February 10, 2009 11:11AM

Obama Truth Check

By Cato Editors

Media Name: obama.bmp

President Obama may have preempted the first hour of prime time Monday night, but he certainly did not fail to entertain with several pronouncements that require suspension of disbelief.

Here are four Obama statements that deserve closer scrutiny:

1. “[I]f you delay acting on an economy of this severity, then you potentially create a negative spiral that becomes much more difficult for us to get out of. We saw this happen in Japan in the 1990s, where they did not act boldly and swiftly enough…”

The fact is that numerous presidents, including Obama’s immediate predecessor, have used desperation and fear to sell some of the truly awful policies to come out of the U.S. government in the last 50 years — the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and the Iraq War resolution, to name two.

2. “What it does not contain, however, is a single pet project, not a single earmark, and it has been stripped of the projects members of both parties found most objectionable.”

This one severely strains credulity. The president is right about one thing: many of the bill’s projects are online for all to see. But could any reasonable person agree that these projects are stimulative and not aimed at special political interests?

3. “Most economists, almost unanimously, recognize that…when you have the kind of problem we have right now…that government is an important element of introducing some additional demand into the economy.”

We’ve been over this, Mr. President. The truth is that a huge and still‐​growing number of respected economists think that a massive government spending effort in our present circumstances is wasteful and foolhardy.

4. “What I won’t do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place…”

OK, so we actually agree with the president on that one. But then why is he bound and determined to repeat the reckless spending habits of George W. Bush? We thought the November campaign was all about “change.”