Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fact Check & Obama's Speech

(Fact Check Source)

President Obama's first speech to a joint session of Congress was stuffed with signals about the new direction his budget will take and meant-to-be reassuring words about the economy. But it was also peppered with exaggerations and factual misstatements.

  • He said "we import more oil today than ever before." That's untrue. Imports peaked in 2005 and are substantially lower today.

  • He claimed his mortgage aid plan would help "responsible" buyers but not those who borrowed beyond their means. But even prominent defenders of the program including Fed Chairman Bernanke and FDIC chief Bair concede foolish borrowers will be aided, too.

  • He said the high cost of health care "causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds." That's at least double the true figure.

  • He flubbed two facts about American history. The U.S. did not invent the automobile, and the transcontinental railroad was not completed until years after the Civil War, not during it.

  • He claimed that his stimulus plan "prevented the layoffs" of 57 police officers in Minneapolis. In fact, it's far more complicated than that, and other factors are also helping to save police jobs.
The president also repeated some strained claims we've critiqued before.