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Associated Press Fact Checks Obama's SOTU Speech.



January 29, 2010 – Comments (4)



FACT CHECK: Obama and a toothless commission


The Associated Press


Updated: 2:21 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

Published: 8:36 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama told Americans the bipartisan deficit commission he will appoint won't just be "one of those Washington gimmicks." Left unspoken in that assurance was the fact that the commission won't have any teeth.

Obama confronted some tough realities in his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, chief among them that Americans are continuing to lose their health insurance as Congress struggles to pass an overhaul.

Yet some of his ideas for moving ahead skirted the complex political circumstances standing in his way.

A look at some of Obama's claims and how they compare with the facts:


OBAMA: "Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't."

THE FACTS: The anticipated savings from this proposal would amount to less than 1 percent of the deficit — and that's if the president can persuade Congress to go along.

Obama is a convert to the cause of broad spending freezes. In the presidential campaign, he criticized Republican opponent John McCain for suggesting one. "The problem with a spending freeze is you're using a hatchet where you need a scalpel," he said a month before the election. Now, Obama wants domestic spending held steady in most areas where the government can control year-to-year costs. The proposal is similar to McCain's...



4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 29, 2010 at 10:11 AM, dickseacup (< 20) wrote:

That wasn't a State of the Union address. It was a campaign speech. And not a very good one at that. I can clearly recall Presidents as far back as Gerald Ford, and this President is the least statesmanlike President I have ever seen. To be fair, this Congress is the worst Congress I can recall, as well.

I have been slowly formulating a theory of governance. In a nutshell, the people begin electing representatives who are less and less able to lead or govern. The elected then proceed to make a mess. The next guy is elected to fix the mess, but is less able than his predecessor, and proceeds to make an even bigger mess. Eventually, the mess gets so large and out of control, and the people who are elected are so useless that the system teeters on the brink of implosion. It is the triumph of style over substance. A logical extension of Mencken's prophesy, if you will; each successive President becomes more idiotic than the one before. 

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#2) On January 29, 2010 at 11:01 AM, RainierMan (65.62) wrote:

Gasp, that's horrible. He should keep spending no matter what. Always be inflexible; the people respect that. 

He made no claims about the deficit.  

I'm not even sure his approach is the same as McCain's. You can have an overall spending freeze in which some components increase, but others decrease, but the bottom line does not grow. Since Obama wants to increase education spending, I don't think it's an across the board freeze.



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#3) On January 29, 2010 at 11:42 AM, davejh23 (< 20) wrote:

"He made no claims about the deficit."

Not during the SOTU, but he made plently of claims during his campaign.  He used this scalpel reference several times as he discussed going line by line through the budget and making necessary cuts.  He promised to cut the annual deficit in half by the end of his first term, but he's on track to quadruple the annual deficit every year of his first term while adding 50% to the national debt.

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#4) On January 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM, rofgile (99.57) wrote:

He promised to cut the annual deficit in half by the end of his first term, but he's on track to quadruple the annual deficit every year of his first term while adding 50% to the national debt.

While he's obviously failing to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, - how the heck do you figure he'll be quadrupling the annual deficit every year of his term? 

The first year deficit had a lot to do with the bank bailout combined with the stimulus bill.  Those were big expenditures.  


The only way to really balance our budget is:

 Cut medicare

 Cut social security

 Increase taxes 

 End foreign wars



 The only one of those four options that will likely happen in the next 8 years, no matter WHO is the president is to increase taxes.


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