Update to First Obama Speech to Joint Congress

There is no denying Obama has a wonderful gift of public speaking.  His ability to speak with a teleprompter is going to be hard to beat.  Yet, we as Americans must get passed the hypnotizing way his delivery and style captivate and look to truly understand the words that are spoken.


Most all politicians have the wonderful ability to “spin” if you will, words that the public want and need to hear.  It is in the best interest of the political speaker to do this well to keep his base energized.


With the help of some articles from the  Associated Press writers Tom Raum, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Dina Cappiello  I want to look at a few parts of the speech from last night.  I think it is time that before politicians open their mouths they need to actually have all the facts checked by an independent third party for verification.  Too many times this new administration has falling short in the vetting process for many things and people.


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.

Additionally let’s look at some automobile history.

The earliest known steam-powered car was finished as early as 1769 by French inventor Nicolas Cugnot. But when it comes to vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine, then Karl Benz is given credit for actually building one. Benz championed the new internal-combustion engines, and he worked single-minded to create a car driven by one. He built a little three-wheeled car in 1885 and sold his first one two years later. He went into production with a four-wheeled model in 1890, and the Mercedes-Benz company is still with us.

But Benz wasn't first. The French inventor de Rochas built an auto, and an engine to drive it, in 1862.

The first mass produced automobile was made by Henry Ford.

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (26 February 1725 - 2 October 1804) was a French inventor who is claimed by the French government to have built the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile. This claim is disputed by various sources which suggest that Ferdinand Verbiest, as a member of a Jesuit mission in China, may have built the first steam powered car around 1672.

In 1885 German mechanical engineer, Karl Benz designed and built the world's first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine. On January 29, 1886, Benz received the first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-fueled car.


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.

We have know for many many years our country needs to be producing energy in more than just a few ways.  We also know that like other things this issue has been passed on to the next administration to take care of.  While new and inventive ways to produce energy are being looked into we need to be drilling off shore and in Alaska.  This is something that we know works and can be used while other sources are being tested.  As for the “clean coal” talk; to me this is just as silly as saying we are going to “clean dirt” in our backyards.  An expensive cap on companies for this is only going to be passed on to us.


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.

Thus, the reason we are where we are now, each administration truly only looks at their term and what they want.  If all of them really took into consideration the effects of now on the future we would not be in the fix we are in now.  If each understood that the now does not come to true light for many years under someone else’s watch to deal with and correct then maybe we could get people in Washington to actually do the jobs they were sent there to do.

Also, we have all learned that any project that lines the pockets of a politician and keeps them in power will never go away.  It is in their best interest and not the country’s as a whole.

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.

Again all one has to do is go to youtube and look back at floor speeches and committee meetings to see the ironies in this.  There were several from President Bush to Senators all requesting that Freddie and Fanny be looked into.  But, why would they be when so many both private and in congress were getting very fat pockets from these so called “deregulations”.  I feel it was more an issue with the oversight committees being headed by the very people who were getting rich off of all this who failed.  It doesn’t matter how much regulation we have in place if it is not being inforced.

  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.

Anything that keeps congressmen in power and money coming their personal way will not be eliminated even if they do not work and have never worked.

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.

If Obama is to achieve his much more ambitious goal, Congress would need to mandate it. That is the thrust of an energy bill that is expected to be introduced in coming weeks.

 In the meantime while we wait for 20 years what do we do?  Drill here and drill now to help.

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."

Beyond that, it's unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it's clear when jobs are abolished, there's no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. The estimates are based on economic assumptions of how many jobs would be lost without the stimulus.

The wonderful joy of manipulating numbers.  Be it with numbers or with pretty words politicians use them to support their own personal agendas.

Wouldn’t it be a “real change we can believe in” if we could find one that truly put the good of the country as a whole and her future to the heart of any agenda?   There my still be differences in opinions and differences in which direction needs to be taken but a middle ground could be obtained that would bring our country from it’s knees to it’s feet.  Then again we no longer have great men today it seems as we had when the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written.  These great men could do what needed to be done with just a few pages.  Today thousands of pages are used for one bill and there is no understanding and no future.  




Grits4life Grits4life
46-50, F
4 Responses Feb 25, 2009

Your posts are great as is this one.

Grits...that is because alot of those types cannot comprehend the truth. It is easier to stick one's head in the sand.

c8 thank you for reading my "non what's your sign" posts. :) many many times I feel these stories are really not what people want to read yet at the same time our country needs more people reading and trying to in some way really look at what our government is doing. thanks again.

I always appreciate reading your well researched arguements.....keep it up.<br />
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You may well be the only person posting intelligent stories.......so sick of "whats your star sign?" type posts