Don’t Call It A Pivot

President Donald Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday and many people are characterizing the speech as a pivot to a more “presidential” Trump. President Trump managed to follow a teleprompter and avoid attacking the media, but don’t call this a pivot.

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During his 61 minute-address, Trump lied at least 51 times. Here are the three main areas where the president misled the American people, attacked immigrants, and offered policy ideas that would severely disadvantage middle and lower-income Americans:

IMMIGRATION

As if his recent series of cruel and misguided executive orders on immigration weren’t bad enough, Trump took his war on immigrants one step further. Trump told over 10 lies about immigration during his speech, including these claims:

  • “As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens.” Trump claims he’s deporting criminals, but his policy of mass deportation is targeting DACA recipients, mothers, and domestic violence victims. Also, despite what President Trump might say, immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes or be incarcerated than native-born Americans.
  • In reference to his Muslim Ban, President Trump said: “It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur.” This logic behind Trump’s Muslim Ban is fatally flawed. Refugees in particular face an exhaustive and onerous screening process when seeking admissions to the United States. In fact, barring immigration from select Muslim countries is reckless and only makes our country less safe.

While falsely spinning a narrative about the perils of immigration, Trump also introduced extreme and un-American policy proposals intended to dramatically move our immigration system away from family unification (under the guise of a “merit based system”) and ostracize immigrants. He also proposed the creation of VOICE, a particularly disturbing new ‘initiative’ focused on crimes committed by immigrants that would unduly target and criminalize immigrant communities.

ECONOMY

President Trump claimed credit for jobs he didn’t create and lied about his tax plans. Here are just a few examples:

  • “Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.” Trump claims to have created over 70,000 jobs, but 68,800 of those jobs were in the works before the election and 700 were the result of President Obama’s policies.
  • “At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.” Turns out, this is also misleading, since the tax plan Trump campaigned on would actually raise taxes on single parents and disproportionately benefit the richest Americans.

Trump also claimed that he was going to make the economy great again by providing tax cuts for businesses and that he would help Americans break the cycle of poverty. But in reality, Trump’s budget proposal — which makes deep cuts to domestic discretionary spending — is only going to make things worse.

HEALTH CARE

Trump called for repealing the “disaster” of the Affordable Care Act. He recycled many of his favorite Obamacare lies during his speech like:

  • “Obamacare is collapsing.” It isn’t. The insurance market is actually improving, but repealing the ACA would cause chaos and kill it.
  • “Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits.” No they haven’t.
  • “Obamacare is an imploding disaster.” Obamacare has newly insured more than 20 million Americans and brought the uninsured rate to an all-time low, all while costing less than expected.

Unsurprisingly, Trump was light on details about his plan to replace the health care law. He promised to “create a better healthcare system for all Americans.” But current GOP plans to repeal the law would result in an average cost increase of $4,000 a year for American families.