"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Washington Times Fact Check on Obama State of the Union

This is only page one of four of fact checking by AP on President Obama's State of the Union Tuesday night.  That might be a record for AP Fact Checking.  This is one area where the AP excels -- Fact Checking no matter the speech or the debate.  They do an excellent job of giving the facts in contrast to what was said.

President Obama looks to have done a retread speech of past programs which is not surprising because how he is going to do a State of the Union when the facts are not favoring him and his reelection.  This speech has been panned as lackluster.  You can see why because the speech doesn't match the facts and he probably knew it wasn't going to go over well.

Will any President ever be honest about the State of the Union.  More and more they have turned into political speeches over the years.  Why don't they just send in a report on the State of the Union instead of doing all the theatrics?  The ratings are getting lower and lower for State of the Union speeches and debates.  That should give some people a clue that Americans by and large are fed up with the politicians of both parties and don't want them coming into our living rooms via the TV when they they have trouble with the truth from both sides.

This should not bode well for Obama but in this reality TV era, people will forget by next week if not already what he said.
FACT CHECK: Obama pushes plans that flopped beforeCalvin Woodward, AP
January 25, 2011 
WASHINGTON (AP) — It was a wish list, not a to-do list. 
President Barack Obama laid out an array of plans in his State of the Union speech as if his hands weren’t so tied by political realities. There can be little more than wishful thinking behind his call to end oil industry subsidies — something he could not get through a Democratic Congress, much less today’s divided Congress, much less in this election year. 
And there was more recycling, in an even more forbidding climate than when the ideas were new: He pushed for an immigration overhaul that he couldn’t get past Democrats, permanent college tuition tax credits that he asked for a year ago, and familiar discouragements for companies that move overseas. 
A look at Obama’s rhetoric Tuesday night and how it fits with the facts and political circumstances:
OBAMA: “We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.” 
THE FACTS: This is at least Obama’s third run at stripping subsidies from the oil industry. Back when fellow Democrats formed the House and Senate majorities, he sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request. He called again to end such tax breaks in last year’s State of the Union speech. And he’s now doing it again, despite facing a wall of opposition from Republicans who want to spur domestic oil and gas production and oppose tax increases generally.
OBAMA: “Our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a government program.” 
THE FACTS: That’s only half true. About half of the more than 30 million uninsured Americans expected to gain coverage through the health care law will be enrolled in a government program. Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income people, will be expanded starting in 2014 to cover childless adults living near the poverty line.
The other half will be enrolled in private health plans through new state-based insurance markets. But many of them will be receiving federal subsidies to make their premiums more affordable. And that’s a government program, too.
Starting in 2014 most Americans will be required to carry health coverage, either through an employer, by buying their own plan, or through a government program.
OBAMA, asking Congress to pay for construction projects: “Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.” 
THE FACTS: The idea of taking war “savings” to pay for other programs is budgetary sleight of hand. For one thing, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been largely financed through borrowing, so stopping the wars doesn’t create a pool of ready cash, just less debt. And the savings appear to be based at least in part on inflated war spending estimates for future years. 
Excerpt:  Read More at Washington Times 

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