I did not watch President Obama’s speech last night, which, perhaps, may surprise some. While I’m normally a State of the Union watcher (and this was rather like a State of the Union speech), my family was doing other things, and I figured I could catch the video today. Actually, seeing the picture on the front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning of Speaker Pelosi over the President’s shoulder convinced me to check out the transcript, first. I try not to be political, but — if I can be frank — seeing Mrs. Pelosi calls to my mind partisanship of the worst sort, and I’m not sure I could have given the President my attention seeing her over his shoulder the whole time.
Today the AP has its “Fact Check” machinery in full swing and they take a crack at the President’s speech. While I find these various Internet “Fact Check” articles to be of sometimes dubious value, this one isn’t too bad. For instance, I liked how they noted that the “deregulation” approach did not originate with the Bush administration but, rather, with the Clinton administration — though mentioning those currently sitting in Congress (“Mr. Frank, paging Mr. Frank…”) who had a hand in making things so much worse might have been nice, as well.
Another pro and con: I also like how they explain the political nature of some of the statements (e.g., “This budget will X, Y, Z” when, in reality, this budget can’t X, Y, and Z.) But I wish they had exposed the pretense behind the President’s comment about passing a recovery plan “free of earmarks” — since many of the spending items may not have been earmarks in name, but they were, in reality, as earmarky as earmarky can be, indeed. (By the way, feel free and use that word “earmarky” as much as you like, royalty free. Consider it my gift to the English language!)
Check out the AP’s fact check work for yourself: “FACT CHECK: Obama’s words on home aid ring hollow”
You can also check out the CBS transcript of the speech “as delivered” here: “Transcript: Obama’s Speech to Congress”
Finally, let me say that the President’s speech did not truly touch on the real problem America faces. America has a date with its Creator, Protector, and Sustainer ahead of it, and it is HE who gives power to create wealth (Deuteronomy 8:11-12, 17-18), not the god of Socialism nor the god of Capitalism. We need to do more than restore integrity to Wall Street — we need to help a nation see the need to repent and seek the God who created it for His purpose. Without that, $800 Billion — even $800 Trillion — is nothing more than a band-aid.