It is too crazy and too ridiculous to believe that anybody is actually counting with this accuracy to come up with exact numbers like those Trump tweeted this morning. No statisticians ever-present numbers this way:
We are not even into February and the cost of illegal immigration so far this year is $18,959,495,168. Cost Friday was $603,331,392. There are at least 25,772,342 illegal aliens, not the 11,000,000 that have been reported for years, in our Country. So ridiculous! DHS
In a Face the Nation interview Sunday Mick Mulvaney was asked by Margaret Brennan where Trump got the number of 26 million illegal immigrants. He said he knows the number used to be given at 11 million and with the numbers now crossing the border he’s heard numbers as high as 30 or 40 million. Unfortunately she didn’t ask how Trump came up with the precise number of 25,772,342. I wish she had pointed out to Mulvaney that Trump gave an exact number and inquired how he could possibly be so precise as to this. Did he actually know of a census that counted each nd every person here illegally?
This may seem like a small thing, but to a psychotherapist observing Trump’s decompensation, it isn’t.
You will often see numbers presented by experts either prefaced “estimated” or “approximately” or just rounded off assuming people are smart enough to know everyone understands this is an estimate. For example, when studies come out saying there are 11 million people undocumented people living in the United States nobody thinks that there are precisely 11 million people living here illegally.
No so Donald Trump.
Somehow he has come up with exact numbers. Perhaps we’ll learn where he got these figures, and this is important to know because it sheds more light on how disordered his thinking has become. Either someone else was unhinged as they let their fingers roam randomly across the number line of the keyboard, or it was Trump.
As of this writing when you do an online search for 25,772,342 you won’t find a source as you would expect you would if someone offered the number who has the credibility to make such a precise statement of fact. All I could find was “Trump doubles down on dubious figures on cost of illegal immigration” on Business Insider.
Estimates on the net costs of illegal immigration vary, but most are a fraction of that number. A 2013 report from the conservative Heritage Foundation, for example, estimated that illegal immigrant households impose a fiscal burden of about $54.5 billion per year.
Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security responded to emails requesting comment.
“I have no idea where that number comes from,” said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian research organization. “It seems to be conjured out of thin air. I haven’t seen any fiscal cost estimates, either reputable or disreputable, that place the number at $200 billion per year.”
Trump’s claim even left anti-immigration groups flummoxed. It exceeded estimates from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group that seeks to reduce both legal and illegal immigration.
“We’re not sure how the president is sourcing his number and really wouldn’t want to speculate,” said David Ray, communications director for FAIR.
I expect there will be more articles about as experts fact check these numbers. My bailiwick isn’t economics, its mental health, particularly now that I am retired after working for 40 years as a psychotherapist, I focus on understanding the how the mind of Donald Trump functions.
58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID!
Here he sensibly offered numbers, that while no doubt made up to hype is more hysterical narrative and fear mongering, they are at least rounded numbers. This suggests that between the minutes between writing the two tweets something snapped in his mind.
If it was Trump making up the exact numbers out of whole cloth it demonstrates again that he has lost touch with reality, but done so with a way that is uniquely Trump. A “normal” grandiose confabulation would have used a simple number like 26 million, or to make it look impressive typed out 26,000,000.
Trump is under heightened stress. Stephen Collinson of CNN describes just one day, Friday, here: “Trump tries to bounce back after horrible day damages presidency.”
If you were a fan of the hit TV show “Lost,” and who wasn’t, you know the significance of these numbers:
The numbers were never explained, though fans of the show explained how “the numbers were actually the Valenzetti Equation, a sequence of numbers which accurately predict when the world will end. This was never expressed in the actual show.” (From Daily Telegraph, “Lost: All the mysteries explained”)
End of the world! If only Trump, who literally controls the potential end of the world, and his mysterious numbers, were the stuff of fiction.
When somebody who has a tenuous grasp on reality, someone who is impulsive and prone to making self-defeating decisions, and to lashing out at other who he feels are attacking his authority has the power of the presidency, we – indeed the free world – is in serious danger.
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