Republican Tax Bill. When the independent research institutions say the current proposed Republican tax bill benefits the rich far more than the rest of us — I believe them. When they say the bill will increase the national debt by $1 trillion over 10 years, I believe them. We’ll see if the purported “deficit hawks” in the Senate believe them. For Trump, who refuses to release his taxes as presidents and presidential candidates have for decades, tells me to “believe me,” that’s exactly when I believe him least.

“Trump Economy.” In a speech the other day, Trump said: “We’ve created nearly two million jobs…Think of it. We used to lose millions. Now we’ve created two million jobs since I won the election.”

Not true. New job pace is good, but below where it was in 2016 and Trump is claiming two million jobs created since he was elected which includes November and December of 2016, when he was not in office so he had nothing to do with the job market nor, I would argue has he had a huge impact on the economy since his inauguration. He apparently likes to think that jobs were created in November and December anticipating his presidency but my guess is at that point most of us were worried about his presidency.

Trump Economy II. Where the President may have had an effect on the economy is by loosening various regulations. This is where the media has not kept us as well informed as they have about his Twitter activity. His administration is changing regulations, which they have the power to do. Those regulations may improve conditions for business to make investments, but what are the consequences, if any, of the regulation changes on our environment, our employment protections and more? Would be nice to know.

Trump Economy III. One quote that hit me in the stomach the other day was when Trump said: “Actually, the rich people don’t like me, which is sort of interesting, and that’s fine. I — you know what? I like that trade. But really, the people that like me best are those people, the workers. They’re the people I understand the best. Those are the people I grew up with. Those are the people I worked on construction sites with.”

I added the emphasis because … I mean really? Trump grew up among the working class? Not from any bio I’ve read about him. Did he see workers on his job sites? I’m sure he did but did he interact with them, show concern about their happiness with their jobs, their pay, how their families are doing? Unlikely. And his working “with” them on construction sites was them working and him visiting.

You may have not noticed. Trump today will have lunch with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis. There’s another attendee: The Elephant in the Room, which are the reports that the White House is angling to relieve Tillerson of his duties. It seems mister “You’re fired!” doesn’t really fire many people. He publicly embarrasses them until they resign. Tillerson has not been good at his job but I thank goodness he is there when Trump calls the North Korean leader “rocket man” and says there’s only one thing the Koreans understand. And you do not want a “yes man” at the State Department which is what we may get.

Shutdown Watch. Trump reportedly is telling confidants that shutting the government down may be politically good for him. Probably so. He doesn’t depend on the government for his income or much of anything else, except his own First Amendment rights. Shutting down the government, we’ve learned, is good for no one else. Trump sees it as a way to solidify his base. Plus, Trump cares about two things — good headlines and does he have someone to blame. He is considering whether shutting the government is a good headline for himself and he already knows he will blame the Democrats.

Sexual abuse watch. Each day we seem to read a new boldface name who has allegedly committed sexual abuse or harassment. I say “allegedly” out of an old journalism reflex. I, too, believe the women. Will Trump ever be held accountable for his abuses, and sexual attacks?

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog:

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