Politifact Virginia: Did Obama make promises on unemployment?

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Former Senator George Allen is making it clear -- his race for his old senate seat is going to be as much about President Barack Obama as it is going to be about him.

Here's what Allen said this week about the president's stimulus plan.

"Two years ago today, President Obama signed into law a $800 billion jobless stimulus bill that promised to keep unemployment under 8 percent," Allen said.

But did the president promise a jobless rate under 8 percent?  If so he missed the goal quite a bit.

Just today, the Labor Department announced the unemployment rate is 8.9 percent.

According to the reporters of Politifact Virginia, that claim is "barely true." Allen points to a report released by the Obama administration that predicts the stimulus would result in the creation of 3 to 4 million jobs and prevent the unemployment rate from going up over the 8 percent mark.

But the report contained many disclaimers. They couched their claim by saying the economic situation remains very uncertain and unemployment had the potential to reach 11 percent.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Jacob Geiger, it is difficult to claim Obama "promised" an 8 percent unemployment rate, when he never actually used the word "promise."

"Really you can't promise something out of your control. When you pass a tax cut deal you can promise that will change to a certain percent because that is set in law. You can't promise people jobs when private businesses are the ones doing a lot of the hiring, he said.

And you can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com and you can see all our past reports on my political blog, www.decisionvirginia.com.

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