On today’s Morning Joe, Steven Rattner presented charts showing that President Trump’s casual relationship with the truth is well known but his lies about taxes and the economy are extraordinary.
“It’s the largest tax cut in the history of our country,” he has said repeatedly. Except that by any appropriate measure, it’s not even close. Judged appropriately (as a percentage of the size of the economy), the new tax bill isn’t even among the top six. It is dwarfed by the mother of all tax cuts, Ronald Reagan’s in 1981. But it is also substantially smaller than the two passed by President Truman following World War II, as well as one originally proposed by President Kennedy in 1963 and approved in 1964 during the administration of President Johnson. Then there are two tax measures enacted during the administration of Barack Obama, which were a combination of stimulus to counteract the recession and extensions of tax cuts passed by President George W. Bush. (The 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts were substantially smaller than that of Mr. Trump.)
“It’s a tax bill for the middle class,” Mr. Trump has contended. Except that it isn’t. Looking at 2019, about a third of the reduction will go to businesses and more than half will go to people making more than $75,000 a year – well above middle class incomes of around $55,000. That leaves only 16% or $40 billion of the $260 billion of total reduction for both the middle class and those below middle class levels.
We are having “job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time,” Mr. Trump said on Sept. 19, echoing a familiar refrain. Except that we’re not. While jobs are being added and the unemployment has continued to tick down, the rate of employment increase has been slower under Mr. Trump than it was under President Obama – 170,000 jobs a month for the Trump Administration versus 200,000 jobs a month during the Obama tenure.
Perhaps even more startling, the unemployment rate has begun ticking up in a number of states that were crucial to the Trump victory. Most dramatically, in Michigan, it has risen from 3.7% in July to 4.5% at the end of October, largely because the state has begun to lose manufacturing jobs, the kinds of jobs that Mr. Trump has vowed to protect. A similar pattern has occurred in Indiana and Wisconsin; in Ohio, the jobless rate has stayed essentially unchanged, even as it has declined nationally.