Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Fact-checking President Obama's press conference

President Barack Obama speaks at a press conference on June 29, 2011.
President Barack Obama speaks at a press conference on June 29, 2011.

In a press conference on June 29, 2011, President Barack Obama defended his position on Afghanistan and Libya and repeatedly mentioned tax breaks for people flying corporate jets. But the bulk of the questions focused on the looming vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Obama was asked whether tax increases should be a part of a deal to approve a new debt ceiling -- the subject of long-running negotiations as the current statutory cap on federal debt approaches in August.

Obama said that he believes some types of revenue increases should be included. As part of his answer, he sought to provide some context about current levels of taxation, at least for the most highly compensated Americans.

"You can't reduce the deficit to the levels that it needs to be reduced without having some revenue in the mix," Obama said. "The revenue we're talking about isn't coming out of the pockets of middle-class families that are struggling -- it's coming out of folks who are doing extraordinarily well and who are enjoying the lowest tax rates since before I was born. If you're a -- if you are a wealthy CEO or a … hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been. They're lower than they've been since the 1950s."

We checked out Obama's claims about tax rates and found that by most measures, he's right.  We rated the claim Mostly True.

Obama also assured that he's serious about his efforts to  ease federal regulations on businesses as a way to goose job creation. In fact, he said, his plan for regulatory review is unprecedented.

"What I have done -- and this is unprecedented, by the way; no administration has done this before -- is I've said to each agency, 'Don't just look at current regulations or don't just look at future regulations, regulations that we're proposing. Let's go backwards and look at regulations that are already on the books and if they don't make sense, let's get rid of them.'"

We found that, actually, lots of presidents have done just that. We rated Obama's statement Pants On Fire.

Stay tuned for some more fact checks tomorrow from the president's press conference.