Subscribe to Money Morning get daily headlines subscribe now! Money Morning Private Briefing today's private briefing Access Your Profit Alerts

Five Things Obama Didn't Want You to Hear in His State of the Union

Seeking to put the best possible spin on his message, President Barack Obama took some liberties with the truth in his State of the Union address.

Although the president never actually lied, he repeatedly left out facts that contradict his claims of success.

President Obama hadn't yet left the House chamber when the reality check started. And it didn't take long to find some pretty big the holes in the State of the Union address.

The bending of reality ranged from domestic oil issues to General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) to tire imports.

Here are just five instances in the State of the Union address in which President Obama didn't tell the whole story:

  1. What the President Said About the Auto Industry:
    On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.

    What the President Didn't Tell You:
    First of all, President Obama forgot to mention that the GM bailout process started under President George Bush. And Ford Motor Company 's (NYSE: F) success has nothing to do with the government; it never took any government help. Jobs were saved, but the auto industry lost 200,000 workers. Analysts say the industry won't get back to pre-recession job levels until 2015.

    President Obama also left out the cost of the bailout to the American taxpayer. Because the United States became a major shareholder in GM, the nation still holds 500 million shares of the stock. Given the nation's investment, the U.S. would need to sell those shares at $53 each to break even. GM currently trades at about $25 a share, putting U.S. taxpayers $14 billion in the hole.

  2. What the President Said About Oil:

    Right now, American oil production is the highest that it's been in eight years. That's right – eight years. Not only that – last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past sixteen years.

    What the President Didn't Tell You:
    While U.S. oil production is at its highest levels in eight years, production is only incrementally higher than it was in 2003. And higher production is not, as the president implied, responsible for the nation's reduced reliance on foreign oil. That resulted from years of declining consumption – a trend that started in 2006, two years before President Obama was elected. He also forgot to mention that the price of gasoline has skyrocketed 83% during his term, from $1.79 in January 2009 to $3.28 in December.

  3. What the President Said About Job Growth:
    In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s.

    What the President Didn't Tell You:
    The jobs picture is not quite as rosy as the president described. Total employment is still 1.7 million lower than it was in January 2009, and 6 million lower than the peak in January 2008. And of course, President Obama did not want to remind Americans that the unemployment rate, though it has dropped to 8.5%, was over 9% for most of his presidency.

  4. What the President Said About Government Regulations:
    In fact, I've approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.
  5. What the President Didn't Tell You:
    True enough, President Obama approved 613 regulations in his first 33 months in office – 30 fewer than President Bush. But what he didn't say was that the regulations he approved were generally more costly. President Obama approved 129 regulations that will cost more than $100 million, compared to just 90 for President Bush.

  6. What the President Said About Chinese Tire Imports:
    Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires.
  7. What the President Didn't Tell You:

    The cause and effect for the increase in U.S. tire manufacturing jobs is unclear. Although a tariff enacted in 2009 did slow imports of Chinese tires, other nations — such as Mexico, Thailand and Indonesia — quickly filled the gap. "So far as saving American jobs, it just isn't working," Roy Littlefield of the 6,000 member Tire Industry Association, told The Wall Street Journal. "And it really hurt a lot of people in the industry-smaller businesses that geared up to bring these tires in from China."

News and Related Story Links:

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Brent Wilson | January 25, 2012

    "And Ford Motor Company 's (NYSE: F) success has nothing to do with the government; it never took any government help."

    This is misleading, as Ford directly benefited from GMC and Chrysler being bailed out. If both of those companies were allowed to go under it would have more than likely taken Ford with them.

    • M. Krohn | January 26, 2012

      Thank you. This fact seems to be consistently overlooked. That is why Mullaly was in Washington at the Congressional hearings in 2008 & 2009. Ford was simply smart (read lucky) enough to mortgage their future prior to the banking collapse so they had the cash reserves to weather the collapse of the economy. By September the banking collapse had erradicated the normal avenues requiredd under these circumstances.

    • Will Unger | January 26, 2012

      Brent, I disagree. If GM and Chrysler went out of business more Americans would have backed Ford. This would have rallied them through; however, I do believe someone would have called it a Monopoly and Ford would have had to fight to stay as one company. Such is our capitalistic society.

    • Geoffrey Bailey | January 28, 2012

      I have to agree with Brent Wilson. Ford directly benefited from the GM and Chrysler bailouts. Many of their suppliers supply parts for all 3 auto makers. If Ford's suppliers had gone under Ford would have been scrambling to find new ones. It would not have been a pretty sight.

    • Edouard D'Orange | January 29, 2012

      How do you figure that Ford would have gone down? If Ford didn't take money, then it wasn't going bankrupt. If anything, Ford would have gained even more market share. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world either. Many companies go into bankruptcy and emerge in better shape. The bailouts mainly helped the unions. If GM & Chrysler would have gone into bankruptcy, they probably would have been able to eliminate structural problems, like high union wages, and been better off in the long run and would have saved the taxpayers tens of billions.

    • johnboy | January 29, 2012

      What have u been smoking — the stupid stix

    • Insanity Prevails | January 30, 2012

      Open your eyes and see Brent, look at it this way: You and I have competing businesses, lets say radio stations and your station takes govt funding to stay afloat (gee, kind of like NPR) and mine operates the good old fashioned way with advertising dollars from local businesses. I am benefited by you staying in business because you are still around to suck listeners away from me and advertisers who look like "sponsers?" OK, I didn't take any "bail out" money because I have a solvent operation meaning I didn't cost the taxpayers anything in fact I kept the economy going in my own small way. Flip side the govt let you fail and your gone and I now have all your customers and I have all your plants. The only thing I see in this scenario is the govt prevented a big business from getting bigger and rewarded for their efficiency and good fiscal policies. Just like Obama, Brent, you treat people foolish enough to listen to you like they are stupid. PS: Look at what GM has been forced into, the Volt, a mega fail on most levels. The technology is not right yet, the infrastructure is not ready for this and the nation does not wants them. This is what happens when people who do not know a business try to run a business, be on the look out for GM crash #2 coming to your economy soon.

  2. Sam | January 25, 2012

    it sounds like another republican that balmes everything on Obama. But yet every single republicans forgets that the economy went into the slump during BUSH's presidency. Obama inherrited it. To expect that Obama is going to have a megical stick and slam on the brakes and stop the B.S. that Bush put us in immediatly is crazy… All OBAMA can do is slow he fall and then reverses it. No president republican or democrat would have been able to stop the tsunami that the REPUBLICANS created. but I think it is funny seeing all of the republicans pointing fingers at Obama.. it's the FAILED republicans POLICIES that put us in that situation. Obama is trying to get us out of it. I want to mention I am not democrat, not a republicans. I vote both ways. but I am now a republican's hater because they continue wanting to destroy the economy just to win the elections.

    • George | January 26, 2012

      Part of our retirement account into
      ford and GM bonds. Ford never missed an interest payment and has in 2010 paid off the face of the bonds. praise the Lord!!
      Govt Motors stopped their interest payments–about $2,000 per month and $20,000 of our retirement account was stollen by Obama and Union Thugs for thier retirement.
      This has also happened to millions of other Bond and preferred stock holders.

      • Geoffrey Bailey | January 28, 2012

        George. Sorry to hear about your loss. I lost money on GM too, but not as much as you. I don't blame Obama or the Unions. If the government hadn't stepped in we still would have lost our money. That's the risk we take when we invest in stocks and bonds. I bought 200 shares of NetFlix (NFLX) about 10 days ago at around 95.60. I think I just made up for my loss on GM.

        • Tony | January 29, 2012


          You missed George's point.

          Sure, we take a risk when we invest in stocks/bonds/etc. The risk we did NOT think we were taking was that the gubbermint would throw out 200 years of bankruptcy law and take OUR money to give to the UNIONS. Many of those bonds were SENIOR DEBUTURES. That means they take precedence in payoffs.

          Obozo simply disregarded the law and gave the money and company to the unions. It's called political payback.


    • Joe | January 26, 2012

      I agree, but I'm a democrat.

      Just think if we wouldn't have had 30 years of Reaganomics.

    • david | January 27, 2012

      That argument stinks. The idiots in congress, Reid and Pelosi and their minions set the table for
      what came later i.e economic meltdown. Dodd, Frank etc etc. Yeah that was before Obama but
      you can't lay it on Bush THE PROBLEM WAS AND IS OBAMAS PARTY!

    • david | January 27, 2012

      You sure lost your way Sam on 1/25
      The last 2 years of Bush were marching to the music of Reid, Pelosi et al.
      Go back and look at the absolutely horrible actions of that Congress ('07,'08) and
      how they set the table for what we have now but obama, instead of taking steps to
      make things better, did the opposite and worse, is still making all of us pay for his
      personal obligations, pay-backs (cronies) who bankrolled and blinded the sheeple
      who got him elected in the first place. How that bonehead wasn't vetted is beyond
      comprehension. I guess the novelty of the first………………… was too compelling
      for the lamestream media.

    • Jim Rodgers | January 29, 2012

      I could not agree more with Sam! Well said. Republicans had control for 8 years prior to Obama having to clean up their mess. I also agree that the Republicans would rather sacrifice the future of working Americans so they can win the next election.

      Having said that, all the oil we need is just across the border in Canada at a reasonable price. They are happy to sell it but Obama doesn't want to build the Keystone pipeline? WHY?

    • scott | January 29, 2012

      Hmmm, I do understand why those looking for government handouts would support Obama. However, when I see someone on a site such as this, praise him for all he has done, it amazes me. Just how bad would he have to be for you to not support him? Lets say he ran us into the hole 10 trillion in his first 3 years instead of 5. Lets say real unemployment averaged 30% in his three years instead of 17. Would you still be blaming the repubs for the legislation he passed with both dem houses, which has been nothing more than catering to his base? I would expect Obama would still have 40 percent of the vote and that scares the hec out of me.

    • Edouard D'Orange | January 29, 2012

      I've got one question for you. Exactly, with factual examples, how did Bush and Republicans create the economic slump? Just because everyone says it was Bush's fault makes it so? It was triggered by the the housing, mortgage and derivatives problems. These problems took years to come to fruition, which some of Bush's cabinet members tried to warn about, but were thwarted by Democrats.

    • Michael S | January 29, 2012

      Our elected officials are to blame, and they are from both parties. True change and new ideas are needed, but voters keep sending the same decision makers to Washington! As the famour definition of insanity implies "doing the same thing over and over but expecting differnt results". Nothing will or can change when Washington is run by career politicians. people that make decisions to be re-elected !

    • Roger Drew Williams | January 29, 2012

      If you believe President Obama, then nothing is his fault and he has made no mistakes. His payoffs to his cronies, through the quantitave easing slush fund, was financed entirely through inflating away the value of the taxpayers money. Prices are up across the board (gas 2X), wages are down, and we are spending $175 million dollars more than we make EVERY MINUTE. While I do not hold the Republicans blameless, I don't believe that America can survive four more years of Bush's fault. We need a different President that will start taking the inititive to improve the nation's lot, not just enrich his contributors bank accounts at the taxpayers and their progeny's expense.

    • Tony | January 29, 2012


      The economy started heading south in 2006–just after the Democrats took control of Congress.

      I think you will agree that it takes time to turn an economy this size around. Well, according to the gubbermint, we came OUT of the recession in July of 2009, six months after Obozo took office. Apparently, the policies of Bush brought us OUT of the recession. After that six months or so, I suspect the policies of Obozo took effect.

      Then we had Obozo and his party completely in control. What happened??


  3. Paul Mollon | January 25, 2012

    Ah yes, the seen and the unseen. Let's hear it for Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt

  4. john | January 26, 2012

    You could not have come up with softer response than that. Well, that means Obama is doing a great job. Thx.

  5. Mutt | January 26, 2012

    Yeah really, non of this bothers me. Look at the rest of the world that is intertwined into the world economy, and THEN look at us, and try to have some appreciation for something for once.

  6. Pieter Ott | January 26, 2012

    Thanks David.
    The truth about all this is all too well known by the majority of people.
    But it's good to point these things out again for the delusional liberal democrats who continue to believe the 3 years of outright lies by obama.

  7. LoLo | January 26, 2012

    Wake up. This president has come forth with more b.s. than a farmer could ever think of spreading on his fields in his lifetime!!!

  8. rc | January 26, 2012

    Did Obama say anything that was true?

  9. Fake Stats | January 27, 2012

    Why do you use the fake unemployment stats? When a laid-off worker loses his unemployment benefits, he doers not become "employed." When a $50,000 yr worker loses his job and later replaces it with a half time job paying 14,000 year, this difference needs to be factored in. The stats you use hid the reality and are thus dangerous because the fail to give us a signal that will allow us to brace for the coming troubles.

  10. John McFadden | January 27, 2012

    Isn't it a bit hypocritical to accuse the president of cherrypicking facts and then quote that the average gas price was 1.90 before his inauguration? That's one of the lowest avg prices from the past decade and was caused by a very brief slump in the crude oil market. The real average before his term was closer to 2.80.

  11. A. Terranova | January 28, 2012

    To say that Obama didn't actually lie but instead conveniently left out factual information in his recent State of the Union, is in itself a falsehood. This kind of deilberate omission of factual information is what we call deception. As a lawyer, Obama knows that is and what isn't a lie. Conversely, he knows what constitutes the truth (facts). If he were to base a case on partial and/or incomplete truths (facts), he would probably lose or at the very least be considered an incompetent attorney. He
    is neither incompetent nor foolish enough to believe that lying is anything but deceptive. So why is he engaging in such behavior? It's really quite simple: Because he knows he won't be held accountable.

  12. Paul G Huber, CPA | January 29, 2012

    I do subscribe. Isn't that why I am getting your e-mail?

    So what's the purpose of putting that big stupid subscibe now message in the middle of reading your e-mail. Is the intended purpose just to piss me off, becuase that's just what I need one more thing to really piss me off.

    It's not bad enough we still have Obozo in the white house. Or a bunch of Bozos in Congress. Or my Applied Materials is still under water. I do taxes and yesterday a sweet young client, somewhat intelligent, I thought, brought her taxes to me and during the course of conversation she told me how she loved Obama, Cheez, one more thing, what a dope!

  13. Bob. | January 29, 2012

    Coming to you from Canada

    I think you folks have a bigger problem – you can't see the forest for the trees. We are all responsible for our present situation yet somehow you believe the blame hound is the government. I am a baby boomer and I remember how I lived when I was a kid; pretty average actually. We had a house (a really big, once in a lifetime purchase), one car in the driveway and one TV in the house. Now, fast forward to my kids – 2-3 cars in the driveway, 4 TV's and just as many computers, 3-5 cell phones depending on the number of children over the age of 5.
    Everyone thinks they are entitled, heck, just ask your children, they will tell you. Most of them believe they should have it all – just look at the school parking lots where huge parking lots are set aside for all the 'middle school' students who bring their own cars or one of the family's spares.
    I think we all should closely examine and accept our individual role in the problem before we cast stones. The Government can't fix all the mistakes and excesses we enjoy.
    Just a thought

  14. Benton H Marder | January 29, 2012

    A question that is seldom raised is this: If Chrysler and General Motors went bankrupt, was it inevitable that both companies would have closed all their doors for good? Or, in the bankruptcy process, would the various divisions have been sold off and made into separate companies? It is not a necessity that there be but a Big Three. Before the Big Three became such, we had a number of smaller car companies in the USA. I see no reason why this could not have become so again. However, there would have been a political problem: the union contracts, which might well have been set aside in bankruptcy, thus requiring complete re-negotiation with the more numerous smaller sucessor companies. Would someone really knowledgable in venture capitalism discuss the possibilities of such a break-up of the Big Three into constituent companies replacing divisions?

  15. Wayne | January 29, 2012

    Everybody wants to blame everything on the President. Well, maybe some of it is his fault, but he can only do what the Congress allows. And Congress only does what is good for THEIR enrichment. Wise up folks, we have lost our government to a bunch of GREEDY politicians who are interested in nothing but lining their own pockets. Two books that are great eyeopeners for anyone who wants to know how our government "works" now are: Winner Take All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on The Middle Class by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson and Through Them All Out by Peter Schweizer. Laws don't get passed or blocked for the good of the people, they get passed or blocked for the enrichment of the Congressmen. And the laws that govern us don't apply to Congress. We have created a PERMANENT POLITICAL CLASS who believe they are above the law, a "special class" who believe they are "entitled" to special perks, special health care, special pensions, unlimited budgets, and the right to buy or sell stocks, bonds, and real estate based on inside information. And they made the laws and formed the Ethics Committee that allows them to do it legally.

    Folks, it is time we take back our government. Now you can elect a new President every four years and little or nothing will change. We will still have a President to kick around and blame for everything and the PERMANENT POLITICAL CLASS (Congress) will still vote their OWN interests and laugh at the stupid voters who keep putting them back into office so they can keep filling their pockets. Or we can RESOLVE to take back our Congress. WE CAN RESOLVE TO VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AS THEY COME UP FOR REELECTION. It might take 2 or 3 election cycles, but sooner or later we will get their attention.

    As we vote out the PERMANENT POLITICAL CLASS we need to let our newly elected representatives know what we expect of them. We need to let them know that we want honesty in government, that there should be no laws that exempt them from the laws that govern the rest of us, that they are not "entitled" to special pensions, health care, remodeling budgets. etc.. Congress is a place where they do the peoples business, not a marketplace for them to get richer. When we elect representatives who represent our interests instead of their pocketbooks, then we will have taken back our government. We will find that we have indeed gotten government smaller, more efficient, and more responsive to the people. We might find that they are more harmonious and civil and get things accomplished. And they might be able to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. Not all at once, but sometime in the future.

    I know a lot of you say this won't work or we haven't got enough time. We have had enough of the Naysayers in Congress. And Rome wasn't built in a day (and it took it more than a day to burn it down). Are we the lazy stupid voters the PERMANENT POLITICAL CLASS wants us to be or are we finally going to wise up and THROW THE BUMS OUT?

  16. Jerry Grubbs | January 29, 2012

    Only ONE question needs to be asked !!!

    Are you and/or the nation (everyone) better off today than when OB took office.
    If yes…. vote If no….vote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some HTML is OK