Statistical measures of how things have changed since the president took office.
In Sen. Ted Cruz’s twisted vision of economic history, Ronald Reagan cured double-digit unemployment by cutting spending and reducing the federal debt, and Jimmy Carter was guilty of “out-of-control regulation.”
In the real world:
Total federal spending soared during Reagan’s deficit-plagued first term, and the national debt nearly doubled. His budget director later resigned and wrote a book criticizing Reagan’s failure to cut spending.
And Carter signed landmark bills freeing airline, railroad and trucking rates from federal regulation,
Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul got laughs at the federal government’s expense at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, but the facts don’t jibe with the jokes.
Cruz accused the EPA of “trying to use a lizard to shut down oil and gas production” in West Texas to set up a one-liner about lizard boots. But the jab — an old campaign joke — no longer has any basis in fact. The federal government decided against listing the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as “endangered”
In Cleveland, President Barack Obama claimed he created more private-sector jobs in the past 27 months than President George W. Bush created “during the entire seven years before this crisis.” But that’s like comparing apples and mangoes. The president is absolving himself of responsibility for the savage recession he inherited, while assigning to Bush responsibility for the recession that began within weeks of his taking office in 2001.
The fact is, the economy has gained just about the same number of private-sector jobs (Obama’s preferred measure) in the 27 months since the most recent job slump hit bottom as it did in the 27 months following the bottom of the first Bush slump.
The president’s State of the Union address got the facts right — mostly.
Obama said “the Taliban’s momentum has been broken” in Afghanistan. But targeted assassinations continue, and at least one independent foreign policy expert says the enemy may just be waiting until the U.S. leaves.
The president said a get-tough tariff on tire imports from China has saved more than 1,000 U.S. jobs. But tire industry officials say Chinese imports have simply been replaced by imports from other countries.
Rick Perry said he would “create another 250,000 jobs by getting the EPA out of the way” of natural gas drilling. But the EPA isn’t currently in the way: The very study on which Perry relies assumes that all of those jobs will result if current regulations are not changed.
In a speech at a steel plant in Pittsburgh on Oct. 14, the Texas governor outlined a sweeping plan to create over a million jobs by increasing American energy production.