Home / Politics / AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s flawed claims in State of the Union

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s flawed claims in State of the Union

WASHINGTON (AP) – Boastful even inside the conventional confines of a State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump inflated the affect of his tax cuts Tuesday night time, declared an finish to a “war” on power that didn’t exist when he took place of job and displayed a erroneous grab of immigration coverage.

A have a look at some of the statements in his speech and the way they evaluate with the info:

TRUMP: “We enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history.”

THE FACTS: No more true now than in the numerous different occasions he has mentioned the similar. The December tax overhaul ranks in the back of Ronald Reagan’s in the early 1980s, post-World War II tax cuts and a minimum of a number of extra.

An research via the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in the fall put Trump’s bundle as the 8th largest since 1918. As a share of the general economic system, Reagan’s 1981 reduce is the largest adopted via the 1945 rollback of taxes that financed World War II.

Valued at $1.five trillion over 10 years, the plan is certainly huge and dear. But it’s a lot smaller than initially supposed. Back in the spring, it was once shaping up as a $five.five trillion bundle. Even then it will have handiest been the 1/3 greatest since 1940 as a proportion of gross home product.

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TRUMP: “After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”

THE FACTS: Actually, they aren’t emerging any quicker than they have got ahead of. Average hourly pay rose 2.five p.c in 2017, quite slower than the 2.nine p.c build up recorded in 2016 beneath President Barack Obama.

Most economists say that wages must build up at a quicker fee as the unemployment fee drops. The unemployment fee stands at a 17-year low of four.1 p.c, however that has completed little up to now to spark emerging wages.

The closing time unemployment was once this low, in the past due 1990s, moderate hourly pay was once emerging at a four p.c tempo.

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TRUMP: “The third pillar (of my immigration plan) ends the visa lottery – a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard to skill, merit or the safety of our people.”

THE FACTS: That’s a extremely deceptive characterization. The program isn’t just about that random and it does cope with abilities, benefit and protection.

The range visa program awards as much as 50,000 inexperienced playing cards a yr to other people from underrepresented nations, in large part in Africa. It calls for candidates to have finished a highschool schooling or have a minimum of two years of revel in in the closing 5 years in a ramification of fields recognized via the Labor Department.

Winners are then randomly decided on via laptop, from that pool of candidates who met the pre-conditions. Winners should publish to intensive background exams, identical to another immigrant.

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TRUMP: “We have ended the war on American energy.”

THE FACTS: Energy manufacturing was once unleashed in previous administrations, specifically Barack Obama’s, making accusations of a struggle on power arduous to maintain. Advances in hydraulic fracturing ahead of Trump become president made it economical to faucet huge reserves of herbal gasoline. Oil manufacturing additionally very much greater, lowering imports.

Before the 2016 presidential election, the U.S. for the first time in a long time was once getting extra power locally than it imports. Before Obama, George W. Bush was once no adversary of the power business.

One of Trump’s consequential movements as president in this entrance was once to approve the Keystone XL pipeline – a supply of overseas oil, from Canada.

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TRUMP: “We are now very proudly an exporter of energy to the world.”

THE FACTS: There’s not anything new in that: The U.S. has lengthy exported all types of power, whilst uploading much more. If Trump supposed that the U.S. has change into a web exporter of power, he’s speeding issues alongside. The U.S. Energy Information Administration initiatives that the U.S. will change into a web power exporter in the subsequent decade, basically as a result of of a increase in oil and gasoline manufacturing that started ahead of Trump’s presidency. The Trump White House has predicted that would occur faster, via 2020. But that’s no longer “now.”

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TRUMP: “For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities.”

THE FACTS: The borders had been some distance from open ahead of his presidency, then again imperfectly they are going to had been guarded.

The govt beneath Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama kind of doubled the ranks of the Border Patrol, and Bush prolonged fencing to hide just about one-third of the border right through his ultimate years in place of job. The Obama management deported greater than 2 million immigrants right through the 8 years he was once in place of job, greater than in earlier administrations.

Border arrests, an invaluable if imperfect gauge of unlawful crossings, have dropped sharply over the closing decade.

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TRUMP: “We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone else anywhere in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000. A lot of money.”

THE FACTS: Few economists suppose moderate earning will leap via $four,000 just because corporations are paying much less in taxes.

The determine cited via Trump comes from his leader economist, Kevin Hassett. Many mainstream economists poked broad holes into this declare, together with the creator of one of the analysis papers cited via Hassett. Economists usually say maximum of the financial savings from decrease company taxes would float to buyers, reasonably than staff. The drawback with the $four,000 declare is that Trump is basically promising $500 billion in source of revenue good points throughout the whole economic system from tax cuts which are a small fraction of that general on an annual foundation.

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TRUMP: “Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses – many of them thousands and thousands of dollars per worker.”

THE FACTS: This seems to be true, however is probably not as spectacular because it sounds. According to a tally of public bulletins via Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative team that supported the tax legislation, about three million staff have got bonuses, raises or better bills to their retirement accounts since the tax legislation was once signed.

That’s about 2 p.c of the greater than 154 million Americans with jobs. The Labor Department mentioned ahead of the tax bundle was once signed into legislation that 38 p.c of staff would more than likely get some shape of bonus in 2017.

Few corporations haven’t begun granted across-the-board pay raises, which Trump and GOP leaders promised would consequence from the reduce in company tax charges integrated in the overhaul. Many, equivalent to Walmart and BB&T; Bank, mentioned they’re going to carry their minimal wages. Walmart made equivalent bulletins in 2015 and 2016.

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TRUMP: “Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States, something we haven’t seen for decades.”

THE FACTS: He’s flawed about fresh a long time. The auto business has frequently been opening and increasing factories since ahead of Trump become president. Toyota opened its Mississippi manufacturing unit in 2011. Hyundai’s plant in Alabama dates to 2005. In 2010, Tesla absolutely got and up to date an previous manufacturing unit to supply its electrical cars.

Trump additionally declared that “Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan.” That’s no longer precisely the case, both. Chrysler introduced it’ll transfer manufacturing of heavy-duty pickup vehicles from Mexico to Michigan, however the plant isn’t ultimate in Mexico. It will get started generating different cars for international gross sales and no exchange in its team of workers is expected.

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TRUMP: “We repealed the core of the disastrous Obamacare – the individual mandate is now gone.”

THE FACTS: No, it’s no longer long past. It’s going, in 2019. People who pass with out insurance coverage this yr are nonetheless topic to fines.

Congress did repeal the unpopular requirement that almost all Americans raise insurance coverage or possibility a tax penalty, however that takes impact subsequent yr.

It’s a some distance cry from what Trump and the GOP-led Congress got down to do closing yr, which was once to scrap maximum of the sweeping Obama-era well being legislation and substitute it with a Republican selection. The GOP blueprint would have left tens of millions extra Americans uninsured, making it much more unpopular than “Obamacare.”

Other main portions of the overhaul stay in position, together with its Medicaid enlargement, protections for other people with pre-existing circumstances, assured “essential” well being advantages, and backed personal medical insurance for other people with modest earning.

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TRUMP: “Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small business.”

THE FACTS: That is dependent upon the way you outline super. The largest beneficiaries from the tax legislation are rich Americans and companies.

Most Americans pays much less in taxes this yr. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that about 80 p.c of U.S. families gets a tax reduce, with about 15 p.c seeing little exchange and five p.c paying extra.

Middle-class families – outlined as the ones making between kind of $49,000 and $86,000 a yr – will see their tax expenses drop via about $930, the Tax Policy Center calculates. That will carry their after-tax earning via 1.6 p.c.

The richest 1 p.c, in the meantime, will save $51,140, lifting their after-tax earning via three.four p.c, or greater than two times up to the heart category.

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TRUMP: “We have sent thousands and thousands and thousands of MS-13 horrible people out of this country or into our prisons.”

THE FACTS: That’s an exaggeration and is going past how even Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Trump management’s maximum competitive anti-gang enforcer, characterizes the scope of the effort.

Sessions mentioned in speeches this week that federal government had secured the convictions of just about 500 human traffickers and 1,200 gang contributors, “and worked with our international allies to arrest or charge more than 4,000 MS-13 members.” On different events, the legal professional common has in particular mentioned the four,000 quantity displays paintings completed with “our partners in Central America.”

That means that a minimum of some of the MS-13 contributors Trump is relating to weren’t if truth be told in the U.S once they had been arrested, and aren’t now in U.S. prisons.

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TRUMP: “We have ended the war on beautiful clean coal.”

THE FACTS: Coal isn’t blank. According to the Energy Department, greater than 83 p.c of all main air pollution – sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, poisonous mercury and perilous soot debris – from energy vegetation are from coal, although coal makes up handiest 43 p.c of the energy technology. Power vegetation are the No. 1 supply of the ones pollution.

Coal produces just about two times as a lot heat-trapping carbon dioxide consistent with power created as herbal gasoline, the division says.

In 2011, coal burning emitted greater than 6 million lots of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides as opposed to 430,000 lots from different power assets blended.

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TRUMP: “Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve.”

THE FACTS: Not in step with knowledge on the Veterans Affairs web page . It’s true that greater than 1,500 firings at the VA have passed off up to now right through the Trump management. But greater than 500 of the ones firings passed off from Jan. 20, when Trump took place of job, to past due June, when the new responsibility legislation started to take impact. That manner kind of one-third of the 1,500 firings weren’t attributed via VA to the new legislation.

After the speech and in reaction to questions from the AP, VA produced a brand new report Wednesday that helps Trump’s commentary – however handiest via converting how got rid of staff are counted. It offered a brand new class, “probationary removals,” which will increase the general of got rid of staff to greater than 1,700 since the legislation was once handed.

The division integrated greater than 700 new staff who weren’t prolonged everlasting employment after their probationary classes expired.

Congress handed the regulation in June making it more uncomplicated to fireside VA staff and shortening the time staff must enchantment disciplinary movements. But the legislation’s affect on making improvements to responsibility at the division stays unclear: More VA staff had been fired in former President Barack Obama’s closing price range yr, as an example, than in Trump’s first.

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TRUMP: “Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and in Syria and in other locations, as well. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.”

THE FACTS: Although it’s true that the Islamic State team has misplaced just about 100 p.c of the territory it held in Syria and Iraq when the U.S. started airstrikes in each nations in 2014, Syria stays wracked via civil struggle, with a lot of that nation managed via the govt of Russian best friend Syrian President Bashar Assad and no longer via U.S.-allied teams. The Iraqi govt has declared itself absolutely liberated from IS.

The development cited via Trump didn’t get started together with his presidency. The U.S.-led coalition recaptured a lot land, together with a number of key towns in Iraq, ahead of he took place of job. And the attack on Mosul, which was once the extremists’ major stronghold in northern Iraq, was once begun right through the Obama management. But in the previous yr the counter-ISIS marketing campaign has sped up, primarily based in large part on the means Trump inherited.

He’s proper that extra continues to be completed to do away with IS as an extremist danger, even after it’s been defeated militarily. The team remains to be ready to encourage assaults in the West in keeping with its ideology, and it is attempting to make inroads in puts like Afghanistan and Libya.

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Associated Press writers Josh Boak, Matthew Daly, Josh Lederman, Robert Burns, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Hope Yen, Eric Tucker, Seth Borenstein and Elliot Spagat contributed to this file.

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Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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