Here’s why you should be very skeptical of Trump’s boasts at his impromptu economy speech
President Donald Trump (Screenshot)

After releasing a report on economic growth under his presidency, Donald Trump took to the White House's South Lawn to brag about the 4.1 percent gross domestic product increase.


During the speech, he made a number of boastful statements — all of which are explained (and often debunked) below.

1. "We are in the midst of the longest job-growth streak in history."

Though job growth during Trump's first year has been notable and even considered historic, it still was below the last four years of President Barack Obama's two terms in office.

2. Taking credit for low rates of black, Hispanic and women's unemployment levels.

The president has deployed the claim multiple times that he is responsible for lowering black unemployment rates despite data that shows black unemployment has been steadily decreasing since 2010.

Trump claimed during the speech that women's unemployment is the lowest it's been in 65 years — a claim made in a recently-published piece in the conservative American Spectator magazine. Though over 800,000 women were added to the workforce during Trump's first year in office, that number, FactCheck.org noted, is 34 percent lower than the number of women that were added in the two years prior, and is "the smallest increase since 2012 and below the historical norm for the past 54 years, dating to 1964."

3. $300 billion in profits has been brought back to the US, and it will eventually be "over $4 trillion."

Daniel Dale, the Toronto Star's White House correspondent, noted that although Trump was accurate when bragging about the $300 billion in repatriated profits, experts he spoke to said the figure of "over $4 trillion" is a lie and that "no estimate is higher than $3.1 trillion."

4. "[Other countries] stole our jobs and plundered our wealth."

It's unclear what specific countries Trump believes "stole" American jobs and "plundered" its wealth, but according to a Forbes report published in November of 2017, the United States was the 12th richest country in the world. Hong Kong is the only country on the list that's considered wealthier per capita than the US that is even close to being targeted by the president's trade war with China, and is nonetheless its own economic entity separate from the Chinese mainland.

The concept that other countries are "taking" or "stealing" outsourced American jobs is both false and often considered a racist dogwhistle. Many of the companies that choose to outsource their formerly US-based jobs to China and other countries where labor laws are weaker and they are able to pay workers lower wages are from the United States — and as the American Prospect noted in March, many of those same corporations will receive major tax breaks under Trump and the GOP's tax bill.

5. The crowd of crying steelworkers.

The president said that during a stop at a steel plant in Granite City, Illinois he met with steelworkers — "some of the roughest, toughest people you have ever seen" — half of whom "had tears coming down their faces."

It's impossible to know whether half the crowd was crying, though Fox News did show a video of one steelworker tearing up while praising Trump for emboldening American workers.

6. Bragging about the "obsolete deal" of adding 400,000 manufacturing jobs to the economy.

This claim is another mix of truth both stretched and actual. As The Star's Dale noted during his livetweet of the speech, Trump's assessment that adding manufacturing jobs was an "obsolete deal" (Trumpspeak for "it's never going to happen") is correct. He's off on the numbers by about 20,000, however — CSN News, a pro-Trump website owned by the right-wing Media Research Center, noted earlier in July that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the actual number of manufacturing jobs that have been introduced since Trump took office is roughly 360,000.

7. "Obamacare is now on its last legs."

"On its last legs" is, like many of the president's statements, open to wide interpretation. The GOP has not, however, been able to entirely kill off the Affordable Care Act in any of its iterations of "Trumpcare." Their attempts to do so have since become a Democratic rallying cry.

8. "Once again, we are the economic envy of the entire world."

This un-cited claim leaves out the president's narrowly-avoided trade war with Europe and his escalating feud with China. In spite of Trump's truce with Europe, American farmers remain anxious about his tariffs on soybeans in particular.

9. People have been begging Trump for "decades" to get their relatives' remains from North Korea.

On Thursday night, Trump tweeted that he'd negotiated to secure the remains of Korea War veterans to be returned to the US after being stuck in what is now North Korea for more than half a century. He brought this non-economic topic up again during the speech meant to tout GDP growth under his administration and cited the repatriation of the remains as something that's "important for the lives of not only Americans but lives all over the world."

Dale noted that Trump has more than once deployed his story about people approaching him for "decades" on the streets asking him to do something to help them get the remains of their loved ones back from what modern-day North Korea following the US-Korean war in the early 1950's.

In some instances (though not this one), the reporter tweeted, the president made the impossible claim that the parents of people who died over 80 years ago would approach him. Now, he claims that "oftentimes they were older," though "in some cases they were younger."