The State of the Union Address was more of the sameÂ—class warfare rhetoric coupled with Congress-bashing. But was President Obama’s speech accurate?
The fact checkers were out in full force after the SOTU speech on Tuesday. Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn from Politico noted that during the address, the “truth sometimes got stretched in the process.” Glenn Kessler from The Washington Post used phrases like “cherry-picking” (to describe Obama’s “6 million new jobs” claim, as well as his claim that “manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three”), “lacks context” (regarding Obama’s claim that America buys “less foreign oil” than 20 years ago), and “debatable” (regarding deficit spending).
Politico points to Obama’s statement, “I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change…” as a non-starter, as there is no will in the Congress, or by the American people, to create “cap-and-trade” type legislation. This nod to global warming alarmists is just that. Further, Obama says, “But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” so, as the authors point out, movement on “climate change” initiatives will most likely come from “executive order[s] and regulations.” Executive orders used to impose changes that were never debated by elected officials, do not reflect the will of the people, but use taxpayer money, are unconstitutional and should be challenged.
President Obama also made the claim, “Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.” One does not need Politico to know that this statement is dubious, at best. As pointed out by Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press, the data simply does not support the president’s claim. He writes, “The jury is still out on whether Obama’s health care overhaul will reduce the growth of health care costs.” With the recession, health care costs have declined, but how ObamaCare has influenced those numbers remains to be seen.
Politico also tackles Obama’s business crushing, class warfare message that “Working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher,” as he pushed for a $9.00 minimum wage. Politico points out that in 2008, the president campaigned for the minimum wage to be $9.50 by 2011, but “he did little to deliver on the pledge as the economic crisis unfolded.” Again, during a recession, with small businesses already suffering, political will for raising the minimum wage is surely low.
During the SOTU address, Obama blamed Congress for yet another government-manufactured crisis, the sequester (starting March 1st and triggering $1.2 trillion across-the-board spending cuts), even though “sequestration was an idea that came out of Obama’s White House,” as pointed out by PolitiFact. Overall, it seems that the State of the Union Address may have been carefully crafted, but was way off the mark.
Image Source: John Shinkle/Politico