Thursday, February 1, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lied about economic growth during his first year in office.

Trump addressed a retreat of Republican legislators in West Virginia today. His speech contained a number of typical Trumpian fictions and flourishes. He claimed that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) had called him "the greatest president in the history of our country," explicitly including Lincoln and Washington. (Hatch said no such thing). He said that the real "Dreamers" were Republican Congressmen. And he estimated that his speech at Davos had (somehow) been worth "hundreds of billions of dollars" to the American economy. 

He also said that since the election, "We’ve created 2.4 million jobs," adding, "That’s unthinkable." Unthinkable is a strong word, but "incorrect" and "disappointing" might work.

Since Trump took office--that is to say, not counting 300,000 jobs added during President Obama's last months in office--the U.S. economy added 2.1 million jobs, or about 13% less than what Trump was trying to take credit for.

That 2.1 million figure was the smallest increase in six years.

So what?

  • Numbers aren't good or bad just because a president wants them to be.
  • It's wrong to take credit for things you didn't do.