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Claims and Contradictions in SOTU



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Obviously, the whole speech last night was confused and self-contradicting. Here is some evidence of that, in the president’s own words — I’ve taken five claims from the State of the Union and placed them alongside other statements from the same speech.


Level Playing Field and Equal Rules for All?
Claim:

Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you — America will always win.

Contradictions: 

We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs. . . .

First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home. . . .

From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here. . . .

Third, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers. . . .

Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. . . .

My message is simple. It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.


No Bailouts?
Claim:

It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no cop-outs.

Contradictions:

We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back. . . .

That’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. . . .


No More Red Tape?
Claim:

I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects.

Contradiction:

I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. . . .

We will also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people’s investments . . . [and] create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. . . .

That’s why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior. Rules to prevent financial fraud, or toxic dumping, or faulty medical devices, don’t destroy the free market. They make the free market work better.


More Freedom in Education?
Claim:

That’s why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and States.

Contradiction:

[We will force] every state to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen . . . stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling . . . [and] extend the tuition tax credit. . . .

States need to do their part by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets.


Role of Government
Claim:

The Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.

Contradiction: All of the above.



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