Obama needs to fact check his State of the Union speech
President Obama chose carefully from the State of the Union topics to be discussed last night, using only those topics that could best defend his record as president, skipping facts about the national debt and high unemployment, while introducing distortions about spending cuts and jobs created under his administration.
He failed to mention that the cuts were made in the growth of government spending, not an actual decrease in the spending from previous years. He then used these faux cuts to justify higher taxes on small businesses in his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction, which only he would understand.
Obama said that, “After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over 6M new jobs.”
The pertinent facts omitted by President Obama include that he started his count, not when he took office, but from the point in his first term when the job count was at its lowest. The president conveniently ignored almost 5M jobs that were lost up to that point on his watch. Of course, wasn’t that was Bush’s fault?
Private sector jobs did grow by about 6.1M since February of 2010. But from January 2009, the job gain was a only 1.9M in four years, despite almost $800B dollars in stimulus spending using borrowed money.
When the jobs lost in the public sector are included with the jobs gained under Obama, the overall gain drops to 1.2M jobs, not 6M jobs. Jobs created under Obama – 300,000 per year. Just to keep up with population growth at least 125,000 jobs need to be created each month – 1.5M jobs per year – five times more than created in Obama’s first term!
Obama also said, “We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas.”
The fact is that doubling the gas mileage will not occur for 12 more years – eight years after Obama has left office. Wasn’t this supposed to be a speech about the state of the union, today, not when Hillary Clinton is leaving office twelve years from now.
The deal Obama reached with the automakers in 2011 was that autos will have to get 54 mpg versus 27 mpg by 2025. The manufacturers will not even begin making the design changes necessary until 2017 and not all cars will achieve these mileage standards – only the average of corporate fleets must meet the standard.
Obama said in the speech, “Already the Affordable Care Act is helping to reduce the growth of health care costs.”
Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, told lawmakers that he doesn’t know why once-spiraling costs have slowed in recent years. Most of Obamacare doesn’t even take effect until 2014, so costs that have thus far been reduced are not due to the Affordable Care Act.
“We have not attributed the slowdown to any particular factor like the Affordable Care Act,” he told the House Budget Committee, referring to the law enacted in 2010.
The CBO has also estimated that the costs of Obamacare will in fact double to $2.1T dollars compared to the $900B original price tag, while the bill was being passed before it could be read by Nancy Pelosi.
Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Al said, “The bill spends more than the president promised, it covers fewer people — probably 2 million fewer people — and it taxes more than was expected.” Obama seems to have left that point out of the speech.
And finally, Obama stated that, “Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. … And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. … Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than $7 later on — by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime.”
The facts are since Head Start began in 1965, more than $167B has been spent. Therefore, some money must have been spent to examine data to demonstrate the superior success of students that have had the advantage of early childhood programs. As a matter of fact, a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows just the opposite!
In the March 3, 2010 issue of Education Week, a rigorous Federal Head Start impact study found that the program, after producing some initial gains during preschool, had almost no effect on the children’s cognitive, social-emotional, or health outcomes by the end of first grade, compared to a control group of children whose families had access only to the usual community services.
How many factoids did you notice in Obama’s State of the Union speech last night?