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Obama at State of the Union 2010

Watching speeches make me nervous, so I don’t watch them.  Never have.  Not campaign speeches, not award acceptance speeches, not State of the Union speeches by President Obama.  I prefer to read speeches the next day when the drama and excitement has worn off and the content of the words is all that matters.  So that is what I did with last nights speech.  And it made me realize another reason I don’t like watching speeches… inaccuracies, or more precisely misstatements.  Here’s one from last night:

And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.

I am curious what tax breaks we give to companies that ship jobs overseas?  Or is Obama simply referring to the savings that these companies have because they do work overseas, and wants to convert those savings into tax breaks for keeping workers here?  Either way it is a wrong statement, one that implicitly vilifies companies trying to lower their bottom line in a rational and financially sound way, and at the same time makes it seem like higher taxes (the sounding call of the democratic party) were someone else’s idea.

Or what about this nugget:

Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan.  It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses.  And according to the Congressional Budget Office -– the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress –- our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.

Now is he referring to the initial report the CBO put out on November 30th saying::

According to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office this morning, the average price of insurance premiums bought on the individual market—that is, premiums not purchased through employers—would go up by 10 to 13 percent in 2016 if Congress passed health care reform legislation now in the Senate.

Or is he referring to the plans that have been changed and squeezed and redefined as the public and opposition in congress have forced initial bills to be thwarted?  But it sounds better to say that the plan you are pushing for is the one that is near the end of it’s life because no one wants it and so finally bears some resemblance to lowering costs, rather than the one you really wanted with the public option that would have begun the last step in creating a single payer socialized system.

I could go on, but to be honest the speech was really long and I don’t have the time or interest to find every disagreement.  And I also want to remain true to my desire to not immediately bomb everything Obama does, because I hated how democrats did that to Bush.  But this was my first reaction to what I read.  But maybe this State of the Union and its hopeful refrain will be borne out, but I’m afraid there may be much too much rhetoric and not enough true substance.

MARK ADDS:

Cato is on it.

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