Fake News? You Want Fake News?


President Trump continuously rails about “Fake News.” He dismisses news stories or media outlets that he doesn’t like as “fake news.” A database of his public remarks contains 320 references in 2017 to “fake news.”

But if you want real fake news, look no further than Trump himself, who is an absolute champion at false claims, outright lies and, yes, fake news. Some samples from the last two weeks.

There’s been a whole range of studies that have found only microscopic evidence of voter fraud in the United States. One study says the rate is so low as to be almost nonexistent: between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. For comparison, the odds of getting struck by lightning during your lifetime are .000333. Remember President Rump dissolved his own voter fraud task force, which produced no evidence of fraud. Unsubstantiated attacks on the voting process undermines the foundation of democracy. It’s utterly irresponsible. And it’s fake news.

Thirty countries offer birthright citizenship, including all in North America and almost all in South America, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. The number rises to 33 when including Lesotho, Tanzania and Tuvalu. It’s not some bureaucrat who enacted this rule. It’s in the U.S. Constitution. The first sentence of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, is known as the Citizenship Clause, and reads:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”

We’re not the only country that confers citizenship by birth. And it’s a matter of constitutional law. Once again, absolutely fake news.

The stock market – at least until Trump imposed his silly tariffs – had seen a healthy recovery from the low points of the 2008-2009 economic downturn. Wall Street pay has bounced back, too, which is always good news for the rich. But the economic recovery has been uneven. Median household income is barely above its 2008 level, adjusted for inflation. Wealth distribution has become even more lopsided since the financial crisis. The rich now accounting for a larger share of total wealth than the middle and lower classes as compared with pre-crisis levels. This Wall Street Journal graphic gives a good overview of current economic conditions, including this graphic:

The U.S. gross domestic product grew 2.3 percent in 2017, Trump’s first year in office, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data. It grew at a faster rate in three of the years Obama was in office (2010, 2014 and 2015); it also grew at a faster rate for much of the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

It’s not the “greatest economy we’ve ever had,” unless, maybe, you’re in the top 1% by wealth. It’s more fake news.

These are just three examples of real fake news from the geyser of fake news: our president. In any public speech, you can usually find a dozen or more absolute whoppers. In any late-night tweet storm, another batch of Big Lies.

You want fake news? Try listening to Donald Trump for a while.

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