In the aftermath of the shooting of five Dallas police officers by a black power activist, and cell phone video of police shooting unarmed black men, President Obama had the chance to use his words to bring Americans together.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case with him, the president choose instead to fan the flames of racial tension in his speech at the Dallas memorial service for the fallen officers.
In doing so he made a number of false statements.
“That so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves. As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools,” he said. “We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs. We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book. … We know these things to be true.”
Investor’s Business Daily looked at the claims one by one.
Claim 1: “As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools.”
From 2002 – 2013 spending in education per student has risen 5 percent, according to the National Center for Education statistics. In New York City $20,000 is spent per student while in Philadelphia the number is $19,000.
Claim 2: “We allow poverty to fester…”
In 2016 the spending on food stamps, welfare, subsidized housing and other “income security” programs will reach $525 billion. A 24 percent increase from 2008, IBD reported.
Claim 3: “We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs.”
The Government Accountability Office report showed that there are 112 programs between eight federal agencies that provide mental health services.
Four of those agencies reported that they spent “about $5.7 billion for programs that specifically targeted individuals with serious mental illness in fiscal year 2013.”
That’s a far cry from refusing to fund them.
Claim 4: “We flood communities with so many guns…” and the inference that more gun ownership means higher crime rates.
“The gun-related homicide rate of 3.6 deaths per 100,000 population in each of the years 2010, 2011 and 2013 makes those recent years the safest in at least 20 years, and possibly the safest in modern U.S. history,” economist Mark Perry wrote for CNS News.
Meanwhile, according to IBD, gun ownership rose 50 percent from 1993 – 2013.
Claim 5: “It is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.”
There is no state in America where it is legal from someone under 18 years of age to purchase a firearm, which would force them to the black market where a gun would cost them around $1,500, according to IBD.
Moreover, schools give textbooks to students for free and libraries still exist. And decent computers can be had for around $400 at most retailers including Best Buy and Staples, particularly if the buyer goes for a refurbished model.
But hey, why let facts get in the way of pushing an agenda?
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