Union address that, because of his administration's stimulus plan, 2 million Americans are "working right now who would otherwise be unemployed."
That figure was calculated by his Council of Economic Advisers. It includes the administration's estimate of 640,000 positions that were directly funded by the stimulus through Sept. 30, as well as any job that was touched or indirectly affected by stimulus money. On Saturday, the administration will release a new estimate of positions directly funded by the stimulus till the end of 2009.
The CNN Fact Check team dug into this and found that not every worker who has ever held a stimulus-funded position is necessarily still employed in that position. A number of stimulus-funded jobs were for temporary projects that have concluded. The administration says it has accounted for this by aggregating and combining temporary or part-time jobs into the equivalent of "job years," meaning the equivalent of a full-time job held for one year.
Claim: For the first time in history - my administration posts our White House visitors online.
Verdict: The Obama administration did make history by posting its logsonline. You can browse them yourself here.
But the release of these logs came only after a legal challenge by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The group filed suit seeking the logs related to the visits by certain groups. When the Obama administration settled the suit it went further, agreeing to post the logs of all visitors from September 15 onward.
While this seems like a big win for transparency, Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW, says because the administration voluntarily agreed to release the logs, the administration could later decide to reverse this decision. Additionally, nothing compels the next administration to take the same course. Nothing besides the promise that a reversal would provoke a resumption of legal action!
Bottom line: The Obama administration did pioneer new transparency in visitor logs but it took outside pressure to get there.
(PolitiFact) - Obama says "pay-as-you-go" was a big reason for record surpluses in 1990s
Verdict Half True
(CNN) - In the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said, "All Americans agree, we need a health care system that is affordable, accessible, and high quality. But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government."
The CNN Fact Check Desk could find no evidence to support that most Americans oppose turning over the medical care system to the federal government, or that they had even been asked the question. Furthermore, there is no proposal to do so.
What we did find is a CNN/Opinion Poll Research Corporation Poll conducted January 8-10 of this year that showed most Americans actually favored the creation of a public health insurance option administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private health insurance companies. With a sampling error of +/-3 percentage points, 54 percent of respondents were in favor, and 46 percent were opposed.
(CNN) - Did the man accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day clam up when read his rights?
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who delivered the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address, included that assertion when he said the GOP had "serious concerns" over how the Obama administration treats suspected terrorists.
"Americans were shocked on Christmas Day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to Detroit," McDonnell said. "This foreign terror suspect was given the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen, and immediately stopped providing critical intelligence."
McDonnell's assertion is narrowly true - the suspect, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, did stop talking to FBI agents after being read his rights. But he was questioned twice before then, quickly spilling that he was trained in Yemen by al Qaeda operatives and giving up information that "has already proved useful in the fight against al Qaeda," a Justice Department spokesman told CNN last week.
(CNN) - In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama told Americans that he will visit Tampa, Florida: "...where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act."
The CNN Fact Check Desk found that Florida is one of several states that will share $8 billion in federal stimulus funds for high-speed passenger train corridors. But according the Florida Department of Transportation, construction won't begin until October of 2011, more than a year and a half from now. Is that soon?
The first phase of the new railroad, a segment running from Tampa to Orlando, is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
The Miami Herald reports that Florida requested $2.5 billion for the project, but Florida will only receive a $1 billion of that money this year.