WASHINGTON — In a speech to world and financial leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum on Friday, President Trump mixed facts, falsehoods and claims that could use context.
Below are some statements from the speech about the economy and Mr. Trump’s place in history.
This story will update as we continue reviewing the president’s remarks.
The economy has added almost 2.4 million jobs in the 14 months since Mr. Trump was elected in November 2016 — but it is worth noting this number includes the last three months of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Also, as a point of comparison, the economy added 2.8 million jobs in the 14 months before Mr. Trump’s election.
During the first 11 full months of Mr. Trump’s presidency, 1.8 million jobs were added. And in the 11 months before he was inaugurated, 2.1 million jobs were added.
It is also debatable whether Mr. Trump, or any first-year president, can take full credit for a strong economy (or be censured, were it to happen, for weak economic performance). As my colleague Neil Irwin has explained: “If you think the economy is driven by concrete, specific policies around taxes, spending, monetary policy and regulation, the answer is no. If you think that what really matters is the mood in the executive suite, then just maybe.”
The $1.5 trillion tax cut enacted in December does not amount to the largest in history, nor is Mr. Trump the first president to pass tax cuts since President Ronald Reagan.
President Bill Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. President George W. Bush enacted two major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. The stimulus passed under President Barack Obama included hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts, and Mr. Obama later extended the Bush tax cuts with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Mr. Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, Mr. Obama’s stimulus package and extensions of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts would all place ahead of Mr. Trump’s tax cut as a share of the economy and in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Several presidents have owned, operated or worked in the field of business.
Most immediately, George H.W Bush and George W. Bush both owned several oil companies based out of Texas. The latter was also part of an ownership group that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball team. Jimmy Carter owned a peanut farm and some other real estate in Georgia.
Herbert Hoover became wealthy after founding a mining engineer consultancy. Warren Harding was the owner and publisher of a newspaper. Calvin Coolidge worked for a bank. Teddy Roosevelt owned and operated a ranch in the Dakotas Territory.
Looking further back, George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe all owned plantations.
Mr. Trump is right that the unemployment rate for women and minorities are at or near historic lows. But it’s worth nothing that these rates had been steadily declining for years by the time he took office.
For black Americans, the unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in December was the lowest ever recorded, according to the latest monthly data that is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It had already decreased from over 15 percent in 2010 to 7.8 percent in January 2017.
The December figures also do not reflect a significantly different racial unemployment gap. The black unemployment rate has consistently been double that of the white unemployment rate, and remained at that level in December.
The Latino unemployment rate declined from 5.9 percent in January 2017 to 4.9 percent in December, the second lowest — not the lowest, as Mr. Trump said — recorded. It reached 4.8 percent in June, October and November 2017, as well as in October 2006 under President Bush.
The 4.0 percent unemployment rate for women in December is among the lowest in 17 years, as Mr. Trump said. It was lower in October at 3.9 percent, down from 4.8 percent in January 2017.