Political News

5 false or misleading things Trump said in his tax speech

Posted November 30, 2017 11:15 a.m. EST

— President Donald Trump pushed to rally support for the GOP tax reform plan in Missouri on Wednesday, but, during his speech, he stretched the facts, used misleading arguments and made false assertions to get there.

It wasn't the first time Trump has made false or misleading statements. (The most recent count from the Washington Post pegs the number at 1,628 false or misleading claims over the last 10 months.)

On everything from the impact of his proposed tax plan on the wealthy to the history of job growth and GDP numbers, Trump hyped the numbers beyond what the data really says.

Still, Trump went on insist that, after the impact of the tax plan hits, "they're going to say that Trump is the opposite of an exaggerator -- the exact opposite."

Here are five false or misleading statements from the President during his latest tax reform speech.

1. On GDP growth: "They had it at 3%. By the way, 3% -- did you ever think you would hear that in less than a year? And now it comes in at 3.3%, which is the largest increase in many years."

GDP growth of 3.3% is definitely a good quarterly rate -- and better than it's been recently. But it's not even close to the largest increase "in many years." It is the largest since 2014, when GDP grew by 4.6% in one quarter and 5.2% the next. In fact, GDP growth topped 3.3% a half dozen times under former President Barack Obama and 44 times in the last three decades, according to a CNN analysis of data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

2. On job growth: "We've created nearly two million jobs -- two million jobs. Think of that. We used to lose millions. Now, we've created two million jobs since I won the election."

The United States did lose millions of jobs in 2009 during the Great Recession, according to employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the nation has been averaging 1.9 million new jobs from October-to-October since 2010. The country has added 1.8 million jobs since Trump was elected in November.

3. "This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me. Believe -- This is not good for me. Me, it's not so -- I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that's OK. You know, I keep hearing Schumer: 'This is for the wealthy.' Well, if it is, my friends don't know about it."

As CNN's Dan Merica and Jeanne Sahadi reported, from what we know about Trump's wealth and the core tenets of the Senate tax plan, he and his family almost certainly wouldn't be hit hard by the plan. The bill would lower taxes on most, if not all, of Trump's businesses. Plus changes to the estate tax and repealing the alternative minimum tax could also reduce Trump's tax load significantly.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Taxation says in 2019, more than eight in 10 taxpayers making $200,000 or more per year will get at least a $500 tax cut. And in 2027, when some of the proposed cuts would wear off, a majority of taxpayers making $1 million per year or more will still have a more than $500 tax cut, while the vast majority of those making less than $100,000 will have virtually no change or a tax increase.

4. On middle class taxes: "To summarize, our plan cuts taxes for the working and middle-income families."

It's true that taxes would be cut for most, but not all, middle-class families initially -- but those cuts won't last for most except in the highest of income groups. Majorities of all income groups making over $30,000 per year will see a tax decrease of at least $100 in 2019, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. That includes 80% of both taxpayers earning $50,000 per year and $1 million per year. But in 2027, when some of the provisions would expire, only 14% of those earning $50,000 per year would still have that cut vs. 60% of those earning over $1 million per year.

5. On tax reform history: "... if Congress sends a tax cut and reform bill, the biggest tax cut in the history of our country -- bigger than Reagan."

Politifact has taken a look at this claim from two different angles -- one with inflation-adjusted dollars and another as a percentage of gross domestic product -- and Trump's tax cuts don't mark the largest cuts from either perspective.

"Even the most expansive estimate for the current proposal's tax cut is exceeded by the 1981 tax cut in inflation-adjusted dollars. And as a percentage of GDP, a half-dozen or more previous tax cuts were larger," Politifact says.