Fact checking is an important mechanism for holding accountable those in authority, especially so in an era built on “fake news.” NPR took at look at Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address and found the data to back up, or disprove claims made at the speech.
One of the first disputed claims came as Trump offered his sympathies to those affected by the season’s hurricanes. While the words are sweet, FEMA the executive branch organization that takes care of disaster relief, recently announced it would be halting direct aid to the affected regions, but would still provide help to nonprofit groups in the area. An update came the next day that the decision by FEMA had been reversed.
Claims of a 2.4 million increase in jobs “since the election” made by trump were corroborated by NPR. However, while the 2.4 million jobs added show a continuing uptrend in the economy, it is a smaller increase than the previous years 2.7 million under Obama.
Tax cuts would provide “tremendous relief for the middle class” according to Trump. However data has shown that the majority of the tax benefits will be reaped by the top 20 and top 1% seeing 65% of the savings and 20% respectively.
Now more than ever is keeping an eye on what is true and what is false an importance to Democracy. Luckily there are still a few devoted to the cause of keeping authority honest.