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All Talk, No Walk

- April 18, 2011

Obama Will Be Pitching His Rhetoric-Laden Deficit Speech Today, But He Is Still Missing A Credible Plan To Tackle Our Debt

“On Tuesday, Obama Will Participate In A Town Hall In Virginia To Discuss His Plans To Reduce The Deficit.”  (Ian Swanson, “Obama Will Use Recess To Seize Momentum In 2012 Spending Fight,” The Hill’s “Healthwatch” Blog, 4/18/11)

WHILE OBAMA KICKS OFF HIS CAMPAIGN TOUR, STANDARD & POOR’S IS WARNING THAT THE U.S. NEEDS A PLAN TO REIN IN OUR DEBT

“S&P Warns: Fix The Deficit, Or Else.” (Jacob Goldstein, “S&P Warns: Fix The Deficit, Or Else,” NPR’s “Planet Money” Blog, 4/18/11)

The S&P Says There’s A “One-In-Three” Chance That The U.S.’s Rating Will Be Downgraded Because The U.S. Doesn’t Have a Plan To Reduce The Debt. “‘More than two years after the beginning of the recent crisis, U.S. policy makers have still not agreed on how to reverse recent fiscal deterioration or address longer-term fiscal pressures,’ S&P credit analyst Nikola G. Swann said. He said the rating agency puts the chance of a U.S. downgrade within two years at least one-in-three.” (Matt Jarzemsky, “S&P Cuts U.S. Ratings Outlook To Negative,” The Wall Street Journal4/18/11)

“Standard & Poor's, A Big Ratings Agency, Is Getting Nervous About The United States' Ability To Pay Its Debt.” (Jacob Goldstein, “S&P Warns: Fix The Deficit, Or Else,” NPR’s “Planet Money” Blog, 4/18/11)

  • “This Is A Big Deal.” “The agency basically says, you guys better work out some kind of deal in the next year or two. Because if you don't, there will be other countries that are a safer bet to lend money to. This is a big deal.” (Jacob Goldstein, “S&P Warns: Fix The Deficit, Or Else,” NPR’s “Planet Money” Blog, 4/18/11)

BUT OBAMA’S DEFICIT SPEECH IS LACKING THE SPECIFICS NECESSARY TO REIN IN GOVERNMENT SPENDING

FactCheck.org Says That Obama’s Plan Is “Unclear” About How It Would Control Medicare Spending. “Of course, Obama agrees that the government has to find ways to curb Medicare spending. But it’s unclear what exactly those methods would be.” (Lori Robertson, Eugene Kiely, and D’Angelo Gore, “FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech,” Factcheck.org, 4/15/11)

Obama’s Second Proposal “Falls Short Of Targets Set By His Deficit Commission And House Republicans.” “President Obama unveiled a framework Wednesday to reduce borrowing over the next 12 years by $4 trillion — a goal that falls short of targets set by his deficit commission and House Republicans — and called for a new congressional commission to help develop a plan to get there.” (“Breaking News Alert: Obama Unveils Plan To Reduce Borrowing By $4 Trillion Over The Next 12 Years,” The Washington Post, 4/13/11)

CBS News’ Mark Knoller: “Even if every provision of President Obama's deficit reduction plan is enacted - and he concedes it won't be - there still won't be a balanced budget on the horizon. And the National Debt will continue to expand by trillions of dollars.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Deficit Reduction Plan Leaves Deficits,”CBS News, 4/13/11)

  • Knoller: “The Obama plan is designed to reduce deficit spending over the next 12 years by $4 trillion dollars. If every penny of that $4 trillion in deficits is eliminated, the government's own budget projections show that trillions of dollars more in deficits would remain in place.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Deficit Reduction Plan Leaves Deficits,” CBS News, 4/13/11)

The Chicago Tribune: Obama’s Plan Is The “Go-Slower Approach.” “We aren't convinced that a national treasury so mired in debt — every day, we spend another $4 billion in borrowed money — can wait for Obama's go-slower approach. Rather than lower the bar for Congress, it should stay where Republicans have set it: $6 trillion, 10 years.” (Editorial, “Obama Gets In The Game,” Chicago Tribune, 4/13/11)

INSTEAD HIS SPEECH LAYS ON A THICK LAYER OF DISINFORMATION,

DEMAGOGUERY, AND FALSE ACCUSATIONS

Over Half Of The Savings From Obama’s New Deficit “Plan” Come From Tax Increases, Not One-Third As The President Claimed. “So of the 3.4 percentage points of savings, more than half — 1.9 points — comes from taxes. That’s 56 percent, not the one-third or one-quarter that Obama was talking about. And I am assuming that Goldman is using the White House’s rosier economic forecasts when evaluating Obama’s plan.” (James Pethokoukis, “Obama’s New Plan May Actually Rely 60 Percent On Tax Increases,” Reuters, 4/15/11)

FactCheck.org: “[President Obama] Repeated A Deceptive Talking Point That The New Health Care Law Will Reduce The Deficit By $1 Trillion.” (Lori Robertson, Eugene Kiely, and D’Angelo Gore, “FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech,” Factcheck.org, 4/15/11)

FactCheck.org: President Obama Made False Claims About How The GOP Plan Will Impact Seniors And Their Ability To Obtain Health Insurance. “Obama went on to say that seniors wouldn’t get ‘guaranteed health care’ and if the ‘voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck -– you’re on your own.’ It’s false to say seniors would be in the ‘open marketplace.’ Instead, they would buy coverage through the Medicare exchange Ryan envisions. And as we said, the private insurance companies in the exchange would be required to cover any eligible senior who wanted insurance.” (Lori Robertson, Eugene Kiely, and D’Angelo Gore, “FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech,” Factcheck.org, 4/15/11)

  • “Saying The Plan Throws The Elderly To ‘The Mercy Of The Insurance Industry’ Is An Exaggeration And Ignores Elements Of The Plan That Require Insurance Companies To Cover All Seniors And To Charge The Same Rate Based On Age.” (Lori Robertson, Eugene Kiely, and D’Angelo Gore, “FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech,” Factcheck.org, 4/15/11)

FactCheck.org: The President’s Claim That Children Would Be Left To “Fend For Themselves … Is An Exaggeration.”  “He said ‘poor children,’ ‘children with autism’ and ‘kids with disabilities’ would be left ‘to fend for themselves.’ That, too, is an exaggeration. The GOP says states would have ‘freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations.’ It doesn’t bar states from covering those children.” (Lori Robertson, Eugene Kiely, and D’Angelo Gore, “FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech,” Factcheck.org, 4/15/11)

PolitiFact Rated Democratic Claims That The GOP Plan Abolishes Medicare As “False.”  “Our colleagues at PolitiFact Wisconsin looked into a claim about the Ryan plan from MoveOn.org, the left-leaning political advocacy group. In an e-mail to its members, MoveOn.org asserted:  ‘Here's the most important thing you need to know about the Republicans' new budget plan: It abolishes Medicare within 10 years.’ To be sure, the Ryan plan would change Medicare significantly starting in 2022. But for those who turn 65 before then, there would be no changes at all, even after 2022. And for the others, Medicare would change -- dramatically -- but it would still exist. They rated MoveOn.org's claim false.” (Robert Farley, “Sorting Out The Facts On The Republican Budget Blueprint,” Politifact, 4/15/11)


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