This morning, the President of the United States surprised no one by firing off a tweet that was riddled with errors in a vain attempt to pat himself on the back:
Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017
Luckily, President Obama’s former White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer was around to tweet the perfect response. (Tweet below.) First, let’s take a quick look at the various claims.
The stock market is indeed strong with the S&P 500 hitting an all-time high on Thursday before falling about a half a percent since. Putting the small inaccuracy aside, President Trump is in large part correct and with good reason. The day he took office, the stock market was at an all-time high after rising nearly 150% during the Obama-led recovery from the great recession.
Trump’s real error isn’t taking credit for Obama’s accomplishments or ignoring stocks’ current, albeit minor slide. It’s bragging about the current market conditions, which fired White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus admitted are similar to those of 1928 — just before the crash that ignited the Great Depression.
His claim about the general economic data is too vague to fact check and seems to be an umbrella for the other claims, so let’s move on to unemployment. Trump inherited an unemployment rate that had been steadily declining for more than six years during the Obama recovery and it continues to decline in the infancy of the Trump presidency. Still, Trump makes an interesting error. Unemployment is the lowest in 16 years, not 17. The difference is small but important. He is falsely comparing the current climate to unemployment under President Clinton when the real equivalency happened under President Bush.
“Wages rising” — sure, in the Trump family. After the Republican Congress blocked President Obama’s second term efforts to help out working families, economic growth, even during the recovery, has been stunted for all but the wealthiest Americans. This dubious claim will come back to haunt the president as this lie is one felt in the wallets of virtually all of us.
“Border secure” — great, then I guess we won’t be needing that wall!
There is no need to address the claim that there’s no chaos in the White House. The only way this could be true is if “chaos” were too much of a catastrophe to describe the sinking ship he’s supposed to be captaining.
Still, Trump is right that the economy is far better than the waning days of President George W. Bush’s administration, and anyone who’s paying attention knows that there is good reason for it.
Dan Pfeiffer nails it perfectly. Thanks, Dan.
I think the term you are looking for is "Thanks, Obama" https://t.co/bGgQEU8x5I
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) July 31, 2017