Bill Clinton’s Alternate Universeby Gerri Willis
Former President Bill Clinton spoke last night and here's his report card.
A great orator? You bet.
Factually accurate? Not a chance.
We took a look at some of his claims and found them missing a few details.
Let's start with jobs. How many jobs can President Obama claim to have created?
Here's what Bill Clinton had to say.
“In the last 29 months our economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs. We could have done better but last year, the Republicans blocked the President's jobs plan costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So here's another jobs score: President Obama plus 4.5 million."
But the reality is this.
Total payrolls in 2009 - 111 million.
And today only 111.3 million.
So, only 300,000 net new private sector jobs were created over his Presidency and if you factor in the loss of government jobs, well, the President didn't create any jobs.
Then there's Obamacare. Clinton argued Obamacare is allowing more people to get coverage and that the costs are declining.
“Finally listen to this, for the last two years after going up at three times the rate of inflation for a decade. For the last two years health care spending has grown under 4% for the first time in 50 years."
But Obamacare hasn't even really gone into effect yet.
These numbers have more to do with a bad economy. People can't afford health care and don't go to the doctor. Boy, there's a good news story you can hang your hat on.
What's more, you know costs are rising, not declining.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation:
Premiums for single coverage is up 8%, family up 9% from 2010, and up 113% from 2001.
Then there's Clinton's attempt to debunk news stories that Obama is gutting welfare reform.
“So this is personal to me, we let millions of people off welfare, it was one of the reasons that in the eight years I was President, we had a hundred times as many people go from poverty into the middle class then happen under happen the previous 12 years, a hundred times as many. It's a big deal. But I am telling you the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform's work requirement is just not true."
A national recognized welfare expert who helped write the 1996 law, Robert Rector says new rules from the Obama administration will weaken work participation standards that require 30% of able-bodied welfare recipients to work 20 to 30 hours a week.
And I could go on. Clinton's claim Obama's budget would cut the deficit by $4 trillion?
No serious budget analyst believes that.
The President is counting savings from winding down the War in Afghanistan and Iraq, savings we already counted. That's not "good arithmetic," It's a budget gimmick.
So Clinton's report card from last night?
Soaring oratory? Check.
Facts? Few and far between.
I guess when you don't have a record to run on, you have to resort to really good speechifying. Watch for more of that tonight when the President speaks.