PoliticsMidterm Elections


Fact-Checking Trump's Election-Season Campaign Comments

President Trump touted his economic wins while campaigning ahead of midterms. But some comments need more context.
Posted at 8:11 PM, Nov 09, 2018

President Donald Trump was all over the place this election season. As he crisscrossed the country stumping for candidates, he made quite a few claims worth fact-checking. We'll focus on one category here, though: the economy.

Let's start in Houston, where the president campaigned for Sen. Ted Cruz, who won re-election.

"We passed the biggest tax cuts and reforms in history," Trump said. 

Trump's tax cut was large, no doubt. But it wasn't the biggest. Here's how we know:

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the tax bill is projected to cut the country's income by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The Congressional Budget Office puts that number closer to $2.2 trillion over 10 years. That $1.5 trillion to $2.2 trillion represents how much less Americans are expected to pay in taxes.

Thanks to the Treasury Department, we can see a list of the revenue effects of major tax bills dating back to 1940. Now, this doesn't list every major tax bill in the entire history of the U.S. But at least two other tax cut bills would knock Trump's out of the top spot.

Moving on. The president has touted the resurgence of American steel as evidence of a strong U.S. economy. Take this comment while he was on the ground in Missouri. 

"U.S. Steel is now building seven plants," Trump said. 

This is a claim the president has made before, sort of. He's said both six and seven. But actually, U.S. Steel isn't building any new plants. 

There is a resurgence happening in the American steel industry. Several companies are expanding current operations, restarting old ones, or building new plants. But the actual company called U.S. Steel is not building any plants.

U.S. Steel does have plans to upgrade some facilities and restart some previously halted operations.

Overall, the president does have positive points to stand on when it comes to the economy: unemployment is low, wages are growing (at least for the time being), and the economy is adding jobs. But experts debate how much credit presidents deserve for the economy and how long it takes for the economy to react to a president's policies. Regardless, these claims from the president on taxes and steel don't hold up.