Washington – President Donald Trump acquired constructive financial information this previous week and twisted it out of proportion. That impulse ran by means of days of rhetoric as he hailed the success of a veterans program that hasn’t began and noticed progress with North Korea that isn’t evident to his prime diplomat.
Per week in overview:
ECONOMY AND TRADE
TRUMP: “We’ve completed an financial turnaround of historic proportions.” – remarks Friday on a brand new financial report.
THE FACTS: That doesn’t sq. with the report. Trump didn’t inherit a fixer-upper economic system.
The U.S. economic system simply entered its 10th 12 months of progress, a restoration that started below President Barack Obama, who inherited the Nice Recession. The information present that the falling unemployment charge and good points in dwelling values mirror the length of the restoration, relatively than any main modifications made since 2017 by the Trump administration.
Whereas Trump praised the four.1 per cent annual progress charge within the second quarter, it exceeded that degree 4 occasions throughout the Obama presidency. However quarterly figures are unstable and energy in a single quarter may be reversed within the subsequent. Whereas Obama by no means achieved the three per cent annual progress that Trump hopes to see, he got here shut. The economic system grew 2.9 per cent in 2015.
The economic system faces two important structural drags that would hold progress nearer to 2 per cent than three per cent: an getting old inhabitants, which suggests fewer persons are working and extra are retired, and weak productiveness progress, which signifies that those that are working aren’t growing their output as shortly as prior to now.
Each of these elements are largely past Trump’s management.
TRUMP: “One of many largest wins within the report, and it’s, certainly a giant one, is that the commerce deficit – very pricey to my coronary heart as a result of we’ve been ripped off by the world – has dropped.” – remarks Friday
THE FACTS: Trump is right decrease commerce deficit helped progress within the April-June quarter, but it surely’s not essentially for a constructive motive.
The president has floated plans to impose import taxes on a whole lot of billions of of overseas items, which has led to the chance of retaliatory tariffs by overseas corporations on U.S. items.
This menace of an escalating commerce struggle has led many corporations to extend their ranges of commerce earlier than any tariffs hit, inflicting the short-term enhance in exports being celebrated by Trump.
Richard Moody, chief economist at Areas Monetary, mentioned the result’s that the good points from commerce within the second quarter won’t be repeated.
TRUMP: “We’re having the most effective economic system we’ve ever had within the historical past of our nation.” – remarks Thursday in Granite Metropolis, Illinois.
THE FACTS: This isn’t the most effective the U.S. economic system has ever been.
The unemployment charge is close to a 40-year low and progress is strong, however by many measures the present economic system trails different intervals in U.S. historical past. Common hourly pay, earlier than adjusting for inflation, is rising at a few 2.5 per cent annual charge, beneath the four per cent degree reached within the late 1990s when the unemployment charge was as little as it’s now.
Pay was rising even quicker within the late 1960s, when the jobless charge remained beneath four per cent for almost 4 years. And financial progress topped four per cent for 3 full years from 1998 by means of 2000, an annual charge it hasn’t touched since.
TRUMP: “The Canadians, you’ve gotten a very closed market … they’ve a 375 per cent tax on dairy merchandise, apart from that it’s fantastic to deal. And we have now a really huge deficit with Canada, a commerce deficit.” – remarks Thursday in Peosta, Iowa.
THE FACTS: No, it’s not closed. Due to the North American Free Commerce Settlement, Canada’s market is nearly completely open to the USA. Every nation has a number of merchandise which might be nonetheless largely protected, akin to dairy in Canada and sugar in the USA.
Trump additionally repeated his declare that the U.S. has a commerce deficit with Canada, however that’s true solely in items. When providers are included, akin to insurance coverage, tourism, and engineering, the U.S. had a $2.eight billion surplus with Canada final 12 months.
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TRUMP: “We’re additionally pursuing the denuclearization of North Korea and a brand new way forward for prosperity, safety, and peace on the Korean Peninsula and all of Asia. New pictures, simply as we speak, present that North Korea has begun the method of dismantling a key missile website. And we respect that. We had a implausible assembly with Chairman Kim, and it appears to be going very nicely.” _ remarks Tuesday to Veterans of International Wars conference in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri.
THE FACTS: Trump’s evaluation that his administration’s plan to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons is “going very nicely” isn’t absolutely shared by his personal secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. In reality, Pompeo acknowledged this previous week that the North remains to be producing fissile materials for nuclear weapons.
Trump made his remarks after the North Korea-focused 38 North web site launched current satellite tv for pc imagery that appears to point out dismantlement underway at Sohae.
However Pompeo sounded a notice of warning. He mentioned that whereas such a step can be consistent with the pledges that Kim made to Trump on the June 12 summit in Singapore, it must be confirmed by worldwide inspectors.
Analysts say dismantling a number of amenities on the website alone gained’t realistically cut back North Korea’s army functionality or characterize a cloth step towards denuclearization.
Certainly, at a Senate listening to Wednesday, Pompeo acknowledged that North Korea continues to supply gas for nuclear weapons regardless of Kim’s pledge to denuclearize. Pompeo mentioned there was “an terrible lengthy technique to go” earlier than North Korea might now not be seen as a nuclear menace.
AMAZON AND MANUFACTURING
TRUMP: “The Amazon Washington Submit has gone loopy in opposition to me ever since they misplaced the Web Tax Case within the U.S. Supreme Court docket two months in the past. Subsequent up is the U.S. Submit Workplace which they use, at a fraction of actual price, as their ‘supply boy’ for a BIG proportion of their packages…” – tweet Monday.
THE FACTS: He’s fallacious to counsel that the U.S. Postal Service delivers packages for Amazon beneath price. Federal regulators the truth is have reviewed the Amazon contract with the Postal Service annually and decided it to be worthwhile.
Trump is upset with Amazon as a result of its founder, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Submit, which Trump has labeled “faux information” after the newspaper reported unfavourable developments throughout his marketing campaign and presidency.
Whereas the Postal Service has misplaced cash for 11 years, package deal supply, a vivid spot, isn’t the rationale.
Boosted by e-commerce, the Postal Service has loved double-digit will increase in income from delivering packages, however that hasn’t been sufficient to offset pension and well being care prices in addition to declines in first-class letters and advertising and marketing mail. Collectively, letters and advertising and marketing mail make up greater than two-thirds of postal income.
Amazon sends packages by way of the submit workplace, FedEx, UPS and different providers, and has taken steps towards turning into extra self-reliant in delivery.
TRUMP: “On the South Garden, you’ve gotten the area capsule. And each half is made proper right here, in America.” – remarks Monday at Made in America occasion.
THE FACTS: Trump neglects to say a key element: NASA’s Orion crew capsule, one of many star merchandise on the White Home occasion celebrating U.S. manufacturing, will journey by means of area because of Europe.
With its 4 solar-array wings, the European Service Module provides propulsion, energy and the necessities of life for the capsule’s area travels and marks a departure for NASA.
“For the primary time,” the company says, “NASA will use a European-built system as a essential aspect to energy an American spacecraft.” Airbus, Boeing’s prime competitor in industrial air journey, leads an array of European corporations that made the service module.
MILITARY AND VETERANS
TRUMP: “Veterans’ unemployment has fallen to the bottom degree in virtually 18 years. … And I’ll assure, inside a month or two months, that 18 can be even a a lot increased quantity.” – remarks Tuesday at VFW conference.
THE FACTS: This boast relies on outdated numbers.
The veterans’ unemployment charge was three.three per cent in June, a low charge traditionally, however that’s nonetheless above the two.7 per cent charge in October, which was the bottom in almost 17 years.
Veterans’ unemployment has fallen largely for a similar causes that joblessness has fallen for everybody else: sturdy hiring and regular financial progress for the previous eight years.
The vets’ unemployment charge peaked at 9.9 per cent in January 2011, then fell by greater than half to four.5 per cent by the point Trump was inaugurated in January 2017. Since then, it has fallen an extra 1.2 proportion factors.
Trump gained’t have the ability to get to the next quantity than 18 years, as he guarantees to do, as a result of the information solely return to 2000.
TRUMP: “We handed Veterans Selection, the largest factor ever. … It’s got to be the largest enchancment you’ll be able to have. So now should you can’t get the therapy you want in a well timed method, individuals used to attend two weeks, three weeks, eight weeks, they couldn’t get to a health care provider. You should have the precise to see a non-public physician instantly, and we can pay for it.” – remarks Tuesday.
THE FACTS: The care offered below the Selection program isn’t as instant as Trump suggests, neither is it prone to be the “largest factor” ever. Presently solely veterans who endure waits of a minimum of 30 days for an appointment at a VA facility are eligible to obtain care instantly from personal medical doctors at authorities expense, an ordinary that the VA is often unable to satisfy.
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Underneath a newly expanded Selection program that may take a minimum of a 12 months to implement, veterans will nonetheless have to satisfy sure standards earlier than they’ll see a non-public doctor.
A current report by the Authorities Accountability Workplace discovered that regardless of the Selection program’s assure of offering an appointment inside 30 days, veterans waited a mean of 51 to 64 days.
TRUMP: “We’re enormously increasing telehealth and walk-in clinics so our veterans can get anyplace, at any time, they’ll get what they want, they’ll study the issue they usually don’t essentially need to drive lengthy distances and wait. It’s been a really huge success.”
THE FACTS: A brand new profit that will give the nation’s veterans entry to commercially run walk-in clinics isn’t a hit in any respect, as a result of it hasn’t began.
It gained’t start for one more 12 months and the care gained’t all the time be freely offered “anyplace, at any time.” Solely veterans who’ve used VA well being care providers within the earlier two years would have the ability to get care on the personal walk-in clinics. After two visits, veterans may very well be topic to increased co-payments charged by the VA.
Related Press writers Cal Woodward and Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.