Trump By The Numbers

One of the truisms in American politics these days is that if President Trump mentions a number he is lying. There is also a pearl of wisdom that once is an occurrence, twice is a coincidence and three times is a pattern. With all that in mind, let’s explore.

In order to illustrate a pattern I don’t have to go very far back in time. In no particular chronology, here are three very recent examples of Trump lying with numbers.

As part of Trump’s stump for Republicans at taxpayers’ expense and flatter his ego tour he is going to Texas to rally his base for his enabler Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz. (I’m writing this article on Monday morning.) That event is scheduled for later today and I’m certain Trump will brag about the crowd size. Let’s look at the history leading up to this event.

When he originally announced the event in August Trump bragged that it would be held in “The biggest stadium in Texas.” It was originally scheduled for the NRG Arena capacity of 8,000. Less than a week ago Trump 2020 Presidential Campaign Manager Brad Parscale tweeted “Response for tickets to #MAGA rally #Houston Mon 10/22 has been HUGE and unprecedented.” Therefore it was being moved to the 19,000 capacity Toyota Center. Now both 8,000 and 19,000 are certainly respectable crowds but the biggest stadium in Texas in terms of capacity is Kyle Field on the campus of Texas A&M which seats 102,995 or a little more than 5 times the capacity of the Toyota Center. That just so happens to be Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s alma mater. I assume Perry had his smart glasses on and would remember that fact meaning Trump didn’t have to go too far for the information.

As part of his running interference for his and his son-in-law’s Saudi financiers and customers Trump keeps talking about the Saudi impact on the American economy. He keeps repeating the debunked points that they are purchasing $110 billion in American manufactured arms the building of which sustains 600,000 jobs. Both numbers are far from reality. The real purchase is more in the $25 billion dollar range and that is on the high side. I do not have a really reliable number on the jobs it sustains but even a cursory look will tell you that the 600,000 number is absolutely absurd. You can support a family on the income derived from a good manufacturing job. If we use an average family of four that 600,000 figure alone would necessitate a city of 2.4 million. Now if we add in all the ancillary jobs like, but not limited to, fire, police, health care, restaurants, retail stores and gas stations we are talking about a city of perhaps 10 million. I realize I’m not including the entire metro area but here are the three largest cities in America: New York 8.6 million, Los Angles 4 million and Chicago 2.7 million.

Trump is running around telling his minions that the Democrats are causing the immigration crisis on the southern border because they refuse to pass legislation to repair the (in Trump’s terms) broken immigration laws. In order to enact a law a bill must be approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate then signed into law by the President. The House requires a simple majority and the Republicans (as they often illustrate) can pass anything they want to without a single Democratic vote. Depending on the way it is presented the Senate requires either 50 (assuming the Vice President breaks the tie in your favor) or 60 votes. The Republicans currently hold 51 seats. If 60 votes were required (which is the most likely case) any immigration reform bill(s) without a poison pill(s) would easily get 60 votes. Trump is a “body of one” when it comes to signing a bill into law. How are the Democrats the roadblock?

Yes, boys and girls it does appear that the Pope is Catholic and that Donald Trump is lying when he mentions numbers.

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