FACT CHECK: Obama claims credit for an incomplete recovery

1/21/15
 
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from FoxNews,
1/20/15:

The U.S. may not have “risen from recession” quite as rousingly as President Barack Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Seven years after that severe downturn began, household income hasn’t recovered and healthy job growth is complicated by the poor quality, and pay, of many of those jobs.

OBAMA:
–”At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production – we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.

THE FACTS: By many measures, the economy is still recovering from the deep scars left by the Great Recession.

Job growth has been healthy, but fueled in part by lower-paying jobs in areas such as retail and restaurants, which have replaced many higher-paying positions in manufacturing and construction. Part-time jobs also remain elevated: There are still 1.7 million fewer workers with full-time jobs than when the recession began in December 2007.

OBAMA:I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero.

THE FACTS: Zero for qualifying students; an estimated $60 billion over 10 years to the treasury.

Obama confronts a Republican-controlled Congress that can be expected to be wary of a new program costing that much. Moreover, the proposal requires states to contribute about a quarter of the money, and getting them to go along is bound to be tough.

OBAMA:We’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history.

THE FACTS: Waters is the key word here. Before expanding the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument last year from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, Obama had protected far fewer acres than his four predecessors, including President George W. Bush.

Expansion of the massive Pacific islands monument puts Obama on top. It’s nearly all water, however, and the move has limited practical implications. While it bans commercial fishing, deep-sea mining and other extraction of underwater resources, little fishing or drilling occur in the mid-ocean region now.

OBAMA:Thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small-business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.

THE FACTS: A survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business does show that a rising proportion plans to raise wages. But plans to raise pay aren’t the same as actually raising them.

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