[Vision2020] Trump Oversells Pence's Economic Record

Nicholas Gier ngier006 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 18 10:36:51 PDT 2016

Donald Trump introduced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate July
16, but, in doing so, oversold Indiana’s economic performance under Pence:

   - Trump praised Pence for reducing the state’s unemployment rate, which
   has declined by 3.4 percentage points since January 2013. But that tracked
   the national average, which dropped 3.3 percentage points during that time.
   - Trump said it was “very unusual” that Indiana has added 147,000
   private-sector jobs. Not really. Florida (12.7 percent) and Utah (12.4
   percent), for example, grew jobs at twice the rate of Indiana (5.9
   percent). In fact, Indiana’s rate lagged behind 20 states and the District
   of Columbia.
   - Trump praised Pence for balancing the state budget. “Can you imagine a
   balanced budget,” Trump marveled. But Indiana is legally required to
   balance the budget, as are all states except Vermont.
   - Trump said Indiana has an AAA bond rating. But that has been true
   since July 2008 — nearly five years before Pence took office. He also said
   “very few states have that,” when, in fact, 15 states do.
   - Trump correctly said that Indiana’s labor force has increased by more
   than 186,000 people under Pence. But he suggested that that was unusual,
   saying it is going “down, down, down” in other states. The labor force has
   gone up in 41 states.

As the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Trump introduced his
running mate to voters at a July 16 campaign event
 in New York. Pence has been Indiana’s governor since Jan. 14, 2013
<http://www.in.gov/gov/2358.htm>, and the economy in Indiana, and elsewhere
in the country, has improved since then, as the country slowly recovered
from the Great Recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009

At the event, Trump read from a list of Indiana’s economic statistics,
which his campaign later emailed to the media. (He starts speaking about
Pence at 20 minutes into the C-Span video
The statistics he cited were accurate. But, in some cases, the businessman
embellished the stats with his commentary.
*Unemployment Rate*

Trump said the “primary reason” for selecting Pence was the decline in his
state’s unemployment rate, which Trump said dropped to “less than 5
percent” this year. That’s close to accurate. As of May, the state’s rate
was 5 percent — down from 8.4 percent in January 2013, when Pence became
governor, as Trump said. That’s a drop of 3.4 percentage points, according
to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

However, Indiana’s unemployment rate has roughly tracked the national
average. During that same time, the national unemployment rate declined
from 8 percent to 4.7 percent — a drop of 3.3 percentage points, according
to BLS <http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000>.
*Private Sector Growth*

Trump also praised Pence for adding private sector jobs. “Private sector
job growth is up by more than 147,000 jobs since 2013,” Trump said.
“That’s, like, very unusual.”

It’s not unusual at all.

Indiana has added 147,800 jobs
<http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS18000000500000001> since 2013, according
to BLS. But 18 other states added more jobs. Predictably, larger states
such as California (1.3 million
<http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS06000000500000001>) and Texas (840,000
<http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS48000000500000001>) had larger gains,
but so did states with smallerpopulations
such as South Carolina (152,000
<http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS45000000500000001>) and Oregon (157,000

More importantly, Indiana’s private-sector job growth rate — the percent
change in the state’s number of private-sector jobs — lagged behind 20
states and the District of Columbia, according to our analysis of BLS data

Indiana’s job growth rate was 5.9 percent. Florida led the way with a 12.7
percent increase, followed by Utah (12.4 percent) and Oregon (11.5 percent).
*Balanced Budgets*

Trump also praised Pence for balancing the state budget, suggesting that it
was unusual. But it is not at all unusual at the state level because of
constitutional and legal requirements.

*Trump, July 16*: Governor Pence balanced the budget — can you imagine a
balanced budget? Our budget is so out of whack in this country we don’t
know what we are doing. We’re going to owe very soon $21 trillion dollars.
He balanced the budget. They don’t know what that means.

Like nearly all states, Indiana is legally required
balance the budget. “All the states except Vermont have a legal requirement
of a balanced budget,”according to the National Conference of State
*Indiana’s Bond Rating*

Trump also touted Indiana’s bond rating. “It’s also rated triple A — their
bonds, are rated triple A. Very few states have that,” Trump said.

Indiana does have a AAA bond rating, but that has been the case since July
18, 2008,according to Standard & Poor’s latest “History of U.S. State
That’s nearly five years before Pence took office.

As of July 11, 2016, 14 other states currently have AAA ratings, so Trump
exaggerates when he says that “very few states have that.” They
are: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
That’s nearly one third of all states.
*Indiana’s Labor Force*

Trump correctly said that Indiana’s labor force has increased by more than
186,000 people under Pence. But then he suggested that it was unusual for a
state to see an increase in its labor force, based on his experience
campaigning in other states.

*Trump, July 16*: Since January 2013, Indiana’s labor force has increased
by more than 186,000 jobs. You have to understand I’ve gone around to all
these states — I’ve gone to all of them — and every time I have
statisticians, and I say, “Give me the stats on a state,” and it’s always
bad. Down, down, down. Down 40 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent in some
cases. Here’s somebody where it’s gone up.

Indiana has seen an above average increase in its labor force. The addition
of 186,527 people in the state’s labor force since January 2013 represents
a 5.9 percent increase, according to BLS
<http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LASST180000000000006>. Our analysis
that only six states and the District of Columbia have seen greater growth
rates, with Delaware (8.9 percent) leading the way.

However, to imply that no other state has seen an increase — or that they
have seen steep decreases — is wrong.

A total of 41 states and the District of Columbia have all seen increases
in its labor force. Nine states have seen decreases. They are Virginia, New
Mexico, Rhode Island, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, West Virginia, Maine and

Trump is hardly the first to overstate economic achievements. We have
written numerous <http://www.factcheck.org/2007/08/richardsons-job-boast/>
such <http://www.factcheck.org/2012/01/romneys-shaky-job-claims/> stories
<http://www.factcheck.org/2014/11/bidens-boasts/> over
<http://www.factcheck.org/2015/04/chris-christie-spins-economic-data/> the
 years <http://www.factcheck.org/2014/05/tom-corbetts-tall-story/>. He is
just the latest to do so.
Also on HuffPost

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
shall never sit in.

-Greek proverb

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.

--Immanuel Kant
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