CLAR­I­FY­ING CLAIMS

A FACT-CHECK GUIDE TO DON­ALD TRUMP’S FIRST NEWS CON­FER­ENCE AS PRES­I­DENT-ELECT

Red Eye Chicago - - Big Picture - By Glenn Kessler

Re­search Cen­ter poll con­ducted Jan. 4-9 found that 60 per­cent of Amer­i­cans be­lieved Trump has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­lease his tax re­turns.

Mean­while, tax ex­perts say that tax re­turns pro­vide in­sight about a per­son’s fi­nances in sev­eral key ar­eas.

First, the tax re­turn reveals a per­son’s an­nual in­come. A per­son’s net worth is not dis­closed, but vot­ers would gain an un­der­stand­ing of a per­son’s cash flow.

Sec­ond, vot­ers would un­der­stand the sources of a per­son’s in­come, such as how much comes from cer­tain busi­nesses, speeches, div­i­dends, cap­i­tal gains and so forth.

Third, a tax re­turn would dis­close how much a per­son gives to char­ity. Trump claims he has given $102 mil­lion to char­ity in the past five years, but a Washington Post in­ves­ti­ga­tion found not a cent in ac­tual cash. Trump’s tax re­turn would clear up ex­actly how much he has re­ally given to char­ity.

Fourth, a tax re­turn would re­veal how ag­gres­sive Trump has been on his taxes. Trump fre­quently sug­gests that he knows how to game the sys­tem, so vot­ers would learn whether he takes the same ap­proach to his taxes.

Fi­nally, the tax re­turns would dis­close what per­cent­age of Trump’s in­come ac­tu­ally goes to taxes. “Some states have over a hun­dred per­cent [premium] in­crease.” Trump ex­ag­ger­ates here, and ap­pears to mis­un­der­stand a fun­da­men­tal part of the Af­ford­able Care Act. State-by-state weighted av­er­age in­creases range from just 1.3 per­cent in Rhode Is­land to as high as 71 per­cent in Oklahoma. But the most com­mon plans in the mar­ket­place will see an av­er­age in­crease of 9 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion. These plans have been used as the bench­mark to cal­cu­late gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies.

“96 mil­lion re­ally want­ing a job and they can’t get. You know that story. The real num­ber—that’s the real num­ber.” This is an ab­surd claim, based on a real num­ber. The Bureau of La­bor Sta­tis­tics, re­ly­ing on a monthly sur­vey known as the Cur­rent Pop­u­la­tion Sur­vey, shows that as of De­cem­ber 2016, 95.1 mil­lion Amer­i­cans 16 years and older were “not in la­bor force.”

Who are the 95 mil­lion not in the la­bor force? The BLS has data for the year 2015. It turns out that 93 per­cent do not want a job at all. The pic­ture that emerges from a study of the data shows that the 95 mil­lion con­sists mostly of peo­ple who are re­tired, stu­dents, stay-at-home par­ents or peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

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