SOTU… filled with fantasy or downright lies seems to be the consensus. The kindest thing I heard about the speech was from Peggy Noonan, “If you give a speech and include everything, you end up giving a speech about nothing and it ends up being boring!”
Rush: Obama speech a 'fantasyland' of lies
PALM BEACH, Fla. – Radio giant Rush Limbaugh wasted no time today attacking President Obama’s State of the Union address, calling it a fantasyland packed with untruth.
“It was chock-full of lies. It was fantasyland. No, it didn’t soar. It was boring,” Limbaugh said.
“There was nothing to set it apart, nothing about it that’s going to be memorable in a positive way. General Motors, the No. 1 car company in the world again? It just isn’t true. None of the economic news is true. He did two things. He lied. He tried to paint the economy as back. We are back, except where we’re not back, and that’s Bush’s fault.”
During the president’s speech, Obama focused on what he claimed to be a massive turnaround for American carmakers, saying, “Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s No. 1 automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.”
“I don’t believe this General Motors number,” Limbaugh said. “What an absolute crock. Anyway, after talking about all the wonderful, great, miraculous things he did with General Motors, then what did he say? ‘It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no cop-outs. An America built to lasts, insists on responsibility from everybody.’ Now, maybe I’m a bitter clinger, but the car companies appear to have received a bailout to me. The UAW got a bailout to me, and the UAW was handed General Motors and Chrysler, if you ask me. Now, I don’t know what that is if it’s not a bailout. So he spends a whole speech talking about, ‘No more bailouts. We’re not gonna do that! No handouts, no cop-outs,’ and then he gives as his greatest example of American prosperity a company he bailed out! Who wrote this? This speech was an embarrassment.”
Limbaugh noted there were numerous facts Obama omitted from his address:
He didn’t talk about the 13.1 million unemployed Americans. He didn’t talk about the 5.6 million unemployed Americans who have been on unemployment longer than 27 weeks. He didn’t talk about 8.1 million involuntary part-time workers. He didn’t talk about the falling civilian labor-force participation rate was 64 percent. The number of jobs, the universe of jobs shrinking, didn’t bring that up. Didn’t talk about the national debt, $15.2 trillion, five trillion of which is his! Do you realize one-third of our entire national debt as a nation over 200 years, one-third of it is his, his alone. Of course he didn’t bring it up. He didn’t talk about the Keystone pipeline.
This speech was so filled with contradictions. He talked about teamwork is what made America great? Teamwork? Do you know, ladies and gentlemen, how wrong that is? Do you know what our founding documents are about? The rights and freedom of the individual versus government. There’s nothing about teamwork. There’s nothing about compromise, getting along and working together. The whole point of this government, the whole point of this country, the whole point of this founding was to champion the power and the rights and the civil rights and the freedoms and the liberty of the individual over government. I’m gonna tell you, if anybody on our side running for office anywhere – Senate, House, president – is on their game, this is an immediate, I mean they have just, Obama unwittingly has tossed a softball with the bases loaded.
This is worth two grand slams, this whole concept of teamwork, when this country was premised on the power, the rights of the individual, on the uniqueness of all of us, that we are different, that we all bring different things. Then there was this, whatever we do, we gotta have fairness. There must be fairness. That’s a code word for class warfare. Fairness is in the liberal dictionary, and it gives them the opportunity, the right, the power to redistribute wealth. That’s what fairness is. …
Actually it wasn’t a State of the Union; it was actually a Class Warfare Rally last night in the House chamber on every network. To put this in perspective. So the magic, the Messiah, the hope and change, all that, it’s gone. The magic, all that stuff, it’s gone. Last night was deadbeat city. It really was.
FACT CHECK: 10 Dubious Claims from Obama’s State of the Union
Lachlan Markay- January 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm
President Obama made a number of questionable statements in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Heritage experts took on some of the policy issues he raised, but we at Scribe thought we would address the simple factual accuracy of 10 of the more outlandish statements from the president.
Quotes are drawn from the president’s prepared remarks.
Claim: “On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen … And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.”
Fact: Using the relevant dates, that number is actually between 33,000 and 63,000.
It appears the president is comparing today’s auto industry employment with numbers from November 2009. The industry – vehicle and parts manufacturers, dealers, wholesalers, and repair and maintenance shops – employs 158,900 more people today than it did then, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But why choose November 2009? When comparing today’s employment with the month the president took office or with the month during which the federal bailout took place, the numbers are not nearly as impressive. Since February 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, the industry has added only 33,700 jobs. Since the following month, when General Motors and Chrysler were bailed out, it has added 63,100 – nearly 100,000 fewer than Obama claimed.
Claim: “It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.”
Fact: Obama has targeted manufacturers with punitive tax hikes.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, it is, on average, 20 percent more expensive to do business in the United States than it is abroad. The reasons: “our policies on taxes, energy, tort, and trade.” American policies cause that imbalance, not subsidies by other countries.
And while Obama touted manufacturing on numerous occasions during his speech, he has backed policies that would deal body blows to American manufacturing. His incessant refrain to raise taxes on high-income individuals by allowing the Bush tax rates to expire would also ensnare more than 70 percent of manufacturers, according to NAM. “President Obama’s call for tax increases on small businesses, individuals and investors is a poison pill for our economy,” noted NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
Claim: “[M]y administration has put more boots on the border than ever before.”
Fact: The vast majority of that increase was proposed and implemented before Obama took office.
Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act in 2004, which called for adding at least 2,000 border patrol agents per year. President Bush followed up by sending another 6,000 agents to the border. When that mandate was fulfilled, there were 20,119 active border patrol agents. As of last summer, there were 20,700.
Claim: “We’re also making it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world. Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. With the bipartisan trade agreements we signed into law, we’re on track to meet that goal ahead of schedule.”
Fact: Obama chose to delay seeking congressional approval of those agreements for more than two years.
Congress waited for the president to send the free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. He “call[ed] on Congress to pass them without delay,” but it was his administration that was delaying consideration of the measures while it worked to shore up political support and tie stimulus-like spending programs to the agreements.
Claim: “American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years.”
Fact: No thanks to Obama.
The president made a similar claim while informing Americans that he would forego the economic windfalls of the Keystone XL pipeline. He did not mention, of course, that the vast majority of that production has occurred on private lands.
On federal land, over which the president has control, oil and gas production is down by 40% under Obama. He has actively pursued policies that limit oil and gas exploration on federal land. There were fewer onshore leases in 2010 than in any year since 1984. The Obama administration held only a single offshore lease sale in 2011.
Claim: “[W]ith only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough.”
Fact: The United States has more recoverable oil than the rest of the non-North American world combined.
The 2 percent statistic is a frequent canard of this administration, but is woefully misleading when used to suggest, as Obama clearly did, that the country only has 2 percent of the world’s oil. In fact, the 2 percent figure refers to the amount of oil that is recoverable at current prices and under lands currently available for development.
According to recent study by the Institute for Energy Research, the United States has more than 1.4 trillion barrels of recoverable oil, more than the rest of the world (excluding North America) combined. That’s enough to fuel every passenger car in the country for 430 years. As IER explains, in what could be a direct response to the president’s claim, “It is merely semantics—not a scientific assessment of what America has the capacity to produce—that allows critics to claim repeatedly that America is running out of energy.”
Furthermore, Obama’s Energy Information Administration, noted Heritage’s David Kreutzer, predicts a steady rise in U.S. reserves even on land currently available for exploration. “It projects that improvements in technology and the economics of extraction, production, and sales actually will lead to a 23.7 percent increase in U.S. reserves,” Kreutzer wrote, “even after extracting billions of barrels of oil in the interim.”
Claim: “[I]t was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock – reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.”
Fact: Government funding only marginally contributed to the development of hydraulic fracturing.
The federal government began spending money on natural gas extraction research during the oil crisis in the late 1970s, noted CNN in its own “fact check.” The methods they tested – which included setting off nuclear weapons underground – were expensive and ineffective. Federal support declined as gas prices went back down. Private companies, not the federal government, developed hydraulic fracturing technology that has allowed gas to be extracted inexpensively and en masse.
Claim: “[W]e don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.”
Fact: Obama just rejected both.
The president killed TransCanada’s application for the Keystone XL pipeline due, he claimed, to insufficient information on its environmental impact. But Obama’s own State Department had already concluded that the pipeline posed “limited adverse environmental impacts during both construction and operation.”
The Keystone XL pipeline would have been an economic windfall, and an environmentally sound project. So the president is correct that we don’t have to choose between a strong economy and environmental stewardship. He seems intent on choosing neither.
Claim: “I ask the Senate to pass a simple rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days.”
Fact: The president has already demonstrated his complete lack of respect for the separation of powers.
After making his four illegal recess appointments to federal office, the president now wants to impose a timeline on the Senate’s advice and consent duties. And while it’s heartening that he will at least pay lip service to those duties, Obama’s insistence that he will pursue his agenda “with or without this Congress” suggests he is ready and willing to yet again spurn the Constitution he is sworn to uphold.
Claim: “Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else – like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.”
Fact: Entitlements drive our national debt, not discretionary spending or tax rates.
Beck: The Real State of the Union
This false dichotomy underscores one of the largest omissions of the State of the Union speech. It is not tax cuts that threaten the “investments” the president describes; it is entitlement spending, especially Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. In less than 10 years, as Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen noted last night, total entitlement spending will cost almost as much as the entire federal budget today, crowding out other programs (such as national defense).
Reforming entitlements would eliminate the need for either cuts to Obama’s favorite federal programs or ruinous tax hikes. But the president neglected to discuss entitlement reform in the State of the Union.
And hey – what about all those promises about no new taxes and lower healthcare costs? And new jobs? Glenn explains how much taxes have really gone up: HERE
And how about those promises to end our involvement in conflicts overseas? Yeah, that’s not going so well either – and conflict is only getting more intense at home: HERE
Glenn wasn’t the only one to talk about what’s going on with the State of the Union! Here are some contributors to “Real News from The Blaze” with their versions of the address.
Also… at the THE DAILY BLADE: Listening to what she fervently hopes is the last State of the Union address by President Barack Hussein Obama, The Stiletto was reminded that there is a reason familiarity breeds contempt. This SOTU was recycled from salvaged material; no new ideas were used in the making of this speech.
According to The Washington Post, “[t]he swagger which Obama rode into office with was back in his address.” And so Obama reprised his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004 (“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America.”) when he said, “What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values.”
But it’s not the first time Obama has repeated this particular flourish. As The New Yorker’s John Cassidy points out, when Obama said he wanted to “reclaim” these “American values,” the verbiage was “was pretty much a straight lift” from a speech he delivered in Osawatomie, KS, last month (“Those aren’t Democratic or Republican values; 1% values or 99% values. They’re American values, and we have to reclaim them.”).
Ditto the part about wanting an economy where “everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules” – except that this time around Obama ditched the Occupy Wall Street lingo, seeing as how members of the group lobbed a smoke bomb over the White House fence last week to protest his crony capitalism and a man linked to the group shot up the joint in what federal prosecutors describe as an assassination attempt.
Similarly, The Associated Press points out that when he called for an end to oil company subsidies it was “at least Obama's third run at stripping subsidies from the oil industry”:
Back when fellow Democrats formed the House and Senate majorities, he sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request. He called again to end such tax breaks in last year's State of the Union speech. And he's now doing it again, despite facing a wall of opposition from Republicans who want to spur domestic oil and gas production and oppose tax increases generally.
Obama’s justification for the so-called “Buffet rule” that anyone who earns $1 million a year – from any source, including interest and investment income – should pay 30 percent or more in taxes (“you can call this class warfare all you want. … Most Americans would call that common sense”) also had a familiar ring, because it was an iteration of a line in a deficit reduction speech Obama gave last September (“This is not class warfare. It's math.”).
2010: "It's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs.
2012: "Colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down."
2010: "And we should continue the work by fixing our broken immigration system."
2011: "I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration."
2012: "I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration."
2010: "We face a deficit of trust."
2012: "I've talked tonight about the deficit of trust . . ."
2010: "We can't wage a perpetual campaign."
2012: "We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign."
When Obama wasn’t repeating himself, he was contradicting himself:
† Obama first said, “As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber,” but towards the end of his speech he threatened to act “[w]ith or without this Congress.”
† About his job creation record he said “[W]e lost four million before our policies were in full effect. … In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs.” The WaPo did the math:
[I]it took a full nine months to run up 4 million in job losses, some eight months after the stimulus was passed into law … Trying to change the focus from his overall job-creation record, the president focuses on private-sector jobs created since the recession ended.
So let’s see … 4 million jobs lost + 3 million jobs created = a deficit of 1 million jobs since Obama took office.
† In one breath, Obama claimed his administration is “making it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world,” and in the next breath he announced the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that “will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China” – the opening salvo in a global trade war with the world’s second largest economy.
† After promising to support “the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country … every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs,” Obama promises to “return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility” he vilified people who risked their savings to invest in fledgling companies that become the next Apple, as well as those who inherit stock in such companies as heirs to the founders (“because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households).”
† Oh, and Obama first claimed that “Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary” and a few minutes later that it’s common sense to ask “a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes” – meaning that Obama doesn’t know the difference between the rate of tax a person pays and the amount. Leaving aside the fact that Buffet’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, is so well compensated that she is in the top 1 percent of income earners in the U.S., she couldn’t possibly pay as much as her boss does in taxes. Even at the lower tax rate he pays on his investment income (17.4 percent to her 35.8 percent), Buffet paid nearly $7 million to the I.R.S. last year, which is 14 years of income for Bosanek.
† Finally, Obama proposed that “the money we’re no longer spending at war” should be used to “pay down our debt” and “do some nation-building right here at home” – by which he means “clean energy tax credits”; “[h]elp manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings”; and “repair America’s infrastructure ... crumbling roads and bridges, [the] power grid, [a] high-speed broadband network.” As The WaPo explains:
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were funded with borrowed money, so what Obama is really asking for is an increase in domestic spending relative to the Pentagon. The United States is still running huge deficits, so none of this imagined savings would “pay down the debt” until the United States once again began running surpluses. Instead, his proposal would continue to add to the debt.
And when Obama wasn’t busy repeating or contradicting himself, he was making all sorts of factual errors.
For instance, just as Obama has deliberately misquoted the bible to suit his purposes, he inverted Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts on the role of government. Obama claimed Lincoln said: “Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.” What Lincoln actually said: “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities.”
That’s not a justification for an overweening Federal government, but an explanation of the limits of Federalism. On the other hand, it only took 3.75 years, but Obama finally got the number of states in the union right (“Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes.”). Yes, it’s been a steep learning curve.
2012 State of the Union and Rebuttal – Updated