February 5, 2020

I've waited a long time to hear someone say this. Surprisingly, it came from Joe Scarborough this morning.

Scarborough was ticked off about Trump's bragging about the economy in his State of the Union address last night.

"We are in the middle of an 11-year Obama economic recovery and all the lines are going like this, whether it's job growth, whether it's GDP. It's ridiculous. Steve, we've got you on so you can fact-check, show us your charts and let's pick apart the lies that the president said last night to his supporters, because it makes me sad that he lies this way to people who support him and makes me sad that they are like, well, he is the president so he must be telling the truth, but he's not. He's lying. Tell us why," he said to Steve Rattner.

Saying Trump's numbers made him feel like he was "in a parallel universe," Rattner started with job growth.

"He bragged a lot about the job growth, but as you can see here, what we're trying to show is that job growth under President Trump, which has been significant, was actually lower than job growth under President Obama over the same 35 months, the end of Obama's term versus the beginning of Trump's term. The idea that there's something unprecedented happening here is ridiculous."

"Wait. Wait. Wait. Hold on a second. I'm confused," Scarborough said.

"You're telling me that the gray that we are looking at right now is job growth under Barack Obama, his last three years in office, and the red is job growth under Donald Trump his last three years in office and actually Donald Trump is doing worse than Barack Obama. Let's forget about why Donald Trump lies. We know he lies. Why doesn't the media report this more? Why do they let Donald Trump keep going -- this is the media that is actually cooking the books for Donald trump by looking at the Dow and looking at unemployment, which, by the way, was going down in this direction under Barack Obama, why do they keep spreading this -- why does the media spread this lie that Donald Trump has somehow created the greatest economy when he's doing worse than Barack Obama in job creation?"

"You have to ask the media that, but under Obama there were 227,000 jobs a month created during this 35-month period," Rattner, a former Obama adviser, said.

"Under Trump it was 191,000. So 227 went to 191. Trump brags about lowering the unemployment rate by 1.2%. Obama lowered the unemployment rate by two full percentage points. Any way you slice it, this is at best continuation of the Obama recovery, and at worst the slower version of the Obama recovery."

Then they turned to wages.

"Indeed wages have been going up, as you can see by the blue line up at the top here, but when you adjust for inflation which is a really important thing to do because obviously what matters is what workers have in their pockets at the end of the day, which are these bottom lines here, you can see that, in fact, once again, real wages after adjustment for inflation rose slower under Trump than under Obama," Rattner said.

"Under Obama they rose at an average of 1.1% and under Trump they rose at an average of 0.6%. So you had faster growth in wages after adjusting for inflation under Obama than you had under Trump."

"Okay. So that's a lie as well," Scarborough said.

"Wages adjusted for inflation are actually worse under Donald Trump than they were under Barack Obama. Again, not a surprise. Just a surprise that the media keeps letting Donald Trump get away with this lie as they have for the past several years. It's just lazy. They listen to what Donald Trump says, oh, yeah, wages are going -- no. No."

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