AP Fact Checks Obama’s SOTU, Finds It Wanting

No, I did not watch Obama’s State Of The Union speech. I haven’t bothered with most of his SOTU campaign speeches, nor do I bother watching any of his speeches. They are a raft of campaign speeches, replete with lies, half truths, and insults aimed at those who disagree with him. He typically calls for bipartisanship, for working together, then goes on to taunt and denigrate Republicans. He did that again last night. The Weekly Standard refers to the speech as “defiant“. And four Associated Press writers had to sit through his speech and fact check it

(WRAL) The U.S. may not have “risen from recession” quite as rousingly as President Barack Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Seven years after that severe downturn began, household income hasn’t recovered and healthy job growth is complicated by the poor quality, and pay, of many of those jobs.

It’s always problematic when a president takes credit for an improving economy, just as it is when he’s blamed for things going bad. A leader can only do so much, for better or worse, and there are two sides to every economy. But after an election in which Obama largely held off on chest-beating, he claimed credit in bold terms for what is going right.

Obama has never had a problem with taking credit for anything that goes right, and blaming others for things that go bad. Vox notes that the most important sentence was “Tonight, we turn the page”. Yeah, it only took him six years. And people still do not think that the economy has recovered, rightly or wrongly. People at the bottom and middle are not feeling the stock market.

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OBAMA: “At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production – we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”

THE FACTS: By many measures, the economy is still recovering from the deep scars left by the Great Recession.

Job growth has been healthy, but fueled in part by lower-paying jobs in areas such as retail and restaurants, which have replaced many higher-paying positions in manufacturing and construction. Part-time jobs also remain elevated: There are still 1.7 million fewer workers with full-time jobs than when the recession began in December 2007.

Sadly, wages are barely growing. Furthermore, the energy growth mostly has to do with the public sector, in spite of Obama administration policies, rules, and regulation. The majority of the jobs are part time and in retail and restaurants, jobs that were called “bad jobs” by Democrats when Bush was in office. There are also a historic number of Americans who have dropped out of the jobs market, and long term joblessness is also at historic numbers.

OBAMA: “I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero.”

THE FACTS: Zero for qualifying students; an estimated $60 billion over 10 years to the treasury.

Of course, his tax plan harms those who use 529 savings plans. And, really, what he means by “sending…a bold new plan” is “I’m saying I want this done.” He won’t actually send over any legislation proposals. At best, he’ll send over a piece of paper with a short rough outline, the same as can be read at Whitehouse.gov.

OBAMA: “Thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small-business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.”

THE FACTS: A survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business does show that a rising proportion plans to raise wages. But plans to raise pay aren’t the same as actually raising them.

Probably the snarkiest thing in the article. No reason to add commentary.

There are a few other fact checks, such as working to degrade ISIS, and yammering about “not getting dragged into another ground war.” If you think about it, this is in part whining about fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, a nation state that al Qaeda operated out of, and sent terrorists to hijack 4 airplanes and fly them in a terrorist attack on 9/11. And, rather than engage in ground war, the U.S. is attacking Islamic jihadis in more countries than President Bush did, mostly using drone strikes and, surely, special operations groups (note: this is one of the few things Obama is doing that I heartily approve of).

Of course, this is the same president who flouts the law by having an illegal alien sit in the box with Michelle Obama.

Anyhow, Guardians of the Galaxy was a much better option than listening to this buffoon do his normal schtick. That was a really, really fun movie. As for Obama, now he gets back to being a part time president, more vacations, golf, learning about important things on TV, and generally just avoiding the hard work.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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