Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What did Donald Trump do today?

He took credit for foreign companies' pre-existing plans to invest $50B in American businesses.

Trump claimed that Masayoshi Son, CEO of the Japanese firm SoftBank, would not have made the investment had Trump not won. However, the money appears to be coming from a larger $100B investment fund established with Saudi Arabian backing in October.

Trump also claimed the deal would bring 50,000 new jobs to the United States. No details were provided. However, SoftBank owns the US telecom company Sprint, which is in the process of cutting "thousands" of U.S. jobs. 

Trump's favorable comments towards foreign investment firms came on the same day that he threatened to cancel contracts of the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing. That outburst came shortly after a Chicago Tribune story was published that relayed mild criticism of Trump from Boeing officials.

What's the problem here?

  • It's wrong to take credit for things you didn't do.
  • It's bad if presidents don't make a distinction between flattery and fact.
  • Presidents shouldn't say things that could hurt major American industries just because someone hurt their feelings.