I have been watching these debates for a long time. I remember sitting in my living room with my mom and hearing Gerald Ford tell Jimmy Carter that Eastern Europe wasn’t under Soviet Union influence. That was a single gap and it quite likely cost Ford the 1976 election.
My, how times have changed. Those halcyon days of 40 years ago, the election actually featured a candidate whose campaign I worked for and another who, while I would never vote for him, I wouldn’t feel as if he’d drag the country into the toilet if he won. Now, we have Donald Trump. And if you didn’t watch the debate last night and ask yourself, just how the hell did we get here,” you’re barely conscious and should see a doctor. Suffice it to say what happened last night should have scared the hell out of you. Here we have a candidate who is highly qualified running against a complete buffoon who lies every chance he gets because he usually gets away with them.
Fact checking last night’s debacle is not for the faint-hearted. Trump’s second sentence was a lie and he kept that record going for more than an hour and a half. For example:
Thank you, Lester. Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico they’re going to many other countries. You look at what China is doing for country in terms of making our product, they’re devaluing their currency and there’s nobody in our government to fight them.
Immediately after he thanked Lester Holt, he started with a lie. What jobs are fleeing the country? Yes, a few jobs have left, but given the numbers, we have seen net increases in job creation for more than six and a half years. If he means the great jobs we used to have in the post-war era, we lost most of those during the Reagan Administration. See, up until then, corporations faced a high tax rate unless they created palpable economic benefits. Under the Reagan regime, that changed, and companies could ship jobs overseas for cheaper labor and actually be rewarded for that.
As for his claim that China is devaluing their currency, it’s their government’s attempt to stave off the effects of an economic slowdown. This has been going on for two years and what Trump fails to mention is that it effectively reduces the trade deficit. Also, China allowed their currency to appreciate against the dollar for more than a decade, even during the Bush Recession, which Trump advocated for so he could make more money. BTW, earlier this year, the IMF ruled China’s currency fairly valued.
Look at that! The first paragraph, and he’s already lied more than most career politicians.
He wasn’t finished. Later in that same answer, he said;
(Mexico is) building some of the biggest plants anywhere in the world, some of the most sophisticated, some of the best plants. With the United States, as he said, not so much. So Ford is leaving, you see that their small car division, leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio, they’re all leaving.
First of all, the national unemployment rate is 4.9%, which indicates the jobs aren’t leaving here much. But you should know that unemployment in Michigan and Ohio is 4.5% and 4.7%, respectively. And while I’m on this, he lied about Ford, too. Yes, Ford is shifting production of a couple of vehicles to Mexico, but they are NOT closing their Michigan plant. They are simply making different vehicles there.
The problem with these types of lies is that it perpetuates the fiction that the U.S. economy is a hellscape. To hear Republicans tell it, we have millions of little girls on street corners selling matches for soup. Could the economy be better? Sure. But then, the American Jobs Act, which could have created 3 million jobs and was proposed about six years ago, has never even been debated in Congress. Republicans killed it. Every job creation proposal made by Obama has been rejected by the GOP.
Then he lied about child care:
As far as child care is concerned and so many of the things I think Hillary and I agree on that. We probably disagree a little bit as to numbers and amounts and what we’re going to do but perhaps will be talking about that later.
Given that Hillary has a comprehensive child care plan and Trump’s is straight out of the 1960s, they obviously don’t agree. Trump would allow tax deductions for child care. Of course, since the people who need the most help paying for child care don’t make enough income to itemize, that would be pointless. He also recommends rebates for child care costs and six weeks of maternity leave (NOT parental leave), during which the woman would only get unemployment, which is far less than most of them make in salary. On the other hand, Clinton believes strongly that no parents should have to pay more than 10 percent of their income on child care, she has called for more pre-K programs and fuller Head Start funding. In addition, she proposes 12 weeks of PARENTAL leave, which would be paid for with a higher tax rate for rich people like Trump.
Okay, the next part isn’t a lie, but it needs to be fact-checked because it is flat stupid.
Under my plan I will be reducing taxes tremendously from thirty five percent to fifteen percent for companies, small and big businesses.
Basically, the Trump plan is to cut corporate tax rates to 15 percent and to eliminate estate taxes altogether. Most small businesses don’t pay corporate income taxes in the first place, so no; his proposal would not help them. And given that only those with estates of more than $5 million for a single person and $10 million for a couple even pay an estate tax, it is clear that he is running for president to give himself a tax break. The problem is, for a guy who represents a party that whines so much about the debt, his plan could cost as much as $5.9 TRILLION over the course of a decade. And that is according to a conservative group, the Tax Foundation. (Source)
Not long after that, Trump also lied about his “humble beginnings:”
Well, for one thing and before we start on that my father gave me a very small loan in 1975 and I built into a company that’s worth many many billions of dollars with some of the greatest assets in the world and I say that only because that’s the kind of thinking that our country needs.
It’s hard to know where to start with that.
First of all, even by his own admission, the “small loan” he mentioned was $1 million. Even today, that “small loan” would set someone up for a long time. But a $1 million loan in 1975 is the equivalent of more than $4.4 million in 2016. (Do the calculation here) I wonder how many of Trump’s biggest fans would consider that to be a “small loan”? However, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, there were many loans over a number of years. (Source)
Trump also lied about his position on Climate Change:
Hillary Clinton: …Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.
Donald Trump: I did not — I do not say that.
Well… yes. Yes he did. He has. On many occasions. Here are two Tweets as examples:
Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2013
And Trump has been called out on this one before, by Politifact. (Source) From that article:
On Dec. 30, 2015, Trump told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., “Obama’s talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, okay? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.”
Getting back to the debate, Trump also lied about energy:
She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one. Now look, I’m a great believer in all forms of energy. But we’re putting a lot of people out of work. Our energy policies are disaster. Our country is losing so much in terms of energy, in terms of paying off our debt.
His reference to Solyndra, which used to be a Republican chew toy, is nothing less than cute. Yes, the government lent that company money and the company went under anyway. So what? Overall, the Obama Administration has managed to invest billions and the solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Over the last decade, the rate of solar installations has ground at a compound rate of 60 percent a year and prices for solar have dropped to the point that they’re already nearly at par with oil and lower than coal. (Source)
As for his view on energy, the United States has been the largest oil producer in the world for five years, and much of that income has translated to massive growth in a number of red states, like Texas and North Dakota. It also means gasoline prices that allow poor people to go to work every week. And that has allowed the country to make huge strides in transitioning away from fossil fuels. I know Trump doesn’t realize this, but more people going to work and making a living means more taxpayers and lower deficits, which is how you reduce debt.
I want to apologize in advance for this next one, since a lot of unicorn progressives also believe this nonsense, but;
You go to New England. You go to Ohio, Pennsylvania. You go anywhere you want, Secretary Clinton, and you will see devastation where manufacturing is down thirty, forty, sometimes fifty percent — NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere but certainly ever signed in this country.
… is a series of lies. The “Rust Belt” pre-dates NAFTA by quite a bit. If you’ll recall, Michael Moore’s film “Roget & Me” was a brilliant de-construction of what actually happened when General Motors closed its plants. Well, that came out five years before NAFTA passed, in 1989. Most of those plants were closed in the late 1970s (remember when Jimmy Carter had to bail out Chrysler?) and the early 1980s, when Saint Reagan and the GOP essentially gave companies tax breaks for moving manufacturing to Asia.
Look, according to most experts, NAFTA had a minor effect on the economy, at worst. In 2014, a study was conducted by the Congressional Research Service (Source). According to them,
“NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters. The net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest.”
According to that study, NAFTA cost the economy a total of 700,000 jobs over TWENTY YEARS. In the interim, more than 35 million jobs have been created during the Clinton and Obama Administrations. So, it’s hard to make a valid claim that NAFTA was horrible. In fact, Trump’s entire premise, that jobs are still flowing out of America, is patently false. More manufacturing jobs have come into the United States than have left. (Source)
Toward the end of the debate, Trump must have been getting tired because his lies became especially lame.
You are going to approve one of the biggest tax cuts in history – you are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history. You are going to drive business out.
Your regulations are disaster, and you’re going to increase regulations all over the place. And by the way, my tax cut is the biggest since Ronald Reagan. I’m very proud of it.
I already discussed Trump’s tax cut plan, which would take the country broke and cost nearly $5.9 trillion over a decade. But what about Clinton’s? Her tax plan is to raise taxes for the extremely wealthy, including a major increase for those with incomes above $5 million per year and those who leave behind estates greater than $500 million. Her plan would raise upwards of $1.1 trillion extra over a decade. (Source) To sum up, most voters will not see a tax increase under Clinton, just as her husband hardly raised any taxes to speak of, even as he created record surpluses. Meanwhile, if Trump’s plan will cut revenues by $5.9 trillion over the same amount of time, we will either have to go back to $1 trillion deficits every year or he will have to raise taxes to make up that $1 trillion.
And guess who will pay.
He wasn’t finished. No, Hillary Clinton has not been fighting ISIL for her “entire adult life.” That’s absurd. However, the Obama Administration has been extremely successful fighting ISIL and Hillary Clinton intends to continue that effort until they no longer have a state.
There is one more lie I want to address. I’ve written about this before, but this is important:
Our country is suffering because people like Secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions in terms of our jobs and in terms of what is going on. Now look, we have the worst revival of an economy since the Great Depression.
Okay, no. This is in no way the “worst revival of an economy” since the Great Depression. Not even close. In fact, it hasn’t been bad at all. Since the worst of the Bush Recession in 2010, when unemployment was at 10% in late 2009, more than 15 million jobs have been created. Since then, unemployment has dropped to below 5%, where it has been pretty much all year. Wages increased 5.2% in 2015, which was the best performance since the last President Clinton was in office. And while Trump is always telling Black people how screwed they are, unemployment among African Americans has dropped from 16.8% at the nadir of the Bush Recession to 8.1% now. Still sucks, but it’s certainly not what it was. And for the record, Obama’s record for job creation in jobs created per year is right behind Clinton’s 2.8 million per year and Carter’s (YES, I said CARTER) 2.6 million per year, at 1.3 million per year. Even Reagan only created 2 million per year and he came out of a recession he caused with his tax cuts, that was as deep as the Bush Recession. By the way, Bush 41 created an average of 659,000 per year and Bush 43 created 160,000 per year and left Obama with losses of about 800,000 jobs per month. (Source)
Yes, that’s right, when Trump portrays the economy as an economic abyss, he’s lying.
There are many more lies, but I’m tired. I will say this; He DID say he would Negotiate down the national debt, which would actually bankrupt many businesses and wipe out the savings of many Americans. (Source) Crime in “Black areas” ticked up slightly this year but remains at record lows, according to the FBI. (Source) “Stop and Frisk” was ruled unconstitutional. (Source) It was also studied repeatedly and found to be completely ineffective as a law enforcement strategy. (Source) Trump was continuing the pimp the birther story for years after Obama produced his birth certificate for about the third time. (Source) Obviously, ICE did not endorse him, since that would be against the law.
And for God’s sake, President George W. Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq, setting a date certain for withdrawal and Obama and Clinton had zero say about that. (Source) You can’t just leave troops in another country because you want to.