The art of exaggeration

The following are paraphrases of actual quotes from a person known to exaggerate and even prevaricate. A famous comedian from the same area as this person noted three years ago that this was “schtick” used to improve your image.

  • I am the least racist person in the world,
  • I am a stable genius.
  • I know more about taxes than anyone in the history of taxes.
  • They love me in England.
  • My gut is smarter than an expert’s brain.
  • No one has treated Black people better than me.
  • African-American people love the job I’m doing.

These are just top of mind from a longer list of exaggerations. Often, these are said following scrutiny that he has brought om himself.

This last point is important as I have said repeatedly this person is his own worst enemy. Through exaggeration and prevarication, he is the biggest purveyor of fake news by far. Even when the news is good, he must make it better or the “best.” Things he must change are “disasters.”

Yet, exaggerating and lying is bad enough, in and of themselves, but become  far more serious when policy is set off one of the two. Here are some real examples that should concern us all.

  • He said eliminating the subsidy to insurers under the Affordable Care Act to repay them for co-pays/ deductibles they absorbed for people making less than 2 1/2 times the poverty limit would only effect their profits – this is not true, as the CBO said it would increase the US deficit by $10 billion per annum and increased premiums for all members.
  • He said the illegal immigrants were taking all the jobs and are the reason for the malaise in certain areas – this is a gross exaggeration, as the primary reason for job loss is technology gains and CEOs chasing cheaper profits by offshoring manufacturing plants.
  • He said to reporters in front of the Pakistan PM, the India PM asked him to mediate the conflict in Kashmir – this is not true and statement was made by the India PM within an hour to state “no such request was made” as well as the White House staff going silent on the issue. India is an ally and experts noted this was a slap in their face as Kashmir is hyper-sensitive.
  • He said it is OK to have trade issues with China as we are raking in tariffs from them in our treasury, a statement he has repeated multiple times, including yesterday – while tariffs are being collected, this is a lie that China is paying them; US importers are paying the tariffs and passing much of the cost to US consumers.

I could go on as there are many examples to choose – he promised a better and cheaper healthcare program than the ACA in the election, but it has yet to materialize, and he is advertising it again for 2020. What is it Mr. President?

Politicians, business people and marketers tend to exaggerate and even lie to sell their message. Yet, the people who track lying say the incumbent has lapped the field. By the way, a key message from the Mueller report is the president is not very truthful and his staff knows it. And, Mueller testified that Trump was “generally” untruthful in his responses to his questions.

9 thoughts on “The art of exaggeration

    • Janis, too true. I was just typing a comment on Gronda’s post, that includes the following observation. While Mueller has bipartisan credibility, the person in the White House has bipartisan discredibility. The dilemma is only one party can speak openly of it as the others are scared of retribution from the person who demands loyalty. The GOP leadership are not idiots – they know the person they support is a reckless, untruthful bully. They just lack the courage and conscience to speak up. Keith

  1. “I know more about taxes than anyone in the history of taxes.”, really?
    Speaking as someone who was employed in H.M Inspector of Taxes from September 1968 to June 1996, I would just love to speak with this person, in public, before an audience on TV.

    • Roger, it amazes me that people buy his BS. What has surprised me most is how little he knows about things you thought he should know about. He does not understand that a trade deficit is not necesaarily bad. He had a real hard time understanding he could not do a trade deal with Germany (part of that is horrible listening skills as Angela Merkel told him eleven times in one sitting until he got it). And, I mentioned the tariff thing as he does not know how they work – he has said the same wrong thing at least four times.

      Yet, my favorite example is not his six bankruptcies. He set up a mortgage company in the middle of a housing recession. That one was dumb the day it was announced. Keith

      • As I keep saying Keith, simply the manifestation of 30,000,000+ people’s fears and prejudices. That is all that keeps him there. It’s that they really like him, it’s the simple fact they hate the opposition so much…..
        A marriage based on mutual delusion and of course in the background The Vested Interests keeping ‘their stooge’ propped up.

      • Roger, cognitive dissonance is a powerful force. His tribe chooses not to believe the person they voted for could be the way he really is.

        Of course, you have Boris and Nigel there. What is telling is even the Brexit campaign leaders wanted nothing to do with the two. They perceived them as necessary tools, but did not want their input on planning. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: Sometimes one has to show evidence to those who exaggerate to get them off their high horse. In North Carolina, for almost twenty years, families of marines living at Camp Lejeune complained of bad smelling water that was making them sick and causing more than a few major problems. The military brass in Washington, DC said the water is more than fine and refused to investigate. Even when they investigated, they repeated their story the water was no worse than any other place. After pushing a ball uphill, they got the two US Senators involved, one Democrat and one Republican and held a meeting for the military on base.

    To prove their point, they served the visiting guests the water to drink. When the guests refused to drink the unclear and foul-smelling water, they proved their point. The water was remedied and people were taken care of.

    So, next time the US president goes on about how great he is at something, I think a reporter should raise his or her hand and say “Prove it.”

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