Thursday, January 28, 2010

Politifact Does The Work So You Don't Have To

The Pulitzer-Prize winning is simply the easiest, quickest, and best place to go to find out whether the claims that American politicians are making are true, accurate, and honest.

The results on Barack Obama's State of the Union Address are up a mere 3 hours after the teleprompter stopped scrolling at the Capitol Building tonight:
  • "We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families."
    TRUE (link)
    The key word is "working".

  • "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections."
    BARELY TRUE (link)
    Why Alito shook his head.

  • "At the beginning of the last decade ... America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. By the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade."
    MOSTLY TRUE (link)
    Obama (mostly) nails it on the numbers.

  • "We've excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs."
    FALSE (link)
    We found at least four.

  • The "pay-as-you-go law ... was a big reason why we had record surpluses in the 1990s."
    HALF-TRUE (link)
    An economic boom and defense cuts were bigger reasons.

  • "Because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed."
    HALF-TRUE (link)
    It's a projection, and rosier than most.

  • "For the first time in history, my administration posts our White House visitors online."
    MOSTLY TRUE (link)
    Obama's transparency boast requires explanation.

  • On a government spending freeze.
    FULL FLOP (link)
    Obama didn't like a freeze in '08.

Of course, you need to click on the links and go read the reasoning to get a more nuanced rationale behind each verdict.

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