From Pine View Farm

Skate of the Union 0

I didn’t watch the speech, as I promised here.

Reading the post mortems, I can say quite certainly I didn’t miss a thing.

From Fact Check dot org:

Bush pretty much stuck to the facts in his final State of the Union address. But he chose his facts carefully and didn’t always tell the whole story (and this surprises us how?–ed.)

  • He correctly noted that the number of jobs has grown steadily for a record 52 straight months. But the number of jobs gained is a fraction of the gains made during Bill Clinton’s years, and wage gains have been eaten up by inflation.
  • He claimed his proposal to give tax deductions for those who buy their own health insurance will “put private coverage within reach for millions.” Some say that’s true, but other experts doubt it. And even the most optimistic say his plan would still leave the large majority of the uninsured without any coverage.
  • He said “we” foiled a terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners over the Atlantic, but the plot was actually uncovered by the British, as Bush himself said in last year’s State of the Union address.
  • He talked tough about pork-barrel spending, saying he’d issue an executive order for agencies to ignore more Congressional “earmarks.” But he delayed the effect until November, rather than making it effective with the current fiscal year.

On other matters, Bush noted that he has begun bringing troops home from Iraq, which is true, though troop levels have been reduced by only a few thousand since the peak of the surge. He said more than 80,000 Iraqis are fighting terrorists, a figure that includes at least 60,000 “concerned local citizens” who are being paid by the U.S. He was mostly correct in describing progress in test scores since his No Child Left Behind Act was passed, but he overlooked some recent backsliding in reading scores and the fact that some test scores were on an upward trend before the new law went into effect.


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