I noted yesterday that FactCheck.org had found President Barack Obama’s claim that Chrysler has paid back its bailout to be completely untrue. Well, the Washington Post’s fact checker has also called out President Obama for lying to the public:
We take no view on whether the administration’s efforts on behalf of the automobile industry were a good or bad thing; that’s a matter for the editorial pages and eventually the historians. But we are interested in the facts the president cited to make his case.
What we found is one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech. Virtually every claim by the president regarding the auto industry needs an asterisk, just like the fine print in that too-good-to-be-true car loan.
According to the White House, Obama is counting only the $8.5 billion loan that he made to Chrysler, not the $4 billion that President George W. Bush extended in his last month in office. However, Obama was not a disinterested observer at the time. According to The Washington Post article on the Bush loan, the incoming president called Bush’s action a “necessary step . . . to help avoid a collapse of our auto industry that would have had devastating consequences for our economy and our workers.”
Under the administration’s math, the U.S. government will receive $11.2 billion back from Chrysler, far more than the $8.5 billion Obama extended.
Remember when President Barack Obama told the nation that Chrysler had paid back bailout financed through taxpayer money? Suprise! It’s not true, says FactCheck.org:
President Barack Obama visited a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, on June 3 to discuss the recent announcement that the Chrysler Group LLC repaid $5.1 billion in outstanding loans. That brought the total repayment, as of May 24, to $10.6 billion — about $1.9 billion less than the $12.5 billion the company borrowed under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
In his speech, the president said:
Obama, June 3: And today, I’m proud to announce the government has been completely repaid for the investments we made under my watch by Chrysler because of the outstanding work that you guys did. Because of you. Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes the American taxpayer from the investment we made during my watch. And by the way, you guys repaid it six years ahead of schedule.
Notice the president — sounding very much like a used-car salesman — used the phrases “during my watch” and “under my watch” when describing the TARP loans as being “completely repaid.” That’s because Chrysler received $4 billion on Jan. 2, 2009, (18 days before Obama took office) and $8.5 billion on April 30 (when Obama was president), according to this Government Accountability Office report (page 9) on TARP.
In its May 24 announcement touting Chrysler’s final repayment, Treasury acknowledged that it is “unlikely to fully recover” about $1.9 billion.
While I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin, the criticism recently levied by Martin Bashir, who hosts an opinion show on MSNBC, that she may somehow be breaking the law by using the American flag for advertising purposes on her bus tour; is ridiculous. Not only that, Bashir’s view of the flag code is hilariously wrong.
And as Reason notes in this quick, new video, MSNBC has had no problem using the flag for advertising purposes for its “Lean Forward” campaign:
On Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama delivered an address to the American people telling us that combat operations in Iraq had come to an end, though the speech also gave him an opportunity to talk about the economy.
In case you missed it, here it is:
I know you’re not shocked to learn that we still have a vast presence in Iraq as some 50,000 “advisors” (ie. troops) remain in the country to assist the Iraqi government and they are still in danger, as President Obama said. But not every thing he said was accurate as the Associated Press pointed out in a fact check after the speech:
Do we spend $1 trillion a year on foreign policy? That was a claim recently made by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). The statement got the attention of the folks over at Politifact. They reviewed it, and they found it to be true:
We consulted numerous defense budget experts on the issue. They all agreed that it depends largely on how one defines “foreign policy.” Changing the definition means changing the programs that one includes in the calculation, which impacts the total amount.
Winslow Wheeler from the Center for Defense Information sent us a table which details the “U.S. security” expenses for 2010. The total comes out to $1021.3 billion, slightly over $1 trillion. The calculation includes the interest on the Department of Defense Retiree Health Care Fund and on debt-financed defense spending.
Cindy Williams, a principal research scientist at the MIT Security Studies Program told us to check out her presentation on historical U.S. defense and foreign affairs spending trends. Looking at projected spending for the year 2010, summing up national defense programs, homeland security programs, and international affairs initiatives totals $841 billion. Add in the VA budget of $125 billion and we get $966 billion. Williams said that she wouldn’t include the interest payments attributable to past debt-financed defense spending in her own analysis, “since there is no good way to judge whether debt accumulated because we spent too much on security, or because we raised too little in taxes.”
In the May 18 special election in Pennsylvania to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D), the DCCC is running a television ad attacking the Republican nominee, Tim Burns, for supporting the fair tax, using the issue to accuse him of supporting higher taxes on groceries, gas and medicine.
The ad refers to an interview Burns gave last year in which he said he “would love to ultimately see the fair tax implemented.” He went on to suggest that pursuing the fair tax “straight out of the gate” would be impractical because it would require overhauling the entire tax code.
A Burns campaign spokesman, Kent Gates, said the DCCC ad “is a complete distortion at best.” Burns issued a statement to The Hill saying he supports “making our tax code flatter and fairer.”
Here is the ad in question:
As you can imagine, there are some issues with some of what President Barack Obama proposed in his speech last night.
A few of the most glaring issues were picked up by the AP. The first being the president’s claim of a deficit neutral bill:
OBAMA: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Period.”
THE FACTS: Though there’s no final plan yet, the White House and congressional Democrats already have shown they’re ready to skirt the no-new-deficits pledge.
House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill actually was deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn’t have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don’t face big annual pay cuts.
Their reasoning was that they already had decided to exempt this “doc fix” from congressional rules that require new programs to be paid for. In other words, it doesn’t have to be paid for because they decided it doesn’t have to be paid for.
The administration also said that since Obama already had included the doctor payment in his 10-year budget proposal, it didn’t have to be counted again.
That aside, the long-term prognosis for costs of the health care legislation has not been good.
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf had this to say in July: “We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”