3 truths in President Trump's speech to Congress in context

Katie Moore talks about President Trump's first speech to Congress.

WASHINGTON, D.C. --President Donald Trump's first speech to the U.S. Congress last night is getting him glowing reviews, with at least one poll showing a “very positive” reaction to it from a majority of Americans.

Trump’s speech lasted an hour and, like most political speeches, it was packed with numbers and claims about everything from crime to the economy.

WWL-TV selected three of Trump’s claims to fact check: the nation’s murder rate, the unemployment rate and the U.S. trade deficit.

Murder Rate

“The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century,” Trump said.

FBI murder statistics show that’s true. From 2014 to 2015, America's murder rate jumped 10.8 percent.
1970, nearly 50 years ago, was the last time that happened year-to-year with the murder rate jumping 11 percent.   

And while a steep climb in murders in the U.S. is a disturbing trend, the total number of murders is lower now than it has been in many years. In

In 2015, FBI crime statistics show there were more than 15,696 murders in the U.S. Compare that to 1993, when the FBI reported 24,526.

Americans out of work

“Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force,” Trump said in his speech.

Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, show that's a true statement.       

In January 2017, BLS puts the number of people not in the labor force at 94,366,000.

That number includes all people who are out of work.

The BLS website reads that the category of ‘people not in the labor force’ includes people who are retired, students, care givers, such as stay-at-home parents and others who are neither working, nor seeking work.

BLS statistics show the number of Americans out of work, who want to work, but don't have a job, is closer to 6.4 million.

Trade deficit

“Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars,” Trump said.

Shrinking the trade deficit was a cornerstone of trump's campaign.

The deficit is how many more goods are shipped into this country than are shipped out.

Tuesday night, Trump said the current trade deficit for goods is $800 billion dollars.

That's true, even though it is slightly overstated.    

Census figures put last year's trade deficit for goods at more than $750 billion dollars.    

That was actually a decrease from the previous year, but still clearly high.

You can read the full text of the President’s speech here.

© 2017 WWL-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories