Trump hurts himself with falsehoods on Mexico, border wall, taxes


A year and a half into his presidency, President Trump has a number of accomplishments he can honestly refer to. He appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, among other accomplished jurists to federal circurt courts; he has tried to stop the DACA program and increase the apprehension of illegal aliens; he is in the process of rolling back a number of ridiculous environmental regulations; and he has enacted a great corporate tax cut which is bringing cash abroad back to the US.

That's why it's distressing to see the President, in a recent speech, tout accomplishments that are falsehoods:

1) Mexico paying for the wall. Trump once again said that Mexico would pay for his border wall. A year and a half into his administration and Trump has not even laid out a plan to get Mexico to pay for the border wall, because there is no plan. By lying to his supporters, Trump disrespects them.

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2) Claiming to have passed the largest tax cuts in US history (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyg6g8p5280 at the 13:45 mark). Trump did not sign the largest tax cuts in US history. Trump signed a bill authorizing large corporate tax cuts, but his tax cut for individuals was quite small for many, and for some, their marginal rates even increased. For example, for people making $170,000 a year, the top tax rate was 28% under the old plan; under the plan Trump signed, the top tax rate for that same family making $170,000 was 32%. That's an incremental increase of 4% in the top tax rate; that's not the largest tax cut ever. For most taxpayers, they will see little or no decrease in their taxes.

3) Saying that construction of his border wall has already begun. Trump has said, over and over, that construction of his border wall has already begun. That is not true. Trump is engaging in replacing some border fencing. No wall is being built, and no new barriers are being built in places which didn't have barriers to begin with.


Trump hurts himself with these untrue statements by giving the media legitimate ammunition to attack him; and he makes it harder for people to support him when he demonstrates a more equivocal moral character. When his supporters defend his lies, they also intellectually discredit themselves. It's a shame he can't stick to his real accomplishments. For the moment, he's generally a good leader, but a flawed one.

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