Thursday, January 26, 2012

SOTU: The Socialist-In-Chief Contradicts Himself

Next up we have a host of examples of where the Socialist-In-Chief directly contradicts himself:

Heritage, part 1
“America is back,” proclaimed the President, who had just boasted of his ignominious troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq. “Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

But wait. Wasn’t it President Obama who came into office touting a more “humble” American foreign policy, who prided himself on “leading from behind in the Middle East,” and who has been taken to the cleaners by Russian arms-control negotiators? What’s more, President Obama, who once publicly doubted America’s claims to exceptionalism, declared in his speech tonight that America “remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs—and as long as I’m President, I intend to keep it that way.”

In keeping with the surreal quality of these claims, the President also boasted that his proposed draconian cuts in U.S. military spending “ensures we maintain the finest military in the world, while saving nearly half a trillion dollars in our budget.” What the President’s proposal does, of course, is undermine the finest military in the world rather than maintain it.
Heritage, part 2
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]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.

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.

As I've said before, you know it's a bad speech when even the AP doesn't swallow it:

OBAMA: "We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that's rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that's never been more promising."

THE FACTS: This is 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: "Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last - an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values."

THE FACTS: Economists do see manufacturing growth as a necessary component of any U.S. recovery. U.S. manufacturing output climbed 0.9 percent in December, the biggest gain since December 2010. Yet Obama's apparent vision of a nation once again propelled by manufacturing - a vision shared by many Republicans - may already have slipped into the past.

Over generations, the economy has become ever more driven by services; not since 1975 has the U.S. had a surplus in merchandise trade, which covers trade in goods, including manufactured and farm goods. About 90 percent of American workers are employed in the service sector, a profound shift in the nature of the workforce over many decades.

The overall trade deficit through the first 11 months of 2011 ran at an annual rate of nearly $600 billion, up almost 12 percent from the year before.
OBAMA: "Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households."

THE FACTS: It's true that a minority of millionaires pay a lower tax rate than some lower-income people. On average, though, wealthy people pay taxes at a much higher rate than middle-income taxpayers.

Obama's claim comes from a Congressional Research Service report that compared federal taxes paid by people making less than $100,000 with those paid by people making more than $1 million. About 10 percent of families with incomes under $100,000 paid more than 26.5 percent in federal income, payroll and corporate taxes. And about a quarter of millionaire taxpayers paid a rate lower than that.
Only a Leftist liberal like Barack Obama can both copy and contradict himself so extraordinarily in the same speech as you've just seen.  But, as the saying goes, facts are stubborn things:

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