AP Fact Check: About Obama's "Freeze Spending While Increasing Spending" Rhetoric...

Posted: Jan 26, 2011 10:51 AM
Wow.  Frank Luntz's focus group participants weren't the only ones deeply skeptical of President Obama's pledges of fiscal discipline.  Associated Press fact-checkers ran the numbers on Obama's rhetoric and found it...unconvincing:

The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.

Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed "we redouble these efforts." He coupled this with a call to "freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years."

But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.

For example, he said he wants to eliminate "billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies." Yet he made a similar proposal last year that went nowhere. He sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request, even though Democrats were then in charge of both houses of Congress.

Seriously, read the whole thing.  They demolish a series of Obama's half-truths and attempts at misdirection.  Kudos to the AP on this one.  They really put the president through the ringer.

Last night, I tweeted that the president's speech seemed uncharacteristically flat and dull.  It's becoming clear that average viewers (see my previous post) and eagle-eyed fact checkers also found it lacking in substance and believability.  All in all, not a great night for the president.

UPDATE Surprise! Obama's SOTU proposals will cost an additional $20 Billion, and will raise taxes:

President Obama's agenda spelled out in his well-received State of the Union address would boost spending an additional $20 billion and lead to higher taxes, according to a line-by-line analysis from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.