President Trump delivered his first address to Congress on Tuesday, and it was a speech packed full of far right cliches and alternative facts.
He misled the country with phrases such as “one of the largest increases in National Defense spending in US history.” There have been ten increases since 1977 that have been greater than the one proposed by Trump as you can see for this table.
The President claimed 94 million Americans are out of work, a figure provided by the Bureau of Labour Statistics. However, that includes everyone aged over 15 who isn’t working or looking for a job.
By using this statistic, you place every student in America aged 16 or over, out of the workforce including high school students, undergrad students, and graduate students and every adult who is part of an educational program or in vocational training. You then also count every stay at home parent and caregiver, every person whose disability prevents them from holding down a job, every retired American, and even those lucky enough to be independently wealthy or living off of trust funds as out of the workforce.
He took credit for 70,000 new American jobs, 69,000 of which were planned before he came to power and 700 of which are a direct result of Obama policies. We’ll let him claim credit for the other 300 jobs, but we’d love to know who created them and how they were filled.
The “tens of thousands of jobs” that will be created by the Dakota and Keystone pipelines are almost all temporary – Keystone will provide a total of 35 permanent jobs.
While Trump claimed “the vast majority of terrorist attacks came from people who came over our border” the fact remains that you are seven times more likely to die in an attack by a right-wing extremist than in an attack by a Muslim radical.
The Center for American Progress crowd-sourced fact checking and produced a Google document that points to 51 statements that were either outright lies or at the very best, highly misleading. You can see the document here.
In the meantime, we should not be surprised that so much of what Trump said was untrue or out of context, we should be surprised that the occasional comment was truthful.
Featured image via The Guardian.