By Pat Kessler


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – President Donald Trump visited a Burnsville trucking company this week to talk about Minnesota’s economy. He used a Tax Day economic roundtable to highlight what he calls America’s “historic” recovery.

Trump also singled out a Minnesota “tough guy” who cried when he met him.

But is everything the President said actually true?

The President accurately claimed the economy is doing well and highlighted his own policies that helped make it better, but he repeatedly made many false statements, too.

Claim:
“It’s the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history,” Trump said.

That’s false.  It’s at least the 5th largest behind Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama (twice) and John F. Kennedy.

Claim:
“Over 80% of American families are now receiving that tax cut.”

True.

Claim:
“And the typical family earning $75,000 is saving more than $2,000 of their income.”

True. The average tax savings is $1,600.

Claim:
“Today, because of your federal government policies that I have been very insistent on, is down to the lowest level I think you have ever had. 3.1%.”

False. Minnesota’s unemployment rate has been much lower: 28 times in the last 20 years. The lowest: 2.5% in 1999.

Claim:
“The average Minnesotan has seen an annual income gain of more than $1,700 since my election …”

Misleading. Minnesota’s average income has risen every year for 10 years.

Claim:
“The Democrats don’t like pipelines. They don’t like energy.”

False. Many Democrats do support the Enbridge pipeline replacement across northern Minnesota.

Claim:
“The total number of new business applications in Minnesota has skyrocketed to almost 20 percent. And that’s just in a very short period of time. It’s been really pretty amazing. It’s been pretty amazing.”

Out of Context/false. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, which monitors business filings:

In 2017, there were 67,008 total business filings. In 2018, there were 70,308.
Numbers for 2017 Q4 – 2018 Q4 do not indicate a 20 percent increase.
Statewide, new filings are down 2018Q4 as compared to 2017Q4 (-2.2%)
Looking only at 2017Q4 compared to 2018Q1, then you would see an increase of 18.6%

And then there is Minnesota’s curious case of the crying man.

Here’s the President:
“A man came up to me and he was crying. A strong man. A big, tough guy. But he was crying. And he said, ‘President Obama took our life away when he closed the Range…’ Chose those words. He said, “Took our life away, took our blood, and you gave it back to us.”

We checked it out:

Turns out, a lot of tough guys cry when they meet President Trump, and the President likes to talk about it.

In Fargo, at a GOP fundraiser:
“A strong man came up to me. A tough kind of a guy. He had tears coming down his eyes.”

A Georgia campaign rally:
“A big powerful strong guy, with tears coming down his face.”

Illinois:
“And he was crying! I’m telling you he was crying! I don’t think this guy cried since he was a baby!”

So we checked: Minnesota Republican Congressman Tom Emmer says he was present at a Duluth event where a worker cried, and he backs up the President’s “tough guy tears.”

That’s Reality Check.

Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:
KFF: 2018 Employer Health Benefits Survey
CNN: The Biggest Tax Cut In History? Not Quite.
Federal Reserve Economic Data: Real Median Household Income in Minnesota
Bureau Of Labor Statistics: Consumer Price Index
New York Times: Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut
Tax Policy Center: The TCJA Would Cut Taxes By An Average of $1,600 in 2018, With Most Benefits Going To Those Making $300,000-Plus
Minnesotans For Line 3
Star Tribune: Enbridge Pipeline Replacement Divides DFL
CBS News: President Donald Trump Holds Rally In Fargo, ND
White House: Remarks By President Trump In Roundtable Discussion On The Economy And Tax Reform
Pioneer Press: What President Donald Trump Said About Minnesota During His Tax Day Visit
Minnesota Employment And Economic Development: Minnesota Unemployment Statistics
The Star: According To Donald Trump, A Lot Of People Are Crying Around Donald Trump

Pat Kessler

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