Misinformation abundant in Trump economic speech
Donald Trump once again had a difficult time with the truth.
TRUMP: “We tax and regulate and restrict our companies to death, then we allow foreign countries that cheat to export their goods to us tax-free. As a result, we have become more dependent on foreign countries than ever before.”
THE FACTS: Dependence cuts both ways.
Those same foreign factories depend on U.S. customers for their products. So the same argument could be made that China has grown more dependent on the United States.
This includes Wal-Mart shoppers who prefer lower prices, rather than products made domestically. The Associated Press confirmed this preference in a survey this year that found roughly two-thirds of Americans would rather buy $50 pants sewn in Asia than $85 pants sewn in the United States. If prices rise too high, Americans will spend less and economic growth will slow…
TRUMP: “Today, we import nearly $800 billion more in goods than we export. This is not some natural disaster. It is a politician-made disaster.”
THE FACTS: That’s in the ballpark, but not the whole trade story.
The trade deficit on goods was $762.6 billion in 2015. But he neglects to include the valuable services that foreigners buy from U.S. firms. Those services reduced the total trade deficit to roughly $500 billion, according to the Census Bureau.
It’s hard to see the problem as the sole fault of politicians. Many businesses chose to relocate their factories abroad in order to increase their profits, while others kept their production in the United States. Trump himself outsourced the stitching of his neckties and branded clothing to China, among other countries…
TRUMP: “We are one of the highest taxed nations in the world.”
THE FACTS: This repeated claim by Trump is wrong. The U.S. tax burden is actually one of the lowest among the 34 developed and large emerging-market economies that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Taxes made up 26 percent of the total U.S. economy in 2014, according to the OECD. That’s far below Sweden’s tax burden of 42.7 percent, Britain’s 32.6 percent or Germany’s 36.1 percent. Only three OECD members had a lower figure: Chile, South Korea and Mexico.