The State of the Union’s Recycled Rhetoric



Barack_Obama_SOTU

I missed watching the whole State of the Union speech live last night, and have been unable to comment until now.  After watching and reading the transcript of the speech it seems, in my opinion, to be made up of recycled campaign stump speeches and addresses he has given while in office.  There wasn’t much new compared to even last year’s address to Congress.  What is there that is new?  The same themes seemed to be present.

Blamer-in-Chief

  • Blame the past administration.
  • Blame Wall Street.
  • Blame Banks.
  • Blame health insurance companies.
  • Blame Congress.
  • Blame the lobbyists.
  • Blame the Supreme Court
  • Blame Homeland Security

At some point he’ll have to recognize that he’ll have to share in the blame for failed fiscal policies.

Saved Jobs

The focus quickly went from job creation to “saved jobs” with the Recovery Act.  As far as creating jobs go it has been an unmitigated disaster.  So let’s talk about what jobs have been saved instead:

Because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed.  Two hundred thousand work in construction and clean energy; 300,000 are teachers and other education workers.  Tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers, first responders.  And we’re on track to add another one and a half million jobs to this total by the end of the year.

Do you notice where the jobs are?  The public sector.  What has all this spending done to help create jobs in the private sector?  Nothing, nada, zilch.

That’s because the Government can’t truly create jobs without bloating government.  All that the government can do is get out of the way of the private sector and not inhibit its ability to make profit which in turn will stimulate economic growth and job creation.

Spend Our Way Out of Problems

Banks are starting to pay back their loans and he suggests that we need to take that money and give it to smaller community banks.  He is encouraging spending on green jobs.  He talked up a jobs bill, can we say Stimulus II?

Increase research funding.

Go Green Young Man.

The future is green energy jobs, so he puts forth the ghastly climate change bill in the form of Cap and Tax.  He then says in its defense:

I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy.  I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.  But here’s the thing — even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.  And America must be that nation.

During his speech when he mentioned “overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change” he was met by laughter.  He didn’t seem to get the joke.  Did he happen to miss the whole climate-gate thing?  When he says “the nation that leads the clean energy economy” (implement cap and tax) will lead the global economy.  How has this type of bill worked for say… Spain.

I will say that I agree with what he said before that:

But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives.  And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.  It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.  It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies.

Unfortunately his commitment to cap and tax and pushing the climate change agenda is why he lacks credibility when he talks about nuclear power plants and oil and gas development.  It’s hard to believe him.

Task Forces and Initiatives

He wants to double our exports so to do this he will set up an initiative.  How about just getting out of the way of business?  He wanted to help middle class families, have your Vice President head up a “task force.”  He isn’t the first President to do this, but he has turned it into an art form.

Health Care Insurance Reform

When speaking on this subject he makes a statement that is absolutely mindboggling and shows me that he just doesn’t get it.

Still, this is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became.  I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people.  And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, the process left most Americans wondering, "What’s in it for me?"

I wonder if he stopped to consider that people were against not because of his inability to explain “it more clearly.”  This is the only thing that he claims any type of fault.  Perhaps they are against it because they know what is in it?  Just a thought, because as many speeches as he gave on the subject he is either a lousy communicator or he thinks the American people are stupid.

Middle Class Tax Cuts

I’m for tax cuts, but we really haven’t seen the benefit from the tax cuts he says that he has made.  That is because he hasn’t cut taxes.  They increased tax credits.  You haven’t paid less in taxes, but some may be a slightly larger refund.  The Wall Street Journal called him out on this back in 2008 during the campaign:

But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of "tax cut."

For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase "tax credit.”

To increase the taxes (not renewing Bush’s tax cuts) those making over $250,000 will impact job creation.  Out of the “wealthy” include, for instance, sole proprietorships, this impacts small businesses.  He addressed small businesses earlier in his speech:

I’m also proposing a new small business tax credit -– one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages.  While we’re at it, let’s also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, and provide a tax incentive for all large businesses and all small businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.

Rather than letting them keep their own money, he’s talking credits that will be given out based on defined behavior of the government.  While the criteria isn’t necessarily bad, it still comes with strings attached.  I do support the idea of eliminating capital gains taxes on small business investment.  A question, how do you define small business?  Also, why no tax credits for large businesses that hire new workers or raise wages?  How much of a tax incentive?  How much of a tax credit?

It is at the moment empty rhetoric.

The piling debt, earmarks, lobbyists and transparency

President Obama wants to cut spending, great!  He said that before and after over a trillion dollars in new spending and increasing the national debt he says he wants to do something.  He chided Congress over earmarks, but didn’t he sign these pork laden bills into law?  Didn’t he request millions in earmarks as a Senator?  He’s simply not credible.

Regarding lobbyists – well it’s good that he is putting the visitor list online which happened only after a lot of criticism.  His comment about excluding lobbyists is laughable because it is a complete lie.  He has also gone back on his promise of transparency when he promised us a chance to view legislation before he signed it.  How about practicing transparency before actually lecturing on it?

Bipartisanship

How exactly has he lead here?  He hasn’t.  Do we remember the “I won” comment?  It has taken him a year to decide he actually wants to meet with leadership in both parties on a monthly basis?

Afghanistan and Iraq, War on Terror

He mentions the failed Christmas attack, and points the blame at airport security and intelligence gatherers.  There certainly is a lapse, but can he not see that mirandizing terrorists is not helping to collect intelligence?  I mention the War on Terror in my subheading, but he doesn’t mention it.  He doesn’t mention terrorism at all.

Final Thoughts

So basically what is still present is the same ideology that Government can fix it, spending taxpayer money will stimulate our economy and create jobs.  We need green jobs.  He’ll be transparent even though he hasn’t been before.  He’ll continue to keep his law enforcement action on Al Qaeda going, and try to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as humanly possible.  He’ll keep pushing the radical GLBT agenda and bolster the thought police.

What to take away from this?  Nothing new, see 2009 recycled with different wrapping.  Same failed policies, different year.  Oh goody.

Please read our comment policy before leaving a comment.

  • Brian Myers

    To use a basketball analogy: With everyone expecting him to pivot right, Obama doesn’t even attempt a fake in that direction. He simply turns back to the left…and fires a long shot.

    And the crowd roars!!!!!!!

    “Air ball, Air ball”.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Brian Myers, LOL, great analogy!

  • http://www.jps-jive.blogspot.com JP Murie

    Good summary. It was pretty much the speech I expected.
    http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/?p=4994

    One item that left me scratching my head was the bit about repaying college tuition according to your salary and debt forgiveness after 20 years or 10 if you go into public sector work.

    Sounds like more entitlements to me.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @JP Murie, That was odd. I thought about that as well. I think the 10% of someones salary is a bit relative, how can you determine that. Also, how about personal responsibility – people can choose to go to less expensive schools or go part-time and work their way through. They can also try to earn scholarships as well.

      Regarding 20 years… most people are done paying for school by then. With public sector work… if he keeps it up that’ll be all that’s left.