Fact-Checking Obama’s Speech: His Words Ring Hollow

A look at a few of Obama’s statements from his speech last night. Clearly, as he did with his comments on the deficit, he is trying to lay blame at someone else’s feet if the economy gets worse, which under his policies, it most certainly will.

Here they are:

OBAMA: “We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages. It’s a plan that won’t help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values.”

THE FACTS: If the administration has come up with a way to ensure money only goes to those who got in honest trouble, it hasn’t said so.

Defending the program Tuesday at a Senate hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it’s important to save those who made bad calls, for the greater good. He likened it to calling the fire department to put out a blaze caused by someone smoking in bed.

“I think the smart way to deal with a situation like that is to put out the fire, save him from his own consequences of his own action but then, going forward, enact penalties and set tougher rules about smoking in bed.”

Similarly, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggested this month it’s not likely aid will be denied to all homeowners who overstated their income or assets to get a mortgage they couldn’t afford.

“I think it’s just simply impractical to try to do a forensic analysis of each and every one of these delinquent loans,” Sheila Bair told National Public Radio.

In other words, you and I will be working to pay off mortgages for people like Peggy The Moocher.

OBAMA: “And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”

THE FACTS: Depends what your definition of automobiles, is. According to the Library of Congress, the inventor of the first true automobile was probably Germany’s Karl Benz, who created the first auto powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine, in 1885 or 1886. In the U.S., Charles Duryea tested what library researchers called the first successful gas-powered car in 1893. Nobody disputes that Henry Ford created the first assembly line that made cars affordable.

It’s hard to believe that any Ivy League institution would be proud of an alumnus who can’t get the facts of history straight.

OBAMA: “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before.”

THE FACTS: Oil imports peaked in 2005 at just over 5 billion barrels, and have been declining slightly since. The figure in 2007 was 4.9 billion barrels, or about 58 percent of total consumption. The nation is on pace this year to import 4.7 billion barrels, and government projections are for imports to hold steady or decrease a bit over the next two decades.

Again, scare tactics from the One who wanted to give us “hope and change.” What he is basically saying here is that he wants us all to pony up more money for unproven technologies and make his environmentalist friends and lobbyists rich in the process.

OBAMA: “We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade.”

THE FACTS: Although 10-year projections are common in government, they don’t mean much. And at times, they are a way for a president to pass on the most painful steps to his successor, by putting off big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House.

Obama only has a real say on spending during the four years of his term. He may not be president after that and he certainly won’t be 10 years from now.

And don’t forget that the price tag of the porkulus package is over $1.3 trillion. If Obama’s above statement were true, then there is no deficit right now and our children and grandchildren won’t have to work to pay off our debt. I don’t know of a single reputable economist who would agree with that. Certainly, the Congressional Budget Office does not agree with that assessment since they are predicting that our economy will shrink as a result of the porkulus/spendulus bill.

OBAMA: “Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.”

THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn’t only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.

And here you have probably the most glaring example of Obama trying to pass the buck. I can tell you one set of regulations that wasn’t gutted: those regulations in the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act that forced banks to make bad loans to risky home buyers and ultimately resulted in the credit crisis we are in today. Obama actually tells a bold-faced lie here by making it seem like lenders did this voluntarily. Sorry, but it was the 1977 CRA (passed and signed into law by Democrats) that is to blame, not the Republicans.

OBAMA: “In this budget, we will end education programs that don’t work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don’t need them. We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use. We will root out the waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn’t make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.”

THE FACTS: First, his budget does not accomplish any of that. It only proposes those steps. That’s all a president can do, because control over spending rests with Congress. Obama’s proposals here are a wish list and some items, including corporate tax increases and cuts in agricultural aid, will be a tough sale in Congress.

Second, waste, fraud and abuse are routinely targeted by presidents who later find that the savings realized seldom amount to significant sums. Programs that a president might consider wasteful have staunch defenders in Congress who have fought off similar efforts in the past.

This also shows Obama’s ignorance on economic matters. Companies do not outsource jobs because the American tax system gives them a break, they outsource them because the tax system already makes it more expensive to hire American than it does to ship the jobs offshore. If our corporate tax code were not so suffocating, fewer jobs would get shipped overseas. Obama’s plans will ensure that more jobs go outside of the United States.

OBAMA: “Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.”

THE FACTS: While the president’s stimulus package includes billions in aid for renewable energy and conservation, his goal is unlikely to be achieved through the recovery plan alone.

In 2007, the U.S. produced 8.4 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including hydroelectric dams, solar panels and windmills. Under the status quo, the Energy Department says, it will take more than two decades to boost that figure to 12.5 percent.

And it will cost more to implement and continue to run these energy production facilities than it costs to use the proven technologies we already have. Plus, you have hypocrits like Ted Kennedy opposing windmills near their vacation homes because it somehow disrupts their view.

OBAMA: “Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.”

THE FACTS: This is a recurrent Obama formulation. But job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers.

The president’s own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, “It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error.”

It also means they will have wiggle room to blame others when their own policies come up severely short.

Obama’s entire speech was nothing more than window dressing. He and the Democrats are looking for a pipe dream that simply will not come true. Government cannot magically create jobs and energy sources have these nagging little things like the laws of physics to contend with. Further, taxpayers will not appreciate having to bail out people like Peggy the Moocher and other malcontents waiting for a welfare handout while the rest of us actually get off of our rears and at least try to do work.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

FACT CHECK: Obama’s Words On Home Aid Ring Hollow
Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn (Tom Raum, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Dina Cappiello also contributed)
Associated press via TownHall.com
February 25, 2009

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Time For Americans To Say “NO!”

Laura Hollis began her most recent column with a quote from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Would you like to read it? Here it is:

I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win – and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind … The word [is] ‘No.’”

– Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Why is this so significant? Because we are on our way to a disaster known as socialism, against our wills apprently. And it is looking like the only way we can forstall this transition is to say “No.”

How hard is it to say “No?” Pretty hard for most people. Mostly for two reasons: 1) they are not fully informed about what is being done in their name and 2) they rely on the old saying “to get along you have to go along.” Wrong. Going along means simply that you have become a sheep and are willing to be led around by the nose, even if it means going in a direction that you don’t want to go.

The current economic situation underscores my point. The American taxpayer did not cause any of the current conditions. Government did beginning with the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. But, the taxpayer is being made to pay for it with things like the recent $1.3 trillion pork-spending package that more than doubled our deficit. And Obama and his socialist allies in Congress are betting on the “go along to get along” mentality to get away with squandering our children’s and grandchildren’s futures without being called to account on it.

This is where we say “No!”

Read on:

We are having hundreds of billions of our hard-earned tax dollars taken from us and given to the same organizations that got us in this mess, under the advice and counsel of the same irresponsible and deceitful politicians like Barney Frank and others who ignored warnings about the bad lending practices in the first place. And those same politicians now see fit to lecture us about patriotism and fiscal responsibility? This is a travesty so appalling that it should be prompting protests in the streets.

As hardworking, tax-paying Americans have watched this Obamadrama play out, they have become increasingly distressed, saying, “But what do we do?”

We start saying NO. Obama’s campaign mantra was “Yes, we can.” Here’s the new mantra for the American taxpayer: “No, we won’t.”

And we keep saying “No” right up to the 2010 elections and beyond. We let our government know that we will not go quietly into the night and we will not allow them to destory the American Dream with socialist policies that have failed every single time they were implemented. They failed in the former Soniet Union, they failed in Eastern Europe, they failed in Western Europe and they will fail here too. History is replete with such lessons and we, the people, must remind the government of such lessons by saying “No.”

We also need to let the elitists in Congress know that we see through their hypocrisy:

More:

Where’s the “shared sacrifice” if you’re cutting back to make your mortgage payment, and the government hits you up to pay some stranger’s mortgage as well? And it’s hard to call for belt-tightening when Congress clamors to sign the bill within hours of receiving it so that Nancy Pelosi can jet off to Rome for a private audience with the Pope, and President Obama can ride a taxpayer-funded 747 back to Chicago to take Michelle out for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. (What, there aren’t any restaurants in D.C.?)

You see, the elistes like Obama and Pelosi believe that they are entitled to whatever they want and we, the plebian class, must pay for it, even if it means taking resources away from our own families.

But, we shouldn’t have to take it, and we won’t.

You take a page out of the civil rights playbook. Protest. Picket. Storm your representatives’ offices. Use the legal system. Go straight to your county or federal courthouse and file for a temporary restraining order, and then a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the law or regulation. If you are fined, do not pay it. Make the government defend civil litigation in every city and every state across the country. The government cannot possibly do this, anymore than it can possibly shut down every single Christian, conservative, right-wing, Republican or Libertarian show and/or station in the country. More to the point, they won’t want the country to see them try. If you think Santelli’s rant generated public outrage, imagine how the public would react to footage of government agents coming into your studio or station and forcing you to shut down. Imagine that happening all over the country.

When blacks marched peacefully through the streets of the south in the 1960s, and they had the water hoses turned on them, and attack dogs unleashed on them, the rest of America saw those governments for what they were. This government is depending upon our complicity in its takeover.

Not anymore. This time, we are saying, “No.”

You can access the complete column on-line here:

The Taxpayers’ Mantra: No We Won’t
Laura Hollis
TownHall.com
February 24, 2009

The Big Media Lie: Mortgage Crisis Is Bush’s Fault

Bush derangement syndrome goes far beyond January 20, 2009. Remember that day? When Democrats very disrespectfully and derisively sang “Nan-na-na-na! Hey! Hey! Good-bye!” when the outgoing President and Vice-President came out? Well, a part of that reason is because Old Media would cherry-pick information that was politically expedient for Democrats and use that limited information to write stories for print. In other words, Old Media would deliberately withhold facts that might have painted the Bush Administration in a positive light.

Fortunately, the Internet does not have a “memory hole” like the one used in George Orwell’s novel 1984.

One of the lies that Old Media is perpetuating, and Barack Obama is trying to underscore in order to sell his $100 million mortgage bailout plan, is that the current housing mortgage crisis is the fault of George W. Bush. That is simply not true. The current mortgage crisis has its roots in the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act.

In fact, it is the uber-liberal New York Times that debunks this lie with its own archive of stories. In fact, it validates my earlier blog entry about how Barney Frank lied about the who was responsible for the collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

From a New York Times article that was published September 11, 2003:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.

Clearly, the Bush Administration knew that there was a big problem with Freddie and Fannie. The New York Times proves this with the above referenced article.

So, why didn’t anything get done about it? Because the Democrats, that is the same Democrats who are falsely blaming Bush, stopped it. In fact, the Democrats were saying that there was nothing wrong with Freddie and Fannie while they were failing.

Read this:

Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

“These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

“I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Let me repeat what Barney Frank told the New York Times in 2003: “These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis.” He said this at a time when the Bush Administration was trying to fix the system and avoid the very problem we are facing today! And Barney Frank is one of those trying to Blame Bush!

But, Old Media will never admit the truth. Instead, despite what the archival evidence is, Old Media would rather repeat the lie.

You can access the original New York Times article on-line here:

New Agency Proposed To Oversee Freddie Mac And Fannie Mae
Stephen Labaton
New York Times
September 11, 2003

It’s Time To Call The Democrats On Their Lies And Kill The Community Reinvestment Act

What caused the credit crisis that came to national attention in September of this year? Certainly a number of factors all contributed, just as a number of factors would ultimately contribute to the collapse of a bridge. But any such collapse can be traced back to a single defective component. For a bridge, it may be a lynch pin or a truss cross-member. For the credit markets, it is the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA).

Investor’s Business Daily says this bluntly in their November 28th Editorial & Opinion piece. But they also expose the reasons why the Democrats want nothing to do with repealing the CRA or changing it in anyway. From their editorial:

The Community Reinvestment Act is to blame for the financial crisis, but it so powerfully serves Democrats’ interests that they’ll do anything to protect it — including revising history.

The CRA coerces banks into making loans based on political correctness, and little else, to people who can’t afford them. Enforced like never before by the Clinton administration, the regulation destroyed credit standards across the mortgage industry, created the subprime market, and caused the housing bubble that has now burst and left us with the worst housing and banking crises since the Great Depression.

The CRA should be abolished, along with the government-sponsored enterprises that fueled the secondary market for subprimes — under pressure from Clinton, who ordered HUD to set quotas for “affirmative action” lending at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But powerful Democrats in Washington want to protect the act — along with Fannie and Freddie — and spin the subprime scandal as the result of too little regulation, not too much.

The Dems are repeating the lie that the subprime lending crisis was a result of de-regulation. That is simply not true and anyone with even the most basic understanding of economics can see this. The truth is that it was over-regulation that brought us to the current state of affairs.

More:

Repealing or weakening the CRA would be a mistake,” warns Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who argues that the CRA should be strengthened.

Dodd, the top recipient of Fannie donations and himself a beneficiary of a sweetheart mortgage brokered by a subprime lender, recently invited one of Clinton’s top enforcers of the CRA to testify.

“The notion that CRA has caused this problem is a pernicious thought,” said former Comptroller of the Currency Gene Ludwig. “These are not truthful statements. The CRA has helped to create a better and sounder world for finance, not the opposite.”

Dead wrong. But the mainstream media believe it, and have attacked those, including this paper, who dare to tell the truth about the crisis. Already the debacle has erased $13 trillion in wealth, while putting taxpayers on the hook for up to $8 trillion in bailouts.

Yep. Sen. Dodd sure makes aot of money off of this mess. It is pretty clear why he wants to keep the CRA in place as well as lie about what the CRA is really doing to the economy.

How many more lies are going to come out of the Democrats’ collective mouth before we voters see the truth and hold the libs accountable for what they are doing?

Here is the true history of the CRA mess versus the lies the Democrats are trying to get everyone to believe:

Fact: The 1977 law was only lightly enforced until Clinton added teeth to it in 1994 and launched an anti-redlining campaign against banks, led by Ludwig, Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros (and later Andrew Cuomo) and Attorney General Janet Reno that lasted into this decade.

Minority homeownership rates, which had been flat, began a steep rise in 1995, and home prices soon followed, stoked by easier lending. Numerous bank officials complain that they still feel pressured by CRA regulators to make inner-city loans they know are at great risk of defaulting.

Myth: The CRA could not have led to financial Armageddon, because the overwhelming share of subprime mortgages came from lenders that were not banks and not regulated by the CRA.

Fact: Nearly 4 in 10 subprime loans between 2004 and 2007 were made by CRA-covered banks such as Washington Mutual and IndyMac. And that doesn’t include loans made by subprime lenders owned by banks, which were in effect covered by the CRA.

Myth: The CRA did not force anyone to do subprime loans or take excessive risks.

Fact: Subprime loans were the vehicle banks used to satisfy CRA compliance, and Clinton and his regulators encouraged their use. Before Clinton took office, subprimes were virtually unheard of. By the time he left, they made up more than 9% of the market for mortgage originations. Today they’re 20%.

Myth: Greedy investment bankers, who securitized and sold subprime mortgages, drove us to the credit crisis, not government.

Fact: Clinton’s regulatory policies led to the creation of this new risk on Wall Street. His CRA amendments created the subprime market, and only after he pressured Fannie and Freddie to socialize the risk and guarantee the profit from the subprime loans did Wall Street get involved in a big way.

Is somebody actually doing something about this? Yes. In the House of Representatives, there are two bills that address these problems. First, HR 7264 would repeal the CRA. Second, HR 7094 would dissolve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Write your Representatives and ask them to support these bills.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Stop Covering Up And Kill The CRA
Investor’s Business Daily
November 28, 2008