Fact Checking President Obama's State of the Union Address

VIDEO: Democrats and Republicans both applaud some of President Obamas goals.
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In an optimistic State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday called for bipartisanship and a renewed investment in the nation's education and energy infrastructure.

The president hailed economic growth and the advances his administration has made, from health care to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

ABC News takes a close look at some of the claims in the president's second annual State of the Union address to the joint Houses of Congress.

Tax Cuts:

"Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans' paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year. And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than 1 million private sector jobs created last year."

The White House inked a deal with Republicans last month to extend for 13 months of Bush-era tax cuts that were set to expire at the end of 2010. The tax cut extension bill passed in early December, much to the ire of many House Democrats.

By enacting a temporary break on the Social Security payroll tax, Americans, on average, will see a $2,000 increase in their paychecks this year. But not all income groups will benefit from the change. For those in the lower income group, earning salaries of less than $20,000 per year, the new tax package actually means a smaller paycheck. That's because the extension cut the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave working individuals $400 and couples filing jointly $800 on their 2009 and 2010 tax returns.

The bill also included a provision for businesses that would allow both large and small businesses to write off the full cost of most of their investments in 2011. The Treasury Department estimated that this could generate more than $50 billion in additional investment this year.

As for private sector jobs created last year, the president's assessment was on track. Nearly 1.3 million jobs were created in the private sector in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Reform:

"Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than 1 percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning."

The president established the Race to the Top program in February 2009, one of his first steps in the education sector as commander in chief. The $4.3 billion program was part of the Recovery Act and is designed to reward states that are "implementing significant education reforms." It constitutes less than 1 percent of total U.S. education spending, which is expected to reach or exceed $900 billion this year.

Over the course of the competition, 35 states and the District of Columbia adopted rigorous common academic standards in reading and math, and 34 states changed laws or policies to improve education.

The program has led to much debate and strife over some schools being left behind in this competitive process, especially in states with strong union presence. Colorado and Louisiana have received nation-wide recognition for their education reforms, but their proposals for Race to the Top failed to win widespread union support.

Critics also doubt the long-term viability of the plan.

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