Trump Economics Speech Vol. 4: Obama’s “War On Coal” Destroyed an Industry, but Most of Trump’s Facts Are Wrong


Trump has spent a lot of time campaigning in the coal reliant swing states of Pennsylvania and Virginia. He is now attacking the Obama administration for helping to enact legislation that regulates pollution causing these dirty, outdated power plants to close. He also laid some serious allegations about the state of the energy industry at the feet of the Obama administration.

“The Obama-Clinton Administration has blocked and destroyed millions of jobs through their anti-energy regulations, while raising the price of electricity for both families and businesses,” Trump said at the Detriot Economic Club on Monday. Perhaps he was just playing to the Michigan audience, but he then accused the EPA of killing 50,000 jobs in Michigan alone.

“As a result of recent Obama EPA actions coal-fired power plants across Michigan have either shut down entirely or undergone expensive conversions. The Obama-Clinton war on coal has cost Michigan over 50,000 jobs. Hillary Clinton says her plan will ‘put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of business.'”

It is true that the Obama EPA has been more vigilant about enacting and enforcing regulation on pollution causing coal fired power plants. Some have been forced to close. The Energy Information Administration blames displacement of coal by inexpensive and clean burning natural gas as the culprit for the woes of the coal industry. Increased regulation is hastening the departure of coal by attempting to curb the huge amounts of pollution caused by the plants. Electricity generated by coal has decreased by 24% from 2008-2012 while electricity generated by natural gas has risen by 39%.

The very low price of oil has eliminated hundreds of thousands of jobs from the energy sector as well, a market force that Obama has no control over. Very inexpensive and clean burning natural gas will overtake coal eventually as an outcome of the market. The regulations on coal fired plants make these options more attractive, as polluting coal plants are forced to clean up.

Has the “war on coal” cost Michigan 50,000 jobs? According to the research journal Energy Policy, from 2008-2012 the coal industry in the US has lost 50,000 jobs total. Donald Trump claims that Michigan alone lost 50,000 due to EPA regulation. It is simply untrue. In addition, the natural gas, wind and solar sectors gained 175,000 jobs in the same time frame.

Trump also called Obama “anti-energy,” which would seem to imply that the regulations under his administration would hamper the production of energy in the US. Oil production hit a 43 year high in 2015. While Obama has been President, the US has seen a historic increase in oil production, mostly due to fracking. Despite low prices, new techniques have increased this production. To call Obama “anti-energy” is absurd, but he has been concerned with climate change and getting our energy infrastructure away from coal and into the 21st century.

Read the Full Transcript of Donald Trump’s Economic Speech


Trump Economics Speech Vol. 3: He Will Help The Poor With Huge Tax Cuts For The Very Rich


In Trump’s economics speech on Monday, he again professed himself to be a champion of the middle class. “No one will gain more from these proposals than low-and-middle income Americans,” Trump said about he and the GOP’s economic plan. “The rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs, or undermines our ability to compete.”

Unfortunately, Trump’s tax policies are disproportionately favorable to the most wealthy Americans, people like himself and the gang of billionaires that he has set up as his economic advisory panel. Though he did not use the term “trickle down economics,” he espouses many of its tenets so that he can get tax breaks for himself and fellow millionaires in the guise of creating jobs. I will start off each paragraph with a quote from Trump, followed by commentary.

“My plan will reduce the current number of brackets from 7 to 3, and dramatically streamline the process. We will work with House Republicans on this plan, using the same brackets they have proposed: 12, 25 and 33 percent. For many American workers, their tax rate will be zero.” Let’s look at that 33 percent number there for the wealthiest Americans. That lowers the tax rate for the richest Americans by a whopping 16.6%, to 33 percent from its current rate of 39.6 percent. He didn’t tell you that part. We don’t know how many millions of dollars this would save Donald Trump each year, as he continues to refuse to release his tax returns.

“Finally, no family will have to pay the death tax. American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death – it’s just plain wrong. We will repeal it.” This would again benefit the wealthy in a much greater way than anyone in the lower tax brackets. Donald Trump’s heirs would benefit tremendously if the death tax were eliminated, saving millions if not billions of dollars when Trump shuffles off to that great golden tower in the sky. The children of a waitress at Denny’s will not be benefiting much from the elimination of the estate tax, but Trump’s offspring most certainly will.

“My plan will also help reduce the cost of childcare by allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes.” Sounds great, right? Poor families need childcare, and who doesn’t love a tax break? Well, poor families don’t really love tax breaks, as they would often make so little as to pay few taxes. Upper middle class and wealthy people however, would benefit greatly. A millionaire with a $50000 a year nanny could deduct that, while a single mother making $15000 gets no benefit as she pays few taxes anyway.

The New York Times did the math:

For a family making $500,000 that spends $10,000 a year on child care, the tax deduction would be worth about $3,960. For a family that earns $50,000, because it faces a lower tax rate, it would be worth only $1,500. And many lower- and lower-middle-income families pay little or no federal income tax, so a tax deduction would not help them.

“The United States also has the highest business tax rate among the major industrialized nations of the world(It doesn’t, actually), at 35 percent. It’s almost 40 percent when you add in taxes at the state level…Under my plan, no American company will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. Small businesses will benefit the most from this plan.” Corporate profits are at an all time high as wages for the average worker are decreasing. If Trump truly cared about the lower and middle class, wouldn’t he suggest raising the minimum wage instead of instituting tax policies to let corporations keep more of their truly astounding profits? He’s not even talking about a 16.6 percent decrease for the rich, he’s talking about a 57 percent decrease in corporate taxes. Think of that. While wages stagnate and corporate profits soar to new heights, this billionaire is proposing that we further cut taxes by more than half to these corporations, all while wrapping himself in a populist mantle.

Trump makes no proposal about where this lost tax revenue will be made up. The Tax Foundation estimates that $2.4 trillion dollars in lost tax revenue over the next 10 years according to the GOP tax plan.

It is truly amazing to watch Donald Trump, the cocky playboy billionaire, paint himself as a man of the people, a populist and just one of the the “folks.” But even a cursory analysis by a layman of he and the GOP’s tax proposals show that they are aimed to help the wealthiest citizens of our country, while benefiting the lower and middle classes only slightly, or sometimes not at all. It should come as no surprise, as Donald Trump and his family have surrounded themselves with Wall Street hedge fund managers and other millionaires to institute these policies that would directly benefit them, to the detriment of the American people.

Read the Full Transcript of Donald Trump’s Economic Speech

Trump Economics Speech Vol. 2: Hillary Clinton Admits She Wants To Raise Taxes on the Middle Class


In part two of WDTLAY’s fact checking of Trump’s economics speech on Monday, we dig into a claim that he has been making a lot lately: Hillary Clinton will raise taxes on the middle class. She even “accidentally” told the truth and said as much. Trump made some big claims in the speech:

“Recently, at a campaign event, Hillary Clinton short-circuited again – to use a now famous term – when she accidentally told the truth and said she wanted to raise taxes on the middle class. I am proposing an across-the-board income tax reduction, especially for middle-income Americans. This will lead to millions of new good-paying jobs.

When Trump says she “short circuited” he is referring to a rally in Omaha where it sort of sounds like Hillary Clinton says “they are going to raise taxes on the middle class.”

Except of course she doesn’t say that. She swallows the “t” at the end of “aren’t,” but it clearly sounds like she is saying “aren’t” to me. Polifact hired a linguistics expert, who said that according to his analysis she definitely said the “n” even if she didn’t really say the “t” at the end.

But unlike Donald Trump’s platform, Clinton’s tax plan is clear that the $1.3 trillion in tax hikes would affect the nation’s most wealthy citizens, and the plan says several times that taxes levied on the middle class would not rise.

Check back tomorrow as we examine in more detail how Donald Trump’s tax plan is a boon for the super rich.

Read the Full Transcript of Donald Trump’s Economic Speech

Trump Economics Speech Vol. 1: Trump Claims Household Income Is Down $4,000 From 16 Years Ago


After a disastrous couple of weeks filled with gaffes and fights, the GOP held its breath for what Republicans hoped would be a speech the could restart the faltering Trump campaign. Attempting today to be more calm and presidential, Trump even took some protestors in stride and didn’t attack even one mother of a fallen American soldier.

But did he start telling the truth? The above headline that involves a “Vol. 1” should give you an indication. First in our series we’ll start with an appetizer, a flubbed and inaccurate statistic with just enough truth in it to make it seem believable.

“American households are earning more than $4,000 less today than they were sixteen years ago,” Trump said in a laundry list of economic ills.

According to the 2014 census, the median household income was $53,657. Median household income was $57,826 in the year 2000. That’s probably the $4000 that he was referring to.  But Trump didn’t say “in 2014,” he said “today.”

Unfortunately for Trump and fortunately for America, the median household income in this country has risen by almost $3,500 in the last two years, since the last census data was available. The median household income is up to $57,206 currently, up almost 7% from just two years ago. That makes just a $620 difference in the numbers from 2016 and 2000, not the $4,000 that Trump claimed.

It is in Trump’s interest to convince the American public that this economy is going off of a cliff. Fudging these numbers for his own gain is just another example of ignoring an economy that is doing very well by almost every measure.

Read the Full Transcript of Donald Trump’s Economic Speech

Self Proclaimed Populist, Trump Names 13 Extremely Rich White Men To Economic Panel


Donald Trump announced his Economic Advisory Council and it contains 3 times more men named Steve than it does economics experts or people with doctorates. Despite Trump’s populist litany throughout the campaign, he has filled his advisory council with billionaires, hedge fund managers and big time Trump donors.

Many of these men are exactly the type of Wall Street executives and hedge fund billionaires that Donald Trump has maligned to his base of the white middle class. Only one, Peter Navarro, has a doctorate in economics. Two never finished college. Six are named Steve. Zero are women.

But five of these men were big time donors to the Trump Campaign. As Trump blasts “Crooked Hillary” for being beholden to her Wall Street backers, he appoints a panel of his own Wall Street backers and rich donors to his economic advisory council. Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s finance advisor, gave Trump $425,000. Stephen Feinberg, CEO of Cerberus Capital Management, and his wife combined to give almost $700,000. Howard Lorber, CEO of Vector Group, gave $100,000. Tom Barrack, founder of Colony Capital, gave $399,000. Andy Beal, of CLG Hedge Fund, gave $449,000. Yes, those companies are hedge funds and investment firms.

“I am pleased that we have such a formidable group of experienced and talented individuals that will work with me to implement real solutions for the economic issues facing our country,” Trump told his supporters yesterday of his council whose median income is north of $100 million.

Last year on CBS’s Face The Nation he told a bit of a different story. “The hedge fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around. And they get lucky,” Trump said. “Look, they’re energetic. They’re very smart. But a lot of them, it’s, like, they’re paper pushers. They make a fortune. They pay no tax. It’s ridiculous, okay?”

It is ridiculous, Mr. Trump.

Meet Donald Trump’s Economic Advisors

Trump Got A Medical Draft Deferment For Heel Spurs, But Couldn’t Remember Which Foot Was Affected


The Vietnam draft seems to have dealt Donald Trump a bad hand, as his original 1964 draft number was quite low. He  listed as “1-A,” or ready for service. He had been able to avoid service by the quality of attending the University of Pennsylvania (a 2-S deferment), but after he graduated in 1968 he was again classified as 1-A and eligible for the draft. After an Armed Forces physical in September of 1968, Donald Trump was listed as 1-Y, or “qualified for service only in time of war or national emergency,” meaning he was not eligible for the regular draft in force at that time. Later, in 1969, the draft lottery was ran again, and Trump received a very high number, essentially eliminating any chance that he would have to serve.


How did Trump get the sought after 1-Y medical deferment a year before that lottery? Before that his number was quite low, and he would have likely been pressed into service upon leaving college. The Trump campaign made this statement in 2015 regarding his draft status:

“While attending the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Finance, Mr. Trump received a minor medical deferment for bone spurs on both heels of his feet. The medical deferment was expected to be short-term and he was therefore entered in the military draft lottery where he received an extremely high number, 356 out of 365.

“When the draft occurred, they never got near his number and he was therefore exempt from serving in the military. Although he was not a fan of the Vietnam War, yet another disaster for our country, had his draft number been selected he would have proudly served and he is tremendously grateful to all those who did.”

Donald Trump told the New York Times that he had been diagnosed by a doctor, who had written a letter to the draft board. He could not remember the doctor’s name, nor could he produce the letter, despite repeated requests from the Times. “I had a doctor that gave me a letter — a very strong letter on the heels,” Trump said in the interview.

It was easy for a draftee to get a letter from a friendly doctor, especially if you happen to be the son of multimillionaire who just graduated from an Ivy League school. But bone spurs are real, can be quite painful and could legitimately preclude a young man from being able to walk the long distances necessary for a soldier. You would think that such malady would be memorable for the rest of your life.

But Donald Trump has very little memory of the painful condition that kept him from serving his country in the Vietnam War. He provided very few details in the New York Times interview, even when pressed. He could not remember which foot, or both, was affected. He never had any sort of treatment or surgery. He could not remember how his physical activity was affected. He could not remember how long the affliction lasted, or when it cleared up. “Over a period of time, it healed up,” he told The Times.

Donald Trump did not serve his country in Vietnam. He got several deferments for being enrolled in college, but that was very common, with many current politicians of today, namely Joe Biden and Bill Clinton, doing the same thing. The medical deferment however, is much fishier. It is hard to believe that he couldn’t remember any details about this, including which feet were affected. It strains credulity. He was notably silent on the subject of his deferments for decades, until 2011, when he first publicized the heel spurs story. Unfortunately, the detailed Selective Service records were destroyed in the 1970s. Heel spurs were not mentioned in Trump’s health records released by the campaign, where his doctor said that the 70 year old would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to presidency.”


Trump Repeats Lie About Seeing $400M Iran Video After His Own Campaign Said It Was False, Then Backtracks Today

At a rally in Florida on Wednesday Donald Trump made the claim that he had personally seen a “top secret” video of a $400 million payment to Iran being unloaded. He alleged that this payment was a ransom for hostages held in Iran, which were set free, but in reality the payment was a release of funds frozen under sanctions that still belonged to Iran and were released as part of the nuclear deal.

“Now here’s the amazing thing,” Trump said Wednesday. “Over there, where that plane landed, top secret, they don’t have a lot of paparazzi. You know the paparazzi doesn’t do so well over there, right? And they have a perfect tape done by obviously a government camera, and the tape is of the people taking the money off the plane, right?”

Later on that night, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign said that Trump was mistaken, that he had seen footage of the hostages getting off a plane in Geneva. Then yesterday, 18 hours after his campaign (and Secretary of State John Kerry) had announced that such footage didn’t exist, Trump doubled down and made the following statement in Portland, ME:

“It was interesting because a tape was made. Right? You saw that? With the airplane coming in, nice plane, and the airplane coming in, and the money coming off, I guess. Right? That was given to us — has to be — by the Iranians. And you know why the tape was given to us? Because they want to embarrass our country. They want to embarrass our country. And they want to embarrass our president because we have a president who’s incompetent. They want to embarrass our president. I mean, who would ever think they would be taking all of this money off the plane and then providing us with a tape? It’s only for one reason. And it’s very, very sad.”

So let’s go over that really quick. Trump says he has seen “top secret” video made by the Iranian government of an alleged cash ransom paid for the release of hostages. He further states that this was released by the Iranian government to discredit President Obama. The problem is that it simply doesn’t exist. He made the whole thing up. His own campaign said that he saw “b-roll” on Fox News of the hostages deplaning, and then the next day presumably made up this entire backstory.

As the media latches on to the obvious and easily falsifiable lie about the video, Trump makes a rare decision. He backtracks, even if only a little bit. At nearly 4am this morning, he fell back into the time honored trick of the con-man huckster caught in a lie, and says that you misunderstood him, and he was actually right all along.


That’s as closest thing to an apology I’ve ever seen from Trump.

To sum up: Wednesday he says he saw a top secret video, that doesn’t exist. Later Wednesday night his campaign acknowledges that it doesn’t exist. Thursday he repeats the lie, with the added wrinkle that it was deliberately leaked by Iran to disparage Obama. Then today he admits that he saw something else without actually admitting he was wrong or apologizing or making any excuse for himself or his fabrications.


Trump Receives Purple Heart From Supporter, Said This Was “Much Easier” Than Serving His Country

Donald Trump was busy the last 48 hours. He refused to endorse Paul Ryan. He threw a baby out of his rally. He suggested Americans pull all of their money out of the stock market. He told victims of sexual harassment to basically put up with it or leave. He opined that he election is probably rigged. President Obama said that Trump is unfit to serve as President. This all happened in the last 48 hours.

Many of these gaffes would be enough to sink a Presidential candidate in a normal year, but of course this is not a normal year. Aside from the assertion that our political system is rigged, perhaps the most galling utterance from this broken shell of a candidate was when a supporter gave him a Purple Heart medal.

“Something very nice just happened to me,” Trump told supporters on Tuesday at Virginia rally. “A man came up to me, and he handed me his Purple Heart. Now I said to him, I said to him, ‘Is that like the real one, or is that a copy?’ And he said ‘That’s my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.’ And I said ‘Man, that’s like big stuff.’ I always wanted to get the Purple Heart, this was much easier.”

That’s correct, Donald Trump just took a man’s Purple Heart, and then congratulated himself, saying that was “much easier” than being wounded in defense of your country. “Man, that is big stuff” indeed. Who would “always want” a Purple Heart? Who seeks to be wounded or killed in battle?

Most experts interviewed by the media say that a veteran can legally do anything they want with their medals (with the exception of selling a Medal of Honor), and they are often bequeathed or given to family members. However, they seem to unanimously agree that drawing attention on stage to such a heartfelt gift, then treating it like a piece of jewelry is in very bad taste.

Trump has consistently shown poor judgement in catering to our military veterans. He continues to attack the Gold Star Khan family, said ex-POW Sen. John McCain was “not a hero” for getting caught and only gave his promised $1 million donation to veteran’s charities when pressed by the media. He has said that he “knows more than the generals” and denies supporting the Iraq war, even though he did. This is a man who running to be Commander In Chief. It is hard to imagine a soldier going to war for a man that seems to care so little for his or her sacrifice.

Details about Trump’s draft deferment have come out as well, but WDTLAY will be covering that tomorrow.

The Internet responded with a GoFundMe campaign to send Donald Trump to a conflict zone, so he could “follow his dream” and earn a Purple Heart. Actually, the campaign is raising awareness of Trump’s Purple Heart story, and all of the money will go to help Syrian refugees. Go throw a few bucks at it.


Trump Takes On Fire Marshals and Safety Regulations, Showing Why He Is So Dangerous

For the second time in three days, Donald Trump blasted the local fire marshals at his rallies, saying that they were politically motivated to block people from entering.

“[The fire marshal] ought to be ashamed of himself. They turned away thousands of people,” Trump told his supporters in Columbus, OH rally on Monday, August 1. “We’ve had thousands of people outside, thousands, who were turned away for political reasons, purely political reasons.”

“This is why our country doesn’t work,” Trump said at his Colorado Springs rally on July 29th. “We have a fire marshal that said, ‘Oh, we can’t allow more people.’ It really is so unfair to the people. I’m so sorry. I have to apologize. But it’s not my fault. I just came here.” He later added “they don’t know what the hell they’re doing.”

He made similar comments earlier last month in Roanoke, VA saying somewhat incoherently “And outside we have a lot of people and I wish they’d let them in, the fire department won’t let them in because of the fire regulation which is very sad because they’re outside, we have speakers out there, I think the speakers are burning up, folks. It is hot. I wish the fire marshal, where is the fire marshal? Is he around here? Come on, fire marshal. If they could get in fire marshal. You know you have doors that go right out to the outside, I promise there’s nothing like you don’t have a problem.”

According to Huffington Post, all of the seats in the Roanoke auditorium were full, and many people were standing, filling the back of the hall.

Fire regulations are generally based on square footage and the number of exits available. Studies and experience have long determined the safe number of people allowed in a room depending on those factors. These rules are in effect to protect the public, not forward the personal political agenda of the local fire marshal.

“Occupancy levels are set to protect the public’s safety and we find it unfortunate that Trump’s campaign would question our judgment, expect us to break the law or [waver] from our mission to protect our community,” an official for the Colorado Springs fire station told CNN.

But apparently the rules don’t apply to Donald Trump, even when he previously agreed to them, as he did in Columbus. Trump is not only willing to risk the safety of his supporters, he goes out of his way to berate the fire marshal, whose job it is to see to the safety of the public.

Would it be any different if Trump were President? He’s willing to jeopardize the safety of his supporters to cram a few more people into a crowded ballroom, would he play so fast and loose with the safety of an entire nation? His disdain and disregard for regulation and the rule of law that is in place for the good of all is frightening, and trying to bully the fire marshal to break the law and “let a few more in” is irresponsible and reckless. If Trump becomes President, I sure hope he shows a little more reverence toward the regulations regarding nuclear weapons than he does towards fire capacities.


Donald Trump Says Khan “Has No Right” To Say Trump Has Not Read The Constitution, Proving Khan’s Point


Donald Trump has come under increasing fire this week after attacking the parents of a fallen US soldier who spoke at the Democratic National Convention last week. Khizr Khan gave a stirring speech eulogizing his son Humayun and attacking Trump for demonizing people of the Muslim faith. Khan also brought Donald Trump’s knowledge of the Constitution into question.

“Let me ask you: have you even read the United States constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law’.” He then pulls out his worn pocket copy of the Constitution and holds it up in perhaps the most memorable moment of the 2016 DNC.

Donald Trump took to Twitter to retaliate against the grieving family, but also released a written statement to “set the record straight.”

Captain Humayun Khan was a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe. The real problem here are the radical Islamic terrorists who killed him, and the efforts of these radicals to enter our country to do us further harm. Given the state of the world today, we have to know everything about those looking to enter our country, and given the state of chaos in some of these countries, that is impossible. While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things. If I become President, I will make America safe again.

The emphasis is mine.

Consider the irony of that statement. Trump didn’t say that Khan was mistaken, didn’t say that Khan wasn’t fair, didn’t say that Khan shouldn’t have said that. He said Khan had no right to say that. I would like to direct Mr. Trump’s attention to this small piece of text in the Constitution that he claims to have read:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.