job much smaller. As explained by Binyamin Appelbaum to The New York Times:
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that about 7.6 million people were unemployed in January.”
“Obamacare is collapsing … imploding Obamacare disaster.”
Indeed there are problems, but saying it is collapsing is an exaggeration. In spite of the concerns around the costs, it is also true that millions of Americans with modest incomes have obtained coverage. Repealing Obamacare would leave millions uninsured and, for now, it has created great uncertainty that in turn destabilizes the market.
Trump’s budget plan will offer “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history”.
Lie. In fact, in recent years, Congress has raised the defense budget by much larger percentages than the 10% proposed by Trump.
“The base defense budget grew by 41 billion dollars, or 14.3%, in 2002; by 37 billion dollars, or 11.3%, in 2003, and by 47 billion dollars, or 10.9%, in 2008, according to Defense Department figures.”
“According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offences since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home – from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.”
Government information disagrees with this. Homeland Security Department revealed information last week that stated that more than half the people Trump referred to were born in the United States, even in the attacks singled out (for example, Syed Rizwan Farook who carried the attack in San Bernardino, was born in Chicago). Among those prosecuted by the Justice Department for working with the Islamic State, many are U.S. citizens.
“We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since Nafta was approved.”
No, NAFTA has not been the reason. The biggest reason for the loss of manufacturing jobs has been technological progress.
“Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart and many others have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.”
Many of these decisions have nothing to do with Trump. As a matter of fact, some, such as the case of the construction of the Chandler, Arizona, factory of Intel, began during Obama’s administration. While some companies create jobs, others are reducing their numbers of workers. On March 10, the Labor Department will issue its report for February regarding gains and losses; that is when results of Trump’s first full month will be seen.
And still, we saw half of the room applauding frantically last night. Post-fact world, indeed.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)