Obama statements need checking
Another State of the Union address by President Barack Obama and another need to check his statements and comments. First of all, a look at some of the claims in the State of the Union and how they fit with the facts:
On job creation, President Obama said that "after years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over 6 million new jobs."
That’s fuzzy math at best. Obama cooks the books from not when he took office, but from the point in his first term when job losses were the highest. By doing this, he ignores the 5 million-plus jobs that were lost on his watch up to that point.
On fuel-efficient cars, President Obama told America that "We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas."
Not so fast, Mr. President. That won’t happen for another 12 years.
On health care, President Obama told America that "already the Affordable Care Act is helping to reduce the growth of health care costs."
Well, Mr. President, the jury is still out on whether Obama’s health care overhaul will reduce the growth of health care costs. It’s true that cost increases have eased, but many experts say that’s due to the sluggish economy, not to the health care law, whose main provisions are not yet fully in effect.
On immigration reform, President Obama told America that "real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship — a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally."
Well, Mr. President, your seemingly stern admonition that illegal immigrants must go to the back of the line doesn’t appear to have much practical effect. Maybe you as president didn’t know everyone who joins a line; any line, whether it is at the local motor vehicle office or for citizenship, starts at the back of a line.
On the subject of early childhood learning, President Obama told America, "Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road ... And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. ... Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than $7 later on — by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime."
Wait a minute, Mr. President, several studies have shown that indeed, Head Start graduates are more likely to complete high school than their at-risk peers who don’t participate in the program. While a recent study by your Department of Health and Human Services found big vocabulary and social development gains for at-risk students in pre-kindergarten programs, it also found those effects largely faded by the time pupils reached third grade. No explanation was given as to why the kids saw a drop-off in performance nor did it predict how they would fare as they aged.
On the subject of climate change, President Obama stated, "I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy."
One minute, Mr. President, it was you, sir, who failed to get a global warming bill through Congress when both Houses were controlled by Democrats in 2010.