It’s been two months since President Donald Trump was sworn into the White House. In that time, he’s been boasting quite a bit about bringing jobs back to the US. Most recently, he tweeted happily about over a hundred new jobs, coming in as a result of Ford’s investment of three factories in Michigan.
There’s just one problem: these jobs weren’t the result of Trump’s doing.
Rather, a number of jobs raised this year was due to investments made in former President Barack Obama’s term. In addition to that, they’re not necessarily the result of the government’s hand in support or policy. And it seems to be a pattern among some of the President’s boasts since January.
Donald Trump’s tweet celebrated the “major investment” in the three plants, which are to be built in Flat Rock, Romeo, and Wayne. Spokesperson Kellyanne Conway was eager to point out that the announcement by Ford comes two weeks after Trump had met with auto execs in Michigan. The resulting narrative on the surface? His presence resulted in the subsequent job creation.
Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017
But Steve Rattner, a policy adviser under Obama, quickly pointed out that the 130 Romeo jobs were first discussed back in 2015. The jobs are in-line with the automaker’s $9 billion investment raised two years ago, not two weeks.
Brian Klaas, a London School of Economics fellow, similarly pointed out the misdirection, encouraging headline writers to do their research.
— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) March 28, 2017
A similar instance took place just last week when Donald Trump announced a $25 billion investment commitment from Charter Communications. 20,000 jobs would arise from these “new” jobs. However, Washington Post pointed out that this commitment had already been made months ago under Obama’s term. Trump’s administrations and their policies had little to do with the commitment, perhas besides reconfirming it.
Today, I was thrilled to announce a commitment of $25 BILLION & 20K AMERICAN JOBS over the next 4 years. THANK YOU Charter Communications! pic.twitter.com/PLxUmXVl0h
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2017
Yet another instance of Trump taking credit where it wasn’t due occurred earlier in the month. The president shared that 45,000 construction jobs were being created in the US Gulf Coast region.
In this case, the press release didn’t even bother to hide the fact that these particular investments went as far back as four years ago. “Investments began in 2013,” the statement by the White House read, “and are expected to continue through at least 2022.”
Those with a sharp eye may note that, under Obama’s administration, the US added approximately 20,000 construction jobs per month between 2011 and 2017. The difference? Obama simply wasn’t tweeting about it.
Perhaps in time, investments will be made thanks to the new pro-American policies being developed under Donald Trump. And, as they did for Obama, they’ll reward the country with job growth. But until that happens, the President may want to stop boasting about what’s not his.