There he goes again: After claiming to have “inherited a mess” from Barack Obama, Donald Trump tried to take credit for something that’s a result of Obama’s policies, if anything … but also isn’t even newsworthy.

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Trump’s sourcing was former pizza executive and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who had made this claim on Fox News. Funny story:

“Anything that has happened to the debt has been on autopilot since Obama left,” said Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University. “If anything, he is taking credit for something Obama did.” […]

Trump’s numbers are accurate. The national debt of $19.9 trillion did decrease $12 billion — six-hundredths of 1 percent — from his first day in office until his 30th. It’s also true the debt fluctuates by billions of dollars each day, and the current spending and tax revenue levels that drive those short-term variances were set by the last administration. Trump hasn’t had a chance in his first weeks to change the level of revenue collected through higher taxes or cut federal spending through a new budget.

So Trump wants credit for something that is entirely meaningless and, if it has a meaning, is Obama’s to take credit for. And he got there because he was listening to Herman Cain. Perfect.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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