Checking a Few of the President's Facts from Speech at Cornell

By Steve Gravelle, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - Most of President Obama's speech at Cornell College was an appeal to supporters and undecided voters, but here's a check of some factual claims he made:

About eight minutes into his 38-minute speech, the president referred to:

-$3,600 in middle-class tax cuts..

The Congressional Budget Office reports the average federal tax rate for all households is the lowest since 1979. Still trying to relate that to the $3,600 figure.

-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.

-"we got back every dime we used to bail out the banks..."

The Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) 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 two-and-a-half years, and foreclosures are at their lowest in five years..."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' September report says 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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