NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s time for Fact Check on WCBS 880, where, with the help of factcheck.org, a nonpartisan non-profit part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, we try to find the truth.
Today’s topic: the State of the Union address, which was delivered Tuesday night by President Barack Obama.
“We did a lot of fact checking, but actually we wound up writing about very little,” factcheck.org’s Eugene Kieley told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot.
He said the address contained lots of sweeping proposals with very few details.
“The other thing is these speeches are vetted by lots and lots of people. So, in fact they’re usually correct, although what we find are the facts being stretched and that’s what we found a lot of,” Kieley said.
“We have doubled the distance our cars will go on gallon of gas,” said Obama.
“No, not yet,” said Kieley. “What Obama’s talking about is the action that his administration has taken that will require future federal fuel efficiency standards to rise to 54.5 miles per gallon. But that’s not until the model 2025.”
Obama also credited his Affordable Care Act with “helping to slow the growth of health care costs.”
Is it doing that?
“He used the key word there ‘helping.’ The overwhelming evidence is that the economy has not been performing well for quite some time. The slowdown in costs actually predate the Affordable Health Care Act,” Kieley said.
On the minumum wage, Obama said he wants it raised to $9.00 nationally and said that Republicans should go along because “here’s an idea that Gov. Romney and I actually agreed on last year.”
“What Romney said during the campaign at one point was that he thought that the minimum wage should be tied to the inflation index, the CPI. But then two months later he backtracked on all that,” Kieley said.
So, Romney did say that, but took it back, and the president left that part out.
As for the Republican response, Sen. Marco Rubio blamed the new health care law for burdening companies with more than 50 employees.
“Now many of these companies aren’t hiring. Not only that, they’re being forced to lay people off and switch from full time employees to part time workers,” said Rubio.
“He has a valid concern there in that it’s something that may happen. But the provision and the penalties don’t take effect until next year,” Kieley said.
Is there evidence that these companies are switching from full timers to part timers because of the health care law?
“The Senator didn’t provide us with any evidence of that,” Kieley said. “There’d be no reason to do that right now because the law hasn’t taken effect.”