FACT CHECK: Four Claims From Trump’s Rally In West Virginia

Emily Larsen | Fact Check Reporter

President Donald Trump made several claims about the economy, the Republican tax bill and the 2016 presidential election at his rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Tuesday night.

Here are four checks on his claims.

Claim 1: “This was a big victory. We won by 42 points. That’s pretty big, right? Forty-two points, over a Democrat, right?”

Trump won 68.5 percent of the vote in West Virginia. That is about 42 percentage points more than Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who won 26.4 percent of the vote. Trump won a majority of the vote in every county in West Virginia.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson received 3.2 percent of all votes and less than 2 percent went to other candidates.

West Virginia has voted Republican since President Bill Clinton won the state in 1996.

Claim 2: “Last year in West Virginia, per capita income grew 40 percent faster than the national average. Forty percent, congratulations.”

Per capita personal income in West Virginia grew 3.4 percent from 2016 to 2017, while nationally it grew 2.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. By that measure, West Virginia’s per capita personal income growth in 2017 was about 42 percent faster than the national average.

Actual per capita personal income in West Virginia ranks 49th in the nation, though. Nationally, per capita personal income was $50,392 in 2017. It was $37,924, about 25 percent lower than the national average, in West Virginia.

Claim 3: “I said, ‘How come it’s been Ronald Reagan since you got the last big tax cut?’ And they looked at me, said, ‘We don’t know.'”

Many analysts said that the Tax Cut And Jobs Act – the Republican tax bill that Trump signed in December – was the biggest change to the U.S. tax code since President Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986.

President George W. Bush signed into law tax cuts that reduced marginal income tax rates in 2001 and 2003. President Barack Obama extended much of the cuts in 2010 and made most of them permanent in 2013.

An analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget published before the bill was enacted found that the tax cuts that Obama made permanent were larger than Trump’s tax bill when measured as a percentage of GDP or when measured in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Claim 4: “And Joe Manchin voted no on the tax cuts. You know, the last time I was here, I saw signs along the highway: ‘Joe, you voted no on tax cuts.'”

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who is up for reelection in November, voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act multiple times in December 2017. Manchin said in a statement after the bill passed in the Senate that he was “disappointed that this process turned partisan” and that he had hoped for a tax reform bill that included permanent relief for middle-class families that would not grow the national debt.

Trump stumped for Manchin’s Republican challenger, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, at the rally.

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Emily Larsen

Fact Check Reporter