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Obama’s Report Card

- March 8, 2011

“President Barack Obama Will Visit A Public School That Emphasizes Technology During His Stop In Boston Next Tuesday.” (“Obama To Meet Students, Faculty At Boston School,” The Associated Press3/4/11) 

Report Card

A+

 FOR RHETORIC

“Brilliant. Moving. Eloquent. The Adjectives Used To Describe Obama’s Previous Speeches Sparkled Like Quotes On A Movie Marquee.” (Peter S. Canellos, “Obama’s Speech Problem,” The Boston Globe1/23/11)

  • But When Obama Came To The Issues, He Would Tick Them Off In List Form, Often To Rhythmic Applause.” (Peter S. Canellos, “Obama’s Speech Problem,” The Boston Globe1/23/11)

Chris Matthews On Obama’s State Of The Union Address: “There Was A Music To It.” “Can I talk about the music not the words? Because I think we`re caught up in the lyrics appropriately. So, we`re all literal people. That`s what we do. But there was a music to it tonight.” (MSNBC’s “State Of The Union Analysis,” 1/25/11)

  • MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “Very soft language all the way through. Gene [Robinson] said his language transcended our previous political vocabulary – to me it transcended it so far, that I don’t know what it meant through most of it.” (MSNBC’s “State Of The Union Analysis,” 1/25/11)
  • O’Donnell: “What does ‘out-innovate’ mean? There is no government program that’s being discussed there, so his intent is for us to not know what it means.” (MSNBC’s “State Of The Union Analysis,” 1/25/11) 

A+

FOR BUDGET GIMMICKS 

The President’s “New” Budget Cuts Are Items Obama Has Already Proposed Cutting. “At first glance, this list [of the president’s budget cuts] gives the appearance that they're busy trimming newly-found lard. In fact, though, all of these items are ALREADY in the president's 2011 or 2012 budgets. Nothing new here.” (Chip Reid, “Forget The Machete, Or The Scalpel: Obama Takes A Butter Knife To The Budget,” CBS News, 3/4/11)

  • Or Earmarks He Has Already Pledged To Eliminate. “Many of the other ‘new’ cuts are essentially ’earmarks’ -- specially-targeted spending that the president has already vowed to eliminate.” (Chip Reid, “Forget The Machete, Or The Scalpel: Obama Takes A Butter Knife To The Budget,” CBS News, 3/4/11)

One Program The President Proposed Eliminating Was Already Cut By Gov. Chris Christie Last Year. “And then there's a cut of $280 million for the cancellation of the ‘ARC Tunnel.’ What's that? It's the ‘Access to the Region's Core’ commuter tunnel that was supposed to be built under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey and Manhattan. But it was already cancelled -- last year -- by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.” (Chip Reid, “Forget The Machete, Or The Scalpel: Obama Takes A Butter Knife To The Budget,” CBS News, 3/4/11)

When Given The Chance To Show Leadership With His Own Budget, Obama "Chose Instead To Duck" Behind "The Sort Of Budgetary Gimmicks He Once Derided." "Having been given the chance, the cover and the push by the fiscal commission he created to take bold steps to raise revenue and curb entitlement spending, President Obama, in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal, chose instead to duck. To duck, and to mask some of the ducking with the sort of budgetary gimmicks he once derided."  (Editorial, "President Obama's Budget Kicks The Hard Choices Further Down The Road," The Washington Post, 2/15/11)

F

FOR KEEPING PROMISES

President Barack Obama Promised To Get Serious About Reducing Debt And Deficits. “We've got to spend some money now to pull us out of this recession. But as soon as we're out of this recession, we've got to get serious about starting to live within our means, instead of leaving debt for our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren.” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks At The Caterpillar Plant In East Peoria, Illinois,” The White House, 2/12/09)

  • But Since President Obama Took Office, The National Debt Has Increased By $3.55 Trillion. (Department Of The Treasury, "The Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It," TreasuryDirect.gov, Accessed 3/7/11)

Currently, The Total Debt Of The US Government Is $14.18 Trillion Dollars. (Department Of The Treasury, "The Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It," TreasuryDirect.gov, Accessed 3/7/11)

F

FOR LEADERSHIP

USA TodaySo Far, President Obama Has Passed Up A Golden Opportunity To Provide Leadership By Largely Ignoring The Very Good, And Positively Received, Work Of His Deficit Commission.” (Editorial, “States Serious On Budget, Unlike Washington,” USA Today, 3/6/11)

Even Democrats Are Displaying An “Open Irritation” With Obama’s Inability To Lead. “The open irritation with the White House comes just as Reid announced support for the Republican-led bill which passed in the House Tuesday and funds the government for another two weeks, while slashing $4 billion.” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

“Democratic Senators Are Frustrated With The Low-Profile President Barack Obama Has Kept During The Rancorous Spending Debate Dominating Capitol Hill, Urging Him Tuesday To Take An Assertive Role …” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

  • “At A Closed-Door Session On The Budget, Nine Democratic Senators Spent Parts Of The 30-Minute Meeting Whacking The White House For Not Being More Engaged, According To People Who Were Present.” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

The President's Budget "Would Do Little To Improve The Immediate Budget Outlook." "Obama's deficit-reduction strategies would do little to improve the immediate budget outlook. Obama projects that the deficit will hit a record $1.6 trillion this year - which, at nearly 11 percent of the economy, would be the largest since World War II." (Lori Montgomery, "Obama To Offer $3.7 Trillion Budget Blueprint; Deficit To Hit $1.6 Trillion This Year," The Washington Post2/14/11)

  • "Obama's Budget Makes Clear That He Will Not Take The Lead In That Debate: It Contains No Specific Recommendations For Tax Or Entitlement Reform." (Lori Montgomery, "Obama To Offer $3.7 Trillion Budget Blueprint; Deficit To Hit $1.6 Trillion This Year," The Washington Post2/14/11)

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank: "In His New Budget, Obama Kicks The Can One More Time." (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "In His New Budget, Obama Kicks The Can One More Time," The Washington Post, 2/15/11)

F

FOR BASIC MATH

The White House Claimed Obama’s Budget Did Not Add To The National Debt. ABC's JAKE TAPPER:  "Just to button this, you think that, "We will not be adding more to the national debt," is a statement that stands to scrutiny?" WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY:  "Absolutely, absolutely." (Jake Tapper, "Borrowing To Pay Interest On A Debt Isn't Creating Debt?: Today's Q's For O's WH - 2/16/2011," ABC's "Political Punch" Blog, 2/16/11)
 

  • Tapper: "If I Borrow Money From You To Pay Off The Interest For The Debt I Owe To Geoff, Am I Not Adding To My Debt?" (Jake Tapper, "Borrowing To Pay Interest On A Debt Isn't Creating Debt?: Today's Q's For O's WH - 2/16/2011," ABC's "Political Punch" Blog, 2/16/11)

"President Barack Obama's Claim Tuesday That His Proposed Budget Would Stop Adding To The National Debt Is Wrong -- And Is Proved Wrong In His Own Budget." (Steven Thomma, "Obama Says He'd Stop Adding To Debt, But That's Not True," McClatchy Newspapers, 2/15/11)

  • Robert Bixby, Director Of The Non-Partisan Concord Coalition, On Obama's Claim: "It's Not True." "What's that mean about Obama's statement Tuesday? 'It's not true,' said Robert Bixby, the director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group." (Steven Thomma, "Obama Says He'd Stop Adding To Debt, But That's Not True," McClatchy Newspapers, 2/15/11)
  • Obama's Budget Shows National Debt Would Grow "Every Year" And Almost Double By FY 2021. "However, his budget shows that the gross national debt would continue to rise every year under his proposal, almost doubling from $13.5 trillion last year to $26.3 trillion in fiscal 2021." (Steven Thomma, "Obama Says He'd Stop Adding To Debt, But That's Not True," McClatchy Newspapers, 2/15/11)

PolitiFact Rated Obama's Claim That His Budget Would Not Add To The Debt As FALSE.  POLITIFACT: "We think the president's statement is likely to mislead a lot of Americans about what his budget would do. So we rate Obama's statement False." ("Barack Obama Says White House Budget Would Not Add To The Debt Within A Few Years," St. Petersburg Times' "PolitiFact," 2/15/11)


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