Misstate Of The Union
|Think Progress has a look at some of the untruths George Bush told during the State of the Union address. Some snippets:|
SOTU: Bush Pushes Two Hijacker Myth
Bush said: “We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al-Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know their plans until too late.”
FACT – WE KNEW THE TERRORISTS WERE THERE BEFORE THE ATTACKS. BUREAUCRATIC PROBLEMS, NOT SURVEILLANCE LAW, WAS THE REASON THEY WERE NOT DETAINED: Cheney made the same claim a couple of weeks ago, and the Washington Post debunked it:
But Cheney did not mention that the government had compiled significant information on the two suspects before the attacks and that bureaucratic problems — not a lack of information — were primary reasons for the security breakdown, according to congressional investigators and the Sept. 11 commission. Moreover, the administration had the power to eavesdrop on their calls and e-mails, as long as it sought permission from a secret court that oversees clandestine surveillance in the United States.
The bigger problem was that the FBI and other agencies did not know where the two suspects — Cheney’s office confirmed that he was referring to Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar — were living in the United States and had missed numerous opportunities to track them down in the 20 months before the attacks, according to the Sept. 11 commission and other sources.
SOTU: Bush Wanted Renewable Energy Cuts
Bush said: “The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources – and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.”
FACT — BUSH PUSHED FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY CUTS IN LATEST BUDGET: President Bush’s FY06 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy programs envisioned “reductions totaling nearly $50 million - an overall cut of roughly four percent.” [Renewable Energy Access, 2/28/05]
FACT — BUSH REJECTED BIPARTISAN PLAN TO SET GOALS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY: Last year, President Bush “oppose[d] efforts to include a national renewable energy requirement for utilities in Congress’ broad energy legislation.” According to the Union of Concerned Scientists it “is a cost-effective, market-based policy that requires electric utilities to gradually increase their use of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and bioenergy,” to between 10 and 20 percent by 2020. A 10 percent standard “would have virtually no impact on electricity prices and could save consumers as much as $13.2 billion.” [Reuters, 2/10/05; Union of Concerned Scientists; Union of Concerned Scientists]
SOTU: Dependence on Foreign Oil Has Increased Under Bush
Bush said: “Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.”
FACT — BUSH HAS INCREASED DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL: Sixty-six percent of oil consumed in the United States comes from foreign sources, up from 58 percent in 2000. Americans now spend $200,000 a minute on foreign oil and more than $25 billion annually goes to Persian Gulf states for oil imports. [Energy Information Administration, 1/06; American Progress, 2004]
FACT– BUSH ENERGY BILL WILL NOT REDUCE RELIANCE ON FOREIGN OIL: The energy bill signed and supported by President Bush “rejected a Senate provision that required reduction of oil consumption by one million barrels per day by 2015.” Under the bill, “our need for imported oil will continue to grow for as long as models are able to project.” [U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, 7/05]
SOTU: Tax Cuts Didn’t Help Economy
Bush said: “In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left 880 billion dollars in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses, and families – and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth.”
FACT — DEFICITS CAUSED BY TAX CUTS NEGATE ANY POTENTIAL ECONOMIC BENEFITS: Studies by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JTC), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) all confirm that deficits undermine economic benefits of the cuts. In their analysis of the 2003 tax cuts, JTC found that any economic benefits of the tax cuts would “eventually likely to be outweighed by the reduction in national savings due to increasing Federal government deficits.” [American Progress, 1/26/05; CBO, October 2005]
Read the rest...