Now that it is official and Donald Trump will be the GOP Presidential nominee, I decided to update an earlier post regarding some of my favorite and representative lies of the candidate. Two different nonpartisan fact checking organizations have noted that he has lapped the field in lying with over a 75% untruthful rate and done it more than any candidate since they started measuring such. Like many narcissists, he accuses others for lying more such as his unmerciful use of “Lying Ted.”
Since my memory is so poor and the lies told by Trump in this campaign season so prevalent, I resorted to the use of a revised acronym CUTIE to remind me of my five favorite Trump lies. These are not necessarily his best ones, but are representative.
I mention these as people will tell me that they are for Trump because he tells the truth or says what we want to say. As for the latter, I would grow concerned if you really wanted to say some of the bigoted and xenophobic stuff he babbles on about. As for the truth, based on his history and campaign statements, I would not equate what The Donald says with the truth. So, if the opportunity presents itself at a future cocktail party, remember the 75% floor figure first. But, if you need a few fun examples, here are five CUTIE Trumpisms which are not truthful.
C = Crime: To inflame a crowd, The Donald said 81% of white homicides are committed by black assailants. Actually, the percentage is more the opposite as the FBI notes that it is only 15%. I think this exemplifies Trump at his worst as it is intended to enrage a strident fan base and blame a group of people. There is a reason so many white hate groups, like the KKK and Nazi party, endorse The Donald.
U = Unemployment: The Donald said the current unemployment rate of 4.9% (now 5%) is not correct. He heard it was more like 30% and one report said 42%. This number is published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was 4.9% at the time and inched up to 5%. When you look at underemployment, it is higher, but nowhere near 30% or 42%. It should be noted if unemployment were that high, we would be in a severe depression. The GOP likes to harp on the Labor Participation rate which has dropped some, yet much of the drop is due to the fact it includes retirees and we are aging as a country.
T = Taxes: He has said this numerous times including the New Hampshire debates, where no one corrected him. The Donald said we are the most taxed country in the world. Not even close. Per one measure ratioing taxes to GDP, we are 27th out of the top 30 wealthiest nations. Using a measure of taxes per capita, we are 17th. In fact, per the Paris based Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, we are well below the average taxes per GDP rate for their 33 surveyed countries.
I = Indebtedness: Trump has said he will reduce the $19 trillion debt in eight years. That is an aggressive and improbable goal by itself, as the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan would take longer. Yet, he has also proposed a tax plan that will increase the debt by $12 trillion over ten years per the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. That would increase the debt by over 60% and make it next to impossible to also reduce the debt in eight years. This is why reporters need to follow-up on questions.
E = Environment: His most colorful lie may be the most ludicrous thing said by any candidate, including some of Ben Carson’s inane statements. The Donald said global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese to steal our jobs. Really? I guess those 97% of scientists, 195 countries, and every major science organization who follows these issues, are all wet. I guess since Trump said it, we don’t have to worry about it. Rather than quote facts, let me ask if it is a hoax, why is Exxon-Mobil being sued by the New York State Attorney General for misrepresenting to investors and shareholder the impact of climate change on their business? Why does Duke Energy factor climate change impact on their water reservoir evaporation loss models?
The sidebar story is the other GOP candidates did not call Trump out on these untruths. The reason is they are an extreme or even mainstream version of the narrative the GOP wants Americans to hear. The last statement on global warming is ludicrous, but not too different from other candidates who deny climate change. John Kasich was the lone wolf in this slate of former GOP candidates who notes the real concern of man-influenced climate change. No one corrected Trump on the most taxed country in the world comment, as that is what the GOP wants Americans to believe. The other three fall into the category, as well.
As I have said before, our world is complex. It is hard enough to govern when we use factual information. Conservative or liberal, we must use real and not contrived information. What we don’t need is people advocating stuff that either they know is a lie to gain votes or don’t know which is equally bad. Given his track record of making stuff up, my money is on the former. And, that is no way to govern.