Fact-checking Trump’s assertions regarding tax cuts, job numbers, and inflation in Wisconsin and Michigan

Former President Donald Trump showcased his economic vision during rallies on May 1 in Wisconsin and Michigan. These battleground states, known for their significant manufacturing job sectors, served as the ideal platforms for Trump to emphasize his plans for the economy.

Trump provided misleading information regarding tax cuts and jobs occupied by undocumented immigrants in the United States. However, he accurately addressed the issue of escalating food prices, specifically mentioning the rising costs of chicken.

Surrounded by a massive crowd of his loyal supporters, Trump entertained the audience with his trademark sense of humor while launching scathing criticisms against President Joe Biden’s behavior and track record in relation to employment and the economy. This public appearance starkly contrasted with his usual silence in the Manhattan courtroom, where he is compelled to remain seated for extended periods of time during the ongoing criminal trials.

“In Waukesha, Wisconsin, Trump confidently declared, ‘When I’m in the White House, the Biden economic bust will swiftly be replaced with the Trump economic boom.'”

We have fact-checked his statements on the economy, as it is often cited as the top concern for voters.

According to the statement, the tax cuts signed by Trump primarily benefited lower-income individuals, and Biden intends for them to expire.

The initial assertion in this statement is incorrect, while the second part is rather deceptive.

According to John Buhl, the communications director of the Tax Policy Center, the claim that low-income taxpayers benefit more is not accurate. This statement is supported by modeling conducted by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center and various other think tanks.

According to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, the legislation signed by Trump would result in tax cuts for households across all income groups. However, it is worth noting that higher-income households would receive the most significant benefits from these tax cuts.

In 2018, individuals earning up to $25,000, which represents the lowest one-fifth of taxpayers, would experience a decrease of 0.4 percentage points in their average federal tax rate. As we move up the income spectrum, this reduction in tax rate becomes more significant. Specifically, the top one-fifth of earners would see a decrease of 1.8 percentage points in their tax rates. However, the greatest benefits would be enjoyed by households in the top 1% to 5% income bracket, ranging from $307,900 to $732,000, as their tax rates would decrease by 3.1 percentage points.

According to the Tax Policy Center, the changes through 2025 yielded similar numbers.

During a discussion about Biden’s stance on tax cuts, Trump referenced Biden’s earlier statement in April where he mentioned that the tax cuts would expire. Biden had said, “It’s going to expire. And if I’m reelected, it’s going to stay expired.”

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Biden has consistently emphasized his commitment to not raising taxes for individuals earning less than $400,000, a promise he made during his 2020 campaign. The White House confirmed that while Biden plans to allow the expiration of the Trump tax cuts for higher-income taxpayers, those earning less than $400,000 will not experience any tax hikes.

According to the recent data on immigration and unemployment, it has been observed that a significant proportion of the numbers are attributed to illegal immigrants.

This statement has significant problems.

The number of foreign-born workers in the workforce has been steadily increasing over the years, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. In 2023, these workers made up just under 20% of the total workforce.

The federal government collects data on employment for both foreign-born and native-born individuals through a household survey. This data can be subject to fluctuations from month to month due to the survey’s margin of error.

In the most recent month-to-month analysis, as pointed out by Trump, there was a substantial difference in the employment growth between native-born and foreign-born individuals. Specifically, the increase in native-born employment from February 2024 to March 2024 was 929,000, which is more than eight times larger than the increase in foreign-born employment, which stood at 112,000 during the same period. These figures directly refute Trump’s statement.

During Biden’s presidency, we analyzed the data over a three-year period, from February 2021 to February 2024. Within this timeframe, native-born employment experienced a significant growth of nearly 5.7 million workers. Interestingly, this increase surpassed the growth of foreign-born workers, which stood at 5.1 million. Therefore, while the rise in foreign-born workers was substantial and disproportionate to their share in the labor force, it is important to note that it did not account for the entirety, as claimed by Trump.

Trump’s claim that the entire increase in employment is attributed to “illegal immigrants” is inaccurate. The statistics encompass a wider scope, including individuals who are legally immigrated to the U.S., long-standing U.S. citizens, and legal permanent residents, commonly known as green card holders. It is important to recognize that the foreign-born workforce consists of a diverse range of individuals, not solely comprised of “illegal immigrants” or recent migrants.

According to a statement, under the Biden administration, the prices of various items have seen a significant increase. For instance, chicken prices have surged by 24%, while baby food prices have risen by 30%. Additionally, the cost of eggs has skyrocketed by 59%, and gasoline prices have increased by 50%. Furthermore, airfares have experienced a notable jump, seeing a 33% increase.

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Most of the price increases that Trump mentioned are quite accurate.

Wages increased by nearly 16% during this time, causing the costs of each of these items to rise at a faster rate than wages.

Airline fares have seen a significant increase of 27% since Biden assumed office, making them one of the most misleading price statistics under the Trump administration. However, it is important to note that this surge in prices can be attributed to the fact that Biden took office amidst a pandemic, which significantly dampened the demand for interstate travel. As a result, the prices recorded in January 2021 were artificially low when compared to historical standards.

Airline ticket prices are currently at a historically low level. In fact, they are almost identical to the prices during Trump’s presidency and even lower than most of Barack Obama’s time in office. This means that airfares have actually decreased rather than increased, especially compared to the early-to-mid 2010s.

“I have already granted you the most significant tax reduction in the history of our nation, surpassing even the renowned Reagan tax cuts from decades ago. You received the most substantial tax cuts ever seen.”

Throughout his presidency, Trump frequently shared the false claim that has been debunked multiple times. According to the Washington Post Fact Checker, this particular falsehood was repeated by Trump on 295 occasions, making it his second-most commonly shared false claim.

The tax bill that Trump signed was the fourth-largest since 1940 when adjusted for inflation. In terms of its percentage of GDP, it ranked seventh.

In the first quarter of this year, GDP growth experienced a sharp decline of over 50%.

Trump’s numbers are accurate. However, for someone who isn’t well-versed in the subject, his presentation might make this decline seem more concerning than it actually is.

The gross domestic product experienced a 3.4% increase on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter of 2023. In the first quarter of 2024, it saw a 1.6% rise.

However, the decline in GDP was not as drastic as 50%, which would have been a significant economic disaster. Instead, GDP continued to increase, albeit at a slower pace compared to the previous quarter. Additionally, it was expected that GDP would experience a further decrease in the first quarter of 2024. This was because the 3.4% growth in the previous quarter had marked the second-highest rate of growth since the beginning of 2022.

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The United States is currently witnessing a surge in inflation, reaching unprecedented levels.

The U.S. still considers inflation as an economic problem, but the current overall rate is far from reaching a record high.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, the annual price increase reached its peak with inflation rates sometimes reaching between 12% and 15%. During Biden’s administration, the highest rate recorded was around 9% in the summer of 2022. Although this was the highest monthly figure in about four decades, it was not the highest rate ever observed.

In March 2024, the latest available data shows that the inflation rate stood at 3.5%. Despite this, the Federal Reserve remains reluctant to decrease interest rates as it considers this level still high. The Fed aims for sustained inflation rates that are closer to 2%. However, it is worth noting that the current inflation rate is significantly lower than its peak in 2022, which was approximately two-thirds higher.

Biden’s ambitious goal is to ensure that by 2030, every individual owns an electric vehicle.

The statement made is an exaggeration.

The Biden administration has set a goal, rather than a mandate, for electric vehicles to make up 50% of all new vehicle sales by 2030. Currently, electric vehicles account for approximately 8% of new vehicle sales.

The administration has recently implemented a rule stating that by 2032, an estimated 30% to 56% of new light-duty vehicles will be battery-electric. This means that consumers will still have the option to purchase gasoline-powered cars, both new and used, as well as hybrids, by 2032.

According to Jeremy Michalek, director of the Carnegie Mellon Vehicle Electrification Group, there is no federal mandate that requires automakers to have a certain percentage of their fleet as electric vehicles. However, recent research indicates that consumer preferences have not significantly changed. As electric vehicle technology improves, with lower costs and longer ranges, consumers are increasingly opting for electric vehicles.

According to AutoForecast Solutions LLC, the sales of new battery-electric vehicles in the United States are projected to reach approximately 31% by 2031.

Expanding the EV market faces various challenges, according to Joseph McCabe, the President and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions, a trusted car industry trend forecaster. These challenges include the high purchase cost of electric cars, limited driving range, scarcity of charging stations compared to gas stations, and the expenses associated with sourcing raw materials for manufacturing EVs.

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