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AP’s Fact Check of Obama’s Speech: “Sleight-of-hand accounting”

John on September 9, 2011 at 1:31 am

The White House won’t be happy about this fact check by Calvin Woodward:

President Barack Obama’s promise Thursday that everything in his jobs plan will be paid for rests on highly iffy propositions.

It will only be paid for if a committee he can’t control does his bidding, if Congress puts that into law and if leaders in the future — the ones who will feel the fiscal pinch of his proposals — don’t roll it back.

Underscoring the gravity of the nation’s high employment rate, Obama chose a joint session of Congress, normally reserved for a State of the Union speech, to lay out his proposals. But if the moment was extraordinary, the plan he presented was conventional Washington rhetoric in one respect: It employs sleight-of-hand accounting.

From there it gets worse for the President:

Obama did not spell out exactly how he would pay for the measures contained in his nearly $450 billion American Jobs Act but said he would send his proposed specifics in a week to the new congressional supercommittee charged with finding budget savings. White House aides suggested that new deficit spending in the near-term to try to promote job creation would be paid for in the future — the “out years,” in legislative jargon — but they did not specify what would be cut or what revenues they would use.

Essentially, the jobs plan is an IOU from a president and lawmakers who may not even be in office down the road when the bills come due.

Read the rest. It’s a tonic for the hagiography going on over at Huff Post.

[HT: Pradeep Shanker on Google+]

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