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trump presidency: State of the Union Fact-Check

SubscribeLog In SubscribeLog InAdvertisementPoliticstrump presidencyState of the Union Fact-CheckImagePresident Trump at The State of the Union on Tuesday night.CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York TimesBy Linda Qiu Jan. 30, 2018Reporters from The New York Times checked the facts, falsehoods and statements in need of context from President Trump’s first State of the Union address. Watch a replay along with real time analysis here and an annotated transcript of the speech.economy“Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.”The math is correct, but context matters.The economy has added about 169,000 jobs a month since the 2016 election, but that is somewhat slower than the 185,000 jobs per month that the economy added over the previous seven years.—Binyamin Appelbaumeconomy“African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded.”True, but needs context.It’s true that the black unemployment was the lowest recorded, 6.8 percent in December. But also the culmination of a longer-term trend. Moreover, it’s an open question how much credit a president, especially in his first year, can take for the economy.—Linda Qiueconomy”After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”False.Wages are, in fact, rising — but at a slower rate than they were at the end of President Obama’s second term.— Jim Tankersleyhealth care“We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they couldn’t afford government-ordered health plans. We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.’’True, but needs context.In the newly-passed tax law, Congress eliminated penalties for people who go without health insurance, starting in 2019. An estimated 4.5 percent of taxpayers paid the penalty in 2015, and nearly 60 percent of those who did earned less than $50,000 in 2015 — though the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a sizable amount of low-income Americans paying the penalty could find coverage for less.People could, in many cases, obtain exemptions from the penalties that were indeed a major element of the Affordable Care Act. Other elements of the health care law remain intact.—Robert Peareconomy”Apple has just announced its plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.”This needs context […]

Common Sense: What Would It Take for Trump to Get His Corporate Tax Wish?

After last week’s collapse of health care legislation, many believe Republicans can’t afford to fail again, especially on what is widely considered their signature issue: taxes. As Scott A. Hodge, president of the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation, told me this week: “If the Republicans fail with tax reform, it would be truly catastrophic. It’s really all or nothing at this point.”There’s only one major stumbling block to a 15 percent rate, and the conventional wisdom is that it’s an intractable one: how to pay for it.According to estimates by the Tax Foundation, a cut in the corporate rate to 15 percent would add $2.2 trillion to the deficit over 10 years on a “static” basis, which assumes no additional economic growth. After factoring in growth and higher resulting tax receipts, known as “dynamic” scoring, the deficit would grow by $1 trillion, according to the foundation.And if rates also go to 15 percent for pass-through entities — businesses that pay taxes at individual rates, like limited-liability corporations and partnerships — that adds another $1.5 trillion on a static basis, and $1.3 trillion on a dynamic basis, the foundation estimates. (A cut in pass-through rates has much less impact under dynamic scoring, because individuals and small businesses spend far less on capital projects and thus do less to stimulate the economy.)Paying for corporate tax cuts of that magnitude “is a tremendous challenge if you don’t want to blow a hole in the deficit,” Mr. Hodge said. “Anyone writing tax legislation will find that the options are very limited.”How big is the challenge? In their tax blueprint, House Republicans could only get the corporate rate to 20 percent. […]

Fact Check: Trump’s Exit From the Paris Climate Accord

By DAVE HORN, NEETI UPADHYE and DAPHNE RUSTOW | Jun. 3, 2017 | 2:50President Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord. […]

Federal Lawsuit Highlights The Environmental Consequences Of Immigration

In the aftermath of the recent presidential election notable for its almost complete lack of civilized and rational debate on the issue of immigration, it is perhaps not surprising that the issue of the environmental impact of immigration has been almost completely ignored in the strident rhetoric emanating from the presidential candidates. However, that issue is currently being addressed in a federal lawsuit filed last fall in the Southern District of California against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for failing to consider the environmental impact of it immigration policy as required by federal law in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The suit seeks enforcement of the National Environmental Policy Act which requires “any agency considering any action that will affect the environment to analyze and publicize those effects,” and alleges that the DHS and the Immigration and Naturalization Service before it deliberately ignored this requirement to conduct analysis of the environmental impacts of its immigration policies and failure to enforce immigration laws between 1990 and 2010 a time when the US population grew by over 61 million people. By now, most Americans are already aware of the staggering economic consequences of illegal immigration. A massive 500 page report recently released by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that immigration extracts as much as $296 billion dollars from hapless federal, state, and local taxpayers, depresses wages — especially for legal immigrants and those at the lowest levels of income — and that immigrants receive far more in benefits, both direct and indirect, than they pay in taxes. The data in the report further showed that while immigrants do boost the total size of the economy, those gains are heavily weighted toward the immigrants themselves and to the wealthiest Americans. But while the economic impact of illegal immigration will continue to be debated by populist politicians eager to persuade low-information voters that the economic laws of supply and demand in the labor market can be countermanded by fiat, the environmental impact of illegal immigration has been almost completely ignored […]

There’s lots to learn from these small house plans from the ’60s

They are old, small and Canadian, but most people could happily live in them today […]

Somewhere between e-bike and electric motorcycle lies the sassy and stylish M-1

Can’t decide whether you want to buy an electric bike or an electric motorcycle? The M-1 may be the answer. […]

Businesses, Markets and Innovation Can Beat Climate Change

Businesses, markets and innovation can reduce emissions of gases that warm the planet. And they can do this while generating profits, creating jobs and growing the economy. In fact, they already are. Voices that warn acting on climate change will harm business, kill jobs and hurt the economy are, ironically, underestimating the power of private enterprise to focus vast human, material and financial resources on solving challenging problems. Numerous businesses, across a wide range of industries, are finding and exploiting ways to make profits that are literally helping to save the planet. To be sure, the public sector in the U.S […]