I’m not sure why I bother, but here’s a non-exhaustive list of Donald Trump’s big lies. I’m not talking about all the little stuff that automatically dribbles out of his mouth whenever his lips are moving. I’m talking about the big, policy-level lies that he repeats over and over at rallies and on TV. Here’s a sample:
- The real unemployment rate is 42 percent. No it’s not. Depending on how you measure, the unemployment rate is currently between 5-10 percent.
- Americans are the most heavily taxed in the world. No. We’re about the least taxed major country in the world.
- Obamacare premiums are up 30, 40, 50%. Wrong. On average, premiums were up about about 9 percent in 2016. If you account for subsidies, the average premium went up about $8, an increase of 7 percent.
- Illegal immigrants are pouring across the southern border. Nope. For the past seven years in a row, net immigration across the border has been negative. More immigrants are going home to Mexico than coming to the US.
- Among Syrian refugees, there are very few women and children. It’s mostly “young, strong men.” False. According to the UN, something around 10 percent of Syrian refugees are males between the age of 15-25. The rest are women, children, and older men. Among refugees who have made the trip to Europe, probably about half are men, but for an obvious reason: it’s an arduous and dangerous journey, and the men hope to find jobs, get asylum, and then bring in their families later.
- When it comes to education spending “we’re number one per pupil by a factor of four.” Not even close. We spend about 5 percent of GDP on education. That puts us right in the middle of all major countries.
What makes this even more interesting is that Trump obviously knows these are lies and doesn’t care. I was browsing through the PolitiFact file on Trump, and pretty much everything they’ve written includes a sentence something like this: “We reached out to the Trump campaign but they didn’t respond.”
They don’t care. Trump knows it’s BS, and he doesn’t even bother making up bogus justifications, the way ordinary politicians do. He knows the media will never really call him on this stuff. Repeat it often enough, and eventually maybe the reporters covering him will even start to believe it themselves.