Thursday, March 02, 2017

Fact check: Donald Trump's claims on jobs, Obamacare, immigration and more

 President Donald Trump again singled out Chicago during his first address to Congress, citing last year's murder rate as "not acceptable in our society."
Feb. 28, 2017. (Photo: Michael Reynolds / EPA)
The Associated Press

Claims made by President Donald Trump from his speech to Congress on Tuesday and how they stack up with the facts:

Trump distorts an immigration report

TRUMP: "According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year."


That's not exactly what that report says. It says immigrants "contribute to government finances by paying taxes and add expenditures by consuming public services."

The report found that while first-generation immigrants are more expensive to governments than their native-born counterparts, primarily at the state and local level, immigrants' children "are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the population." This second generation contributed more in taxes on a per capita basis, for example, than did non-immigrants in the period studied, 1994-2013.

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 labor force growth and contributing to innovation and entrepreneurial activity were taken into account."

Taking credit for cost savings on F-35 jet fighter

TRUMP: "We've saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price" of the F-35 jet fighter.

THE FACTS: The cost savings he persists in bragging about were secured in full or large part before he became president.

The head of the Air Force program announced significant price reductions in the contract for the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet Dec. 19 — after Trump had tweeted about the cost but weeks before he met the company's CEO about it.

Pentagon managers took action even before the election to save money on the contract. Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group, said there is no evidence of any additional cost savings as a result of Trump's actions.

Tax relief for the middle class

TRUMP: "We will provide massive tax relief for the middle class."

THE FACTS: Trump has provided little detail on how this would happen. Independent analyses of his campaign's tax proposals found that most of the benefits would flow to the wealthiest families. The richest 1 percent would see an average tax cut of nearly $215,000 a year, while the middle one-fifth of the population would get a cut of just $1,010, according to the Tax Policy Center, a joint project by the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute.

Job claims don't add up

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