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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Obama's unsubstantiated boosterism

By Glenn Kessler

"We have the most productive workers, the finest universities and the freest markets."
--President Obama, Feb. 7, 2011


On Monday, the president walked across Pennsylvania Avenue and entered the lion's den, er, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The business group has been a bete noire of the administration, battling hard against Obama's push for a health-care bill and more financial regulation. But, in trying to reach out to business, the president gave a speech to the Chamber in which he made the statement above.

A reader wondered whether this was just the usual "rah-rah America" or whether there are facts to back up the president's statement.

The Facts

Obviously, there are many surveys that might come up with different rankings, especially when ranking universities or markets. So we searched for the latest, most broadly used barometers we could find.

Let's first tackle worker productivity. The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics measures this, so one would think the president would rely on a U.S. government report. But the Labor Department says that, as of 2009, the United States ranked third -- after Norway and Ireland -- in terms of the gross domestic product per hour worked, which the BLS says is "a general measure of labor productivity for the entire economy."

And the United States isn't even close to first: the Norwegians earned $73.26 per hour worked, compared to $57.54 for workers here.

There are, of course, other measures and other reports. A United Nations report, by the International Labor Organization, found that in 2008 the United States was number one when measured by gross domestic product per person engaged in work, followed by Hong Kong, China and Ireland. The U.N. report argues that the United States not only has "the most productive workers in the world, its lead has been growing over time."

However, when the BLS crunches the same numbers, with 2009 data, it still ranks Norway first, with the United States in second place. BLS, in fact, argues that this measurement "is a less precise measure of labor productivity in that it does not take into account the often substantial differences in working hours among countries."

The BLS report appears to use the latest data and it is an official U.S. government measurement. So we can conclude that, while the United States does very well in terms of productivity, saying it is clearly number one is a stretch.

The claim of the "finest universities" is a bit harder to check, because there are so many different kinds of surveys out there and all are inherently subjective.

One well-known survey is the U.S. News ranking of the world's 400 best universities. How does the United States score on that?

Number one on the list is the University of Cambridge. Oops! Then come Harvard, Yale, the University College of London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Universities in the United States have six of the top ten, 21 of the top 50 and 29 of the top 100. All told, the United States has 22 percent of the top 400 universities, followed by the United Kingdom with 12 percent, Germany with 9 percent and Australia with 6 percent.

The United States certainly does well, but of course it has many more people. When population is also taken into account, the U.S. score looks less impressive.

Here are the top ten countries when measured in terms of the number of world-class universities per million people. The first five score significantly higher than the rest.

1. Australia, 1.00
1. Switzerland, 1.00
3. Sweden, 0.89
4. United Kingdom, 0.76
5. Netherlands, 0.71
6. Canada, 0.50
7. Germany, 0.44
8. United States, 0.28
9. France, 0.27
10. South Korea, 0.22

It is also worth noting that most top-flight overseas universities are less expensive than their American counterparts, with some even offering free tuition. You may have to pay a hefty fee to attend many of the top U.S. universities.

Obama's assertion that the United States has the "freest markets" is also questionable. (It's also debatable whether that is such a good thing, since markets with absolutely no regulations or oversight can lead to problems, but that's another matter.)

There appears to be no recent survey that ranks the United States number one in terms of market freedom. In fact, the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom, a product of the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, last month ranked the United States ninth out of 179 countries.

The Heritage-WSJ ranking looks at such measures as business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Canada topped the rankings, earning a designation of "free". The United States is in a category called "mostly free," along with Ireland, Denmark, Bahrain and 23 other countries.

We asked the White House if officials could supply any data to back up the president's claims but did not receive an on-the-record answer.

The Pinocchio Test

Unabashed boosterism can make people lazy. Certainly the United States has among the most productive workers, many of the finest universities and nearly the freest markets. But to claim the United States is number one in all three cases is silly and likely counterproductive.

In fact, the rankings cited above indicate that the United States has slipped in recent years. In his speech, the president acknowledged that worldwide "competition for jobs and businesses has grown fierce." It would have made more sense to also acknowledge that the United States needs to work harder to reach first place in these key measurements

One Pinocchio

(About our rating scale).

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By Glenn Kessler  | February 8, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  1 Pinocchio, Barack Obama, Economy  
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Comments

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Posted by: mariadix8 | February 8, 2011 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama is number one in BS.

Posted by: nychap44 | February 8, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

And thus begins the 2012 campaign season - let the money flow!

Posted by: Utahreb | February 8, 2011 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Impeach. Convict. Deport.

Posted by: phvr38 | February 8, 2011 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Boosterism, I'm sure you meant gangsterism.

Posted by: wsiuda | February 8, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I see why they're buying guns in DC. This guy is full of it.

Posted by: coogene | February 8, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The Decline and Fall of the Obama Regime
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Obama drools and spins happy talk before real leaders who recognize idiocy and incompetence when they see it. Obama could not succeed in even the third rung of any Fortune 500 Company.

Obama continues his Jihad attacking small businesses by imposing mandatory electronic sweep of their checking accounts for payroll taxes on January 31, 2011. Many of these businesses struggle with cash flow and now they are compelled to pay accountants to set up these accounts at the worst possible time.

Pharoah Obama demands bricks without straw.

Pssstt.......obama----now these small business owners only have 2 ways to keep afloat, either they hire illegal immigrants and pay NO payroll taxes, or just FIRE their employees. And tone deaf obama wonders why employment withers.........

Businesses flee California and NY. Retroactive special unemployment “assessments” drive businesses to cut headcount.

Chinese foreign trade is much more aggressive.

Obama is perceived internationally, but especially by the Asian Tigers, as an absolute idiot.

Many USA business deals now done in Euros as Obama destroys the dollar.

Speaking of which, much talk this week about the Obama Unemployment Rapture.

The Rapture is a Christian Doctrine in which Christians disappear from earth. Seems Obama noticed all the other Messiahs have a Rapture so he created an Unemployment Rapture and thats how the cooked unemployment rate of 9% was achieved with only 36,000 new jobs. See?? You just need to Rapture out all those unemployed more than 6 months.

The Obama Unemployment Rapture.

Food is still plentiful. You can go to the grocery store and buy all you want. Obama is working on this, however, the regime appointed 2,000 Agricultural “Inspectors” to destroy the American Food supply last month.

Recent snow storms alert the prescient of the Obama regimes incompetence sloth and inability to deal with any natural disaster. The Winter Wheat harvest is in jeopardy due to less than 4 inches of snow insulation and freezing winter.

Keep in mind Obama has been able to cripple the economy with his failed socialism WITHOUT any natural disaster.

Obama--He hates Free Enterprise

Posted by: ProCounsel | February 8, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

This is just a perfect example of failing to see the forest for the trees. Everything this President says is aimed at attempting to hide the fact that he is an avowed Socialist. Just watch what he does, not what he says. E.g. he claims that we have the freest markets while the agenda that he continues to push attempts to have the government manipulate our markets.

Posted by: hammeresq | February 8, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

What a lame comparison. We could have the highest GDP , worker output ratio you can imagine. But...if that is a measure of 300,000 workers in the US to 1,000,000 in Norway, its a bogus comparison. THAT is how you people play games, as does most statistics. If we have 50 million in this country out performing 700 million Chinese by $10 per GDP....it really does not amount to a hill of beans, now does it? DUUUHHH!!!!Fact is...these are the jobs...Americans "don't want to do"

Posted by: rscott251 | February 8, 2011 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama always sounds to me like a right-wing Republican of the 1960s who talks the America is Number One talk as a way to obfuscate the fact that upward mobility in the American economy is something he hates and is trying to get rid of. (Actually, they've pretty much accomplished that over the last couple of decades and it's just a matter now of wrecking whatever is left.)

Good universities, productive workers, and "free" markets are only useful indicators of the prosperity of the people if government uses its authority to make sure money flows through the system and is not coagulting at the top.

And Obama, like Bush, seems to be a believer in government only as a servant of the wealthy and an enforcer against the common people.

And, of course, there is really no such thing as a free market, since anyone who accrues enough wealth and power will start to jimmy the system to serve themselves and throttle new competitors in their cribs. Only government can stop this from happening, and for the last 30 years or so we have had government that increasingly abdicates this role.

Obama, like those old-fashioned Republicans, is really saying that if you aren't doing well in this economy, it's all your fault and you just have to work harder. But of course, that's a lie; the hardest workers are the working poor, not the executives who think meeting up at expensive restaurants and playing golf with industry associates is "work".

The real text of Obama's message is that the rest of us must work harder, accept lower wages and fewer benefits, so that "our" rich people can get richer than other countries' rich people. We just have to accept less.

Because we're not important.

Posted by: Avedon | February 8, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Stupid premise for an apples and oranges world. Productivity does not matter when $1/hr and no workplace/environmental rules are in place. Norway and the US cannot compete against far eastern wage workplace environmental standards. We're not smart enough to duplicate successful medical care delivery (nor double medicaid taxes to pay for current), build enough nuclear reactors to not need med-east oil, most cars, fuel burners are of 20th century tech., no matter we have the MITs and most patents. The quality of life for the middle class is stagnated losing the American dream of children always living better than their parents. We instead are passing our debts to them throwing out our chests in bravado with our military, unable to bite the bullet with our government of the connected to pay our own way. A system of nuclear plants could not only delivery electricity but hydrogen and water to needed areas including their nuclear plants. We have failed to capitalize on our enormous resource providing the goods and services Americans consume by Americans in America. Until we make returns better here than overseas expect the same cash movement to the top and WalMart jobs replacing manufacturing ones to everyone's detriment.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 8, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but when you rely on the Heritage Foundation and Rupert Murdoch's WSJ for your "facts" you lose your credibility as an unbiased "fact checker".

Two Pinocchios for you Mr. Kessler.

Posted by: rhc52 | February 8, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

So, Norway has more productive workers than the U.S.? The president fibbed, you say?

Hog spit.

So two extremely small nations -- Norway and Ireland -- are the only ones that lead the U.S. on the productivity list.

You've lost your sense if you criticize the President on that one.

It's one thing to be a productive nation. It's another thing to be a big nation.

The United States, by your own evidence is BOTH productive AND big -- population 300 million-plus, the third largest population of any nation on earth.

And more productive, per worker, than any nation on earth, except for Norway and Ireland, who put together wouldn't even be consider a small state of the American Union.

You're comparing not apples and oranges, but apples and Brussels sprouts.

Nice try.

Posted by: EgoNemo | February 8, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Your analysis of universities is just silly.

First of all, they're aren't 400 great universities in the world, there's more like 40. It's like making a list of the top 100 colleges in Maryland.

Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics are running on fumes as any British academic will tell you. The other foreign universities on the list are ones people have heard of when they can't think of any more American universities.

Which they would move to instantly if they got a job offer no matter where in the world they are currently employed.

Posted by: corco02az | February 8, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@ProCounsel:

Nutwackery at its finest.

Our trade deficit with China is actually shrinking. China is facing hyperinflation, while the U.S. is not.

Food inspectors? Apparently you appreciate e.coli and other pests in your food. You also fail to understand that a decline in consumer confidence in the safety and cleanliness of food hurts business and the nation.

Sweep for taxes? Are you now a supporter of civil disobedience? Compliance with the law is the foundation of the country. You insult all those who pay their taxes faithfully, and then have to cover the bills of those who don't and hide. If they are being found, that is a good thing.

You provide no data on international opinion of the President. In fact, you are at odds with the storyline presented by the president's critics, that the president is the 'world's biggest celebrity' and is more respected abroad than at home.

"Rapture' is not 'Christian doctrine.' The largest Christine denominations -- Catholicism, Episcopalianism, Presbyterianism, Methodism and the Baptists -- don't believe in any 'Rapture.' It's not supported by any reasonable reading of the sacred texts of that religion.

The 'Rapture' is the creation of a Christianity-like cult formed in the United States about 100 years ago that goes by many names, and uses Christian symbols and texts. But no mainline Christian adherent believes in a so-called 'rapture.'

Oh, and now Obama is responsible for the snowfall, or lack of it.

Criticism of the president is ineffective when it goes to such factless extremes.

Nice try. Have a good day and get back to work.

Posted by: EgoNemo | February 8, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Blowing smoke up their tails is no less than our Republican Governors making those same claims month in and out. Facing a $27 Billion Deficit over 2 years cuts to Education, Health Care and more. Why is anyone surprised?

Texas Gov Rick Perry claims Texas has the best Health Care system in the World. When 40% don't have any health care at all outside an Emergency Room.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | February 8, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The irony of this column is that Obama is faulted for giving what is usually called a "Chamber of Commerce speech," you know, a talk in which all that is mentioned are the positive attributes of something. Informed people are not surprised by this, including all those Chamber of Commerce people in the audience.

No news here. Keep snooping.

Posted by: EgoNemo | February 8, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

When Mr. Kessler uses WSJ / Heritage Foundation stats without fact checking them you know he's not interested in facts. The WaPo should hire an unbiased factchecker if it wants credibility. Since Canada, and most of the other nations listed as "freer" than the US, have universal health insurance, more social programs paid by tax dollars, and free education through college, the rating of "free" by the Heritage Foundation / WSJ is hilarious!

Posted by: fingersfly | February 8, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

When Mr. Kessler uses WSJ / Heritage Foundation stats without fact checking them you know he's not interested in facts. The WaPo should hire an unbiased factchecker if it wants credibility. Since Canada, and most of the other nations listed as "freer" than the US, have universal health insurance, more social programs paid by tax dollars, and free education through college, the rating of "free" by the Heritage Foundation / WSJ is hilarious!

Posted by: fingersfly | February 8, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick point on the Norway question... does the BLS take into account that Norway's GDP is strongly influenced by oil exports? Crude prices right now are very high, so GDP per capita of working population has gone up.
Does that mean the average Norwegian worker is more productive when the energy market is strong? I don't think so...

Posted by: angusmcdowall | February 8, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised Kessler tipped his hand with a Heritage/WSJ poll, but it does put some context on where he was headed with this bit of fluff.

I would venture to say that the speech he gave to the Chamber had more interesting and relevant points than Kessler seems to want to carp over here. I had this column marked for possible straight-shooting, unbiased fact-checking, but I guess I was wrong. Time to delete....

Posted by: kimberlyrae | February 8, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

This morn's data are highly questionable. He must be a Republican.
His data on University ranking is the most stupid I have seen. Australian Universities are one of the worst in this world. On a per capita basis ranking has no meaning.

Posted by: samelson1 | February 8, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

This moron's data are highly questionable. He must be a Republican.
His data on University ranking is the most stupid I have seen. Australian Universities are one of the worst in this world. University data on a per capita basis ranking has no meaning.

Posted by: samelson1 | February 8, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

We will debate the Health Care bill on CSPAN!

I will post all bills on the Internet for 5 days before I sign them!

We will close Gitmo within one year!

95% of the jobs created by stimulus package will be in the private sector!

I can understand why many people like Obama.

I can understand why many people support Obama.

I cannot understand why anybody would BELIEVE Obama.

Posted by: TECWRITE | February 8, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Is this an endorsement for European socialism as is often called by conservatives? Facts are so inconvenient.

Posted by: steelej1 | February 8, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Let me concede right up front that unlike most of the people posting comments here, I am a strong supporter of Pres. Obama. Even so, I find Mr. Kessler's methodology here not just subjective but highly questionable--a classic case of using an anvil to swat a fly. For example, why not measure how many international students attend U.S. colleges and universities compared to other countries?

Yes, the president probably should have said we're AMONG the top countries in these respects. But even if one accepts Mr. Kessler's sources and extrapolations as 100% credible, by his own criteria no country ranks higher than the U.S. in all three categories, and only a handful are even in the same ballpark.

One more observation: Mr. Kessler recently documented Mitch McConnell's repeated, blatant factual distortions about public support for health care reform. Yet he only received one Pinocchio (?!), the same as Pres. Obama. Something is very wrong with this picture.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 8, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Obama's lecture to the business leaders at the Chamber of Commerce was absolutely useless and likely will be ineffective. American companies only care about one thing and one thing only - profits by any means necessary - not creating jobs in America.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | February 8, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

If only WaPo would spend as much time fact checking EVERYTHING ELSE Obama has said we wouldn't have to worry about this moron being president for a second term.

Posted by: bmayhewbz@hotmail.com | February 8, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Take a look at how it is vs. how it was.
Should make all liberals who support Obam real proud.


http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=3JDT5vBQQr8&vq=medium

Posted by: LarryG62 | February 8, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Fact check this: How did the moon get there? How did the sun get there? How come we have that and Mars doesn't? How do you explain that?

Posted by: motogp46 | February 8, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Education -- another black mark on the Bush Administrations dismal record of letting this country down. We didn't fall back overnight -- it took 8 years of incompetent, neglectful leadership to get us here and I am hoping Obama will get us back on the right track in spite of trying to lead the country back up from the Bush Recession. Here in Texas,our educational system is suffering from over 12 years of incompetent, pathetic Republican leadership in our legislature and Governorship.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | February 8, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"We asked the White House if officials could supply any data to back up the president's claims but did not receive an on-the-record answer."

I'd love to know the White House's "off the record" response.

Posted by: aericksen | February 8, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Interesting how the countries with the highest rankings for market freedom all have universal healthcare and/or compulsory requirements that their citizens purchase health insurance.

Posted by: allknowingguy | February 8, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The facts presented here don't appear to be particularly more informative than the President's version. The major problem that America faces revolves around the difficulty Americans are having finding jobs. One dimension of that problem that has been around for a long time is represented by the difficulty that American automobile makers have had competing with Toyota, Mercedes, and BMW. Another dimension of the problem is represented by the claim of our leading edge software technology companies that they can only meet their needs for top quality software engineers by importing foreigners. But, the largest dimension to the problem is simply that modern technology makes it possible to provide ever more goods and services from overseas where there is a pool of workers with adequate skills who are prepared to work for much lower wages than Americans.

Posted by: dnjake | February 8, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

There are "statistics, damn statistics and liars." (Mark Twain) Believe me all politicians hire the best statisians to mold their numbers to reflect the story they want to tell. They fail to make sure that the statistics reflect a scientifically valid comparison of "apples with apples". But that doesn't matter because the politician doesn't want the real truth told, they want their agenda supported. If they cannot afford to hire their own statisian they can simply go to one of the political aligned organizations to get the data they require.

Posted by: staterighter | February 8, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

There are "statistics, damn statistics and liars." (Mark Twain) Believe me all politicians hire the best statisians to mold their numbers to reflect the story they want to tell. They fail to make sure that the statistics reflect a scientifically valid comparison of "apples with apples". But that doesn't matter because the politician doesn't want the real truth told, they want their agenda supported. If they cannot afford to hire their own statisian they can simply go to one of the political aligned organizations to get the data they require.

Posted by: staterighter | February 8, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

While I don't particularly agree with their assessment, I can't think of a better "source," as it were, for measuring libertarian style market freedoms than the aggressively libertarian Heritage Foundation. If Obama is going to argue that we're the most economically libertarian nation (which is what "the freest markets" means), to a group of people who probably are libertarians at least in the economic sense, then it makes sense to see what actual libertarians think about that sort of statement.

Posted by: dkp01 | February 8, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

All this "American exceptionalism" argument does is reinforce our belif that we are entitled to the best of everything without having to work very hard simply becasuse we are Americans. There is no willingness to sacrifice except among those who have already sacrificed too much.

Posted by: djmolter | February 8, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Obama was just giving a sop to his C of C audience. These points of boosterism are points that many conservatives vehemently assert, facts be damned (we, of course, also have the "best" health care, military, foreign aid, etc.). By saying these things, he was just establishing a starting point that the audience was comfortable with so they would listen somewhat openly to the rest of what he had to say.

I listened to the whole speech. Given the speech structure and content, I have no doubt the 'boosterisms' were a bridge-building effort.

Posted by: bjcapclub | February 8, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Egollemo: "And more productive, per worker, than any nation on earth, except for Norway and Ireland, who put together wouldn't even be consider a small state of the American Union."

Wrong. Ireland has a population of approx. 6.2 million, which would make it the 18th most populous US state, more populous than Missouri, and Norway has a population of 4.9 million, which would make it the 23rd most populous state, ahead of Alabama. Combined they would be more populous than Michigan and only a little short of Ohio, as the 8th most populous US state.

I don't think anyone would dispute that these are not the largest countries on earth but perhaps instead of making things up to justify your position, you might want to consider what the US can learn from these nations.


corco02az: "Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics are running on fumes as any British academic will tell you."

Please name three British academics who have stated this position and provide a link to their statements. Thanks. Despite the complaints about funding which really do exist, do any of these supposed academics predict a serious reduction in their institution's quality in the near-term?


"The other foreign universities on the list are ones people have heard of when they can't think of any more American universities."

This says more about American ignorance of and indifference towards other nations than it does of those countries' education establishments. UCL, Imperial, Durham and Bristol to name only four are excellent universities in the UK. I would also point out that the rankings - whether by the Times Higher Education Supplement or by US News, are English-language centric. Do you think France or Germany got where they are today with poor education systems?


"Which they would move to instantly if they got a job offer no matter where in the world they are currently employed."

Proof, please. Why would someone from another wealthy developed nation want to live in the US? To enjoy the company of people who will believe their country is the best in the world at everything in the face of evidence to the contrary?

Posted by: Philberton | February 8, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think it's funny that Obama has to try so hard to convince this group that he's a free-enterprise capitalist, when the US Chamber of Commerce was one of the biggest supporters of Bush's 2008 bailout, the absolute 800-lb gorilla ANTITHESIS OF FREE-ENTERPRISE CAPITALISM. As usual, the neocons have their heads in the sand while the dim-bulb Dems don't understand that this is the kind of stuff they should be pointing out to the country.

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | February 8, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The hateful comments about President Obama belie a bunch of paid haters, certainly not anyone who heard the CoC address. He made sense, he made a challenge to the Business community who is sitting on a trillion dollars in cash with pleas to invest in OUR COUNTRY.

The fact that more and more U.S. Corporate business is performed exclusively offshore, both for manufacturing and for sales is hardly the fault of Obama.

It amazes me that so many would lay blame at the feet of a President whose agenda has been pre-determined by 8 years of mismanagement, hubris and a complete wreck of our basic economy he inherited.

Republicans cheer the demise of the middle class while doing everything in their power to hog-tie policies that attempt to re-balance the U.S. economy.

Patriots are scarce and Republicans verge on treason.

Posted by: rowens1 | February 8, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Glenn Kessler I award you one pinocchio for bias. The polls you relied on when checking facts support the right. Maybe we need a fact checker for the fact checker.

Posted by: dnbulmer | February 8, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that Kessler is fact checking President Obama's "boosterism". It must have been a slow day. And the Obama haters are out in full force. It wouldn't matter what President Obama had said. If he said we are not number 1 and that we have to work harder to improve our position, these same haters would have been all over him for disrespecting the country and the American workers.

Posted by: ImpartialOne | February 8, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I find it ironic that many of the same people commenting here about how Obama is a liar etc based on this fact check report are the same people who claimed the fact check is just another left wing propaganda machine when it criticizes conservatives or when the fact check goes against there belief on public policy such as Health Care Reform.

I guess their just following the lead of the Republican party who will ignore and degrade and politicize the CBO when it goes against their rehtoric but hail and use it's numbers when it supports them.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | February 8, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The Heritage Foundation as a source for facts?

You need a fact checker of the fact checker!

Posted by: FoundingMother | February 8, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

One thing we know that is a fact: politicians will always parse information in a way that will support their position, whatever it may be. So it was and so it always shall be. For those of you who express shock and dismay that President Obama does this, do/did you do the same for Boehner, Bush and Bonzo?

Posted by: mraymond10 | February 8, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Did Obama claim that tax cuts for billionaires help real Americans?

Did Obama claim that the CofC cares about working Americans?

Did Obama claim that honest markets are job-killers?

No, he didn't spout those lies.

Posted by: Garak | February 8, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

While I appreciate fact checks on whatever dribbles out of Obama's mouth, I have to say that those who actually support him don't question whatever he says. The rest of us just take it for granted that everything he says is total BS. Thanks for verifying it, though.

Posted by: TerrenceKai | February 8, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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