Checking a few of the president's facts

Most claims hold up well to scrutiny, but some miss the mark on details

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Most of President Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday at Cornell College in Mount Vernon was an appeal to supporters and undecided voters, but here’s a check of some factual claims he made:


Obama referred to 18 small-business tax cuts adopted since he took office, a repeat of a claim from Tuesday night’s debate.

CNN counted 14 small-business breaks, including some incentives.


Obama also said “we got back every dime we used to bail out the banks..”

The Troubled Assets Relief Program recovered all but $28 billion of the $411 billion disbursed, according to the Treasury Department, which expects a $20 billion “lifetime profit” from the program. Some TARP money also went to the auto industry.


“Our businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs over the past 2 1/2 years,” and foreclosures are at their lowest in five years, Obama said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September report said that “since reaching an employment trough in February 2010, the private sector has added 4.7 million jobs.”

The preliminary September figure counts 111,499,000 private-sector jobs compared to 107,191,000 in March 2010 (18 months), for a difference of 4,308,000.

The real estate market research firm RealtyTrac reported 180,427 foreclosures filed in September, the lowest nationwide total since July 2007. RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said total properties in the foreclosure process was 1.5 million at the end of September, down from a peak of 2.2 million in December 2010.

“The five-year low is for foreclosures coming into the pipline, but still the pipeline is a little clogged,” said Blomquist.

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