April 29, 2009

AP’s Calvin Woodward Does Astonishing Fact Check on Obama

APlogo0409.jpgSomebody needs to ‘fess up. Who put truth serum in Calvin Woodward’s coffee this morning?

Whoever it is, they’re in a heap of trouble, as Woodward produced a fact-checking critique of Barack Obama that is so good you’d swear most of it was ghostwritten by a conservative talk host.

It will be interesting to see how much distribution it gets. I would suggest not counting on too much, but being open to a pleasant surprise.

Regardless of its distribution, you’d better believe they’ve read it in the White House, and they’re wondering what in the world happened.

Here are key paragraphs from Woodward’s rundown, which is really, seriously, a read (and save) the whole thing item (it is saved at my host for future reference; HT to Mark Levin, who excerpted the report on his show tonight):

FACT CHECK: Obama disowns deficit he helped shape

“That wasn’t me,” President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One.

It actually was him — and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years — who shaped a budget so out of balance.

And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.

Are we having fun yet?

….. His assertion that his proposed budget “will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term” is an eyeball-roller among many economists ….

….. OBAMA: “Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit…. That wasn’t me.

….. THE FACTS: Congress controls the purse strings, not the president, and it was under Democratic control for Obama’s last two years as Illinois senator. Obama supported the emergency bailout package in President George W. Bush’s final months — a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.

….. OBAMA: “You could cut (Social Security) benefits. You could raise the tax on everybody so everybody’s payroll tax goes up a little bit. Or you can do what I think is probably the best solution, which is you can raise the cap on the payroll tax.” — in Missouri.

THE FACTS: Obama’s proposal would reduce the Social Security trust fund’s deficit by less than half, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

That means he would still have to cut benefits, raise the payroll tax rate, raise the retirement age or some combination to deal with the program’s long-term imbalance.

The main criticism I have of Woodward’s report is that he doesn’t understand that there has always been a correlation between Social Security taxes paid and Social Security benefits received during retirement. Thus, he sees making the payroll tax apply to incomes higher than $102,000 (the 2008 upper limit) strictly as a revenue raiser, without realizing that a failure to increase benefits commensurately, which would almost certainly not happen, would break that historic link and officially turn Social Security into a welfare program (astute readers already know that it already is a welfare program, in the sense that it is an intergenerational transfer from current workers to current retirees, because there really is no “Trust Fund” with real assets).

But there are enough zingers in one place to talk down Obama’s 100-day defenders with ease.

Enjoy it. Just don’t delude yourself into thinking a lot of people will see it, or that it marks any kind of general change in direction at AP.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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5 Comments

  1. [...] On the other hand, somebody certainly ate his Wheaties this morning at the AP; I hope he has a job tomorrow. Filed under: Bobos In Paradise, Muggeridge’s Law, Oh, That Liberal [...]

    Pingback by Ed Driscoll » Jumping The Swine — April 30, 2009 @ 1:45 am

  2. Mr. Woodward and others who say that the Democrats controlled Congress in 2007/2008 miss the point that they did not have a filibuster proof majority, and many things they tried to pass got filibustered by the Republicans or vetoed by the president.

    Comment by Chere Negaard — April 30, 2009 @ 3:46 am

  3. #2, more important is that:

    “And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.”

    But he’s whining that he “inherited” the deficit. It would have been a bigger inherited deficit had he and Congress always gotten their way.

    Woord ward didn’t miss the point. He made it.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 30, 2009 @ 7:03 am

  4. “Mr. Woodward and others who say that the Democrats controlled Congress in 2007/2008 miss the point that they did not have a filibuster proof majority, and many things they tried to pass got filibustered by the Republicans or vetoed by the president” Huh? If had been more Democrats in ’07-’08, we’d have a smaller deficit and there would be less spending? In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 100 days, Mr. Obama and Congress have done a splendid job of making that deficit even bigger. There aren’t enough evil Republicans to thwart the great one’s schemes or tighten the purse strings.

    Comment by Vera — April 30, 2009 @ 9:49 am

  5. Hats off to Calivin Woodward! Thank you for being a true American and telling the American People the truth about what is “really” going on with the Obama Administration and his policies, and what he really is doing to our country.

    Please continue to write facts and show the data behind the man behind the mask.

    Thank you!

    Comment by Vicki — April 30, 2009 @ 10:11 am

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