Archive for January 29th, 2010

State of the Union Fact Check

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Another fact check of Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address.

Cato experts put some of President Obama’s core State of the Union claims to the test. Here’s what they found.

THE STIMULUS

Obama’s claim:

The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. That’s right — the Recovery Act, also known as the Stimulus Bill. Economists on the left and the right say that this bill has helped saved jobs and avert disaster.

Back in reality: At the outset of the economic downturn, Cato ran an ad in the nation’s largest newspapers in which more than 300 economists (Nobel laureates among them) signed a statement saying a massive government spending package was among the worst available options. Since then, Cato economists have published dozens of op-eds in major news outlets poking holes in big-government solutions to both the financial system crisis and the flagging economy.

CUTTING TAXES

Obama’s claim:

Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food, and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers.

Back in reality: Cato Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards: “When the president says that he has ‘cut taxes’ for 95 percent of Americans, he fails to note that more than 40 percent of Americans pay no federal incomes taxes and the administration has simply increased subsidy checks to this group. Obama’s refundable tax credits are unearned subsidies, not tax cuts.”

Visit Cato’s Tax Policy Page for much more on this.

SPENDING FREEZE

Obama’s claim
:

Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years.

Back in reality: Edwards: “The president’s proposed spending freeze covers just 13 percent of the total federal budget, and indeed doesn’t limit the fastest growing components such as Medicare.

“A better idea is to cap growth in the entire federal budget including entitlement programs, which was essentially the idea behind the 1980s bipartisan Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law. The freeze also doesn’t cover the massive spending under the stimulus bill, most of which hasn’t occurred yet. Now that the economy is returning to growth, the president should both freeze spending and rescind the remainder of the planned stimulus.”

Plus, here’s why these promised freezes have never worked in the past and a chart illustrating the fallacy of Obama’s spending claims.

JOB CREATION

Obama’s claim:

Because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed. 200,000 work in construction and clean energy. 300,000 are teachers and other education workers. Tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers, and first responders. And we are on track to add another one and a half million jobs to this total by the end of the year.

Back in reality: Cato Policy Analyst Tad Dehaven: “Actually, the U.S. economy has lost 2.7 million jobs since the stimulus passed and 3.4 million total since Obama was elected. How he attributes any jobs gains to the stimulus is the fuzziest of fuzzy math. ‘Nuff said.”

Original Link.

“Get Real, Mr. Obama!” by Floyd and Mary Beth Brown

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The most annoying part of listening to a speech by the narcissist-in-chief is the number of times he refers to himself.

“I’ve got a very short commute;” “I can’t always visit people directly;” “I break out;” “I saw;” “I knew it would be unpopular;” “I ran for this office;” “I had no illusions;” “I had a whole bunch of political advisors.”

The latest State of the Union is no exception. Maybe because his world is so centered on the bubble that surrounds himself, he is incapable of understanding the frustration Americans have about his plans to remake the country.

Clearly, he is not hearing the message to back off. Instead, he is doubling down. Calling with renewed vigor for a litany of unpopular policies, he declared in a condescending tone, “I don’t quit.”

Obama spent an inane amount of time talking about job creation. His problem is, he doesn’t understand how jobs are created. His left-wing fantasies on how to create jobs have had the opposite impact. For example; his plan to sock banks with new taxes as they struggle to recover. He’s just like a boxer trying to punch the last knock-down blow

He repeatedly called for a second stimulus bill while we are still reaping the harvest of his first misguided stimulus plan. Then he urged Congress to pass the entire litany of failed regulatory and tax bills that will finish off the feeble recovery and increase unemployment well beyond 20 percent. He renewed his call for Obamacare, which guts Medicare, will increase insurance premiums, and soak the country with higher taxes.

“Change has not come fast enough,” Obama exclaimed. “As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may be, it’s time to get serious…” Maybe you haven’t been serious, Mr. Obama, but we are, and have been serious for a long time. The changes you seek divide Americans and hurt the prospects for our and our children’s futures.

Read the rest of the article here.