September 24, 2022

Trump’s speech at Davos forum fact-checked by Nobel-winning economist in devastating takedown

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While Donald Trump is by now used to being fact-checked as quickly as possible by the news media after he delivers his falsehood-laden speeches at the pep rallies he holds for his true believers, perhaps the president was expecting a less skeptical reaction to his comments in the cozy confines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland surrounded by wealthy business leaders, world leaders, and economic experts.


Yet shortly after Trump gave his somnambulistic speech bragging about his stewardship of the American economy at what amounts to the Super Bowl of international financial leaders, a Nobel prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, was handing out a typed rebuttal fact-checking the president’s boastful claims to any conference attendee who would take it.

Contradicting Trump’s rosy portrayal of the economic effects of his policies on the American financial system, Stiglitz used the facts based on government statistics to give a more realistic picture of the economy as experienced by the average U.S. citizen.

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While the president bragged about the 2.6% increase in real median weekly earnings since he took office, Stiglitz pointed out the inconvenient reality that the median wage of a full-time male worker is still 3% less than what it was 40 years ago according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The Nobel laureate also cited the negative rate of business investment, a less than stellar growth rate in the nation’s gross domestic product compared to President Obama’s second term, and the soaring levels of the trade deficit and the national debt after Trump’s billionaire tax cuts.

Stiglitz was even more critical of the effects of Trump’s fiscal policies on income inequality, noting that for all of the president’s talk of record-low unemployment, 44% of U.S. workers are working in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of just $18,000 per year, according to the Brookings Institute.

He also cited figures from the Tax Policy Center that show how when the Republican tax plan is fully implemented over the next seven years, the supposed tax cut will result in increased taxes for 70% of the dwindling number of middle-income families.

While Trump supporters will likely denigrate Stiglitz’s rebuttal of the president’s self-aggrandizing Davos address — an address derided by some attendees as a preelection campaign speech — as the ravings of a biased and cloistered leftist academic with little practical experience in managing an economy, it’s worth pointing out that the Columbia University professor is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and was chairman of the U.S. president’s Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton.

Stiglitz’s rebuttal of Trump’s speech wasn’t the only negative reaction that the president received from attendees and observers at Davos. A quick perusal of Twitter uncovered a host of other critiques of Trump’s appearance.

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Hopefully, while Trump is hobnobbing with the oligarchs at Davos, the Senate will overcome the plans by Republican leadership to railroad an acquittal of the president in his impeachment trial and the American people will never have to suffer the embarrasment of being represented by a habitual liar and accused war criminal at an international forum again.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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