Obama’s State of The Union speech was filled with soaring rhetoric, and teleprompter reading worthy of a Oscar winner, but we must make a real effort to see beyond campaign year rhetorical flourishes and take a hard look what was actually being proposed. We should seek to look beyond the cult of personality distractions/Kabuki Theater we witnessed in the SOTU and actually listen to what was being said. The substance of the speech made it abundantly clear that Obama, along with his administration, continues to be committed to a huge central government that controls every aspect of our lives, including the economy, energy, financial, health care and education sectors, with little regard for property/privacy rights or individual liberty. Let’s take a closer look at what Obama is actually proposing.
The Economy, Taxes and The National Debt
Obama began the discussion on our economy by asserting..
We can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules.
We must ask ourselves; Is it “fair” that 50% of citizens in the United States pay no federal income taxes? Is it fair for the government to bailout financial institutions and corporations with trillions of dollars of taxpayer’s money? Is it fair to favor one industry over another, with government subsidies (in the form of borrowed money), while enslaving future generations to pay back that enormous debt? Is everyone really getting a fair shot and playing by the same set of rules? What seems “fair” to one person may seem very unfair to others. In this case, it appears the term “fair” is intentionally meant to be nebulous.
Obama continued to blame financial institutions for making housing loans to individuals who couldn’t afford to pay them back. What Obama failed to mention is that government meddling, and policies he supported, was the root cause of the housing bubble and the crash that followed. He failed to mention that one administration after another has pressured banks into handing out these kind of loans, culminating in the Community Reinvestment Act, a progressive idea embraced by both parties, pushing a misguided concept that everyone has a “right” to home ownership, whether they can afford it or not. It was this unholy alliance between big government progressives and greedy Wall Street bankers that caused the housing bubble, and the depression that followed after the bubble burst. This is a CLEAR example of how government meddling and central planning can have a devastating effect on the private sector and our economy, whether they had good intentions or not. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
Obama went on to suggest that “they”, have agreed to cut the deficit by more than 2 trillion dollars. This is outright lie. As previously reported on UV, there are no cuts on the table, there never was, only increases in spending and increases in the national debt. By the end of Obama’s four year term as president, our national debt will have exploded, from an already massive 10 trillion dollars, to over 16 trillion dollars, which is a 60% increase. In his SOTU address, Obama clearly stated that he believes the solution to fix our economy is more big government programs, combined with increased taxes on the so called “rich”. He proposed more unaccountable bureaucracies and agencies, more central planning and control, more borrowing, printing and spending, which of course, leads to more debt.
Obama has never offered any real proposals to cut our national debt. On the contrary, his plan is to continue to grow government, spend money we don’t have and increase the debt to over 20 trillion dollars by 2016. If re-elected, Obama and his administration will have incurred more debt than all of the other presidents before him, combined. This almost criminal debt, debt that Obama once called unpatriotic, is the most dire of states the union finds itself in today. Yet, that fact was conveniently and purposely omitted from the State of the Union address.
At no point did Obama offer any bold solutions, such as tax real reform. Perhaps something like a 3 tier flat tax of 10-15-20 percent, depending on income level, would be a great start. Everyone with an income pays something. Now that sounds “fair”. The percentages could be debated & tweaked, with input from both Democrats and Republicans. All deductions should be eliminated, with the exception of mortgage interest deductions on a primary residence and charitable contributions. No other deductions would be allowed and this would not be an “option”, as some have suggested. This would be a complete replacement for the current tax code. Another plus is that the simplification of the tax code would eliminate the need for much of the IRS. This is the kind of bold plan we need to get this country back on the proper fiscal path.
While everyone agrees that education is one of the most important things most of us seek, there are many different views on how to educate or more appropriately stated, how to motivate someone to make the effort to become educated. That’s really the key. No amount of money spent on education can force a student to put down the cell phone, video game or other distraction and pick up a book. It’s up to parents to motivate at home, and to a lesser extent, teachers to motivate when they can, but we must understand that government can’t solve all of life’s problems.
Apparently though, Obama seems to think that spending more money can solve the educational problems we have today. He went on to say that that there are plenty of high tech jobs available but Americans don’t have the skills to fill those jobs. It seems Americans graduating college are just too dumb. That’s strange because as an IT professional, with 25 years of experience in the industry, I know first hand that jobs in the IT sector are in short supply, with lots of competition for what few jobs there are. One problem has been a massive influx of in-sourcing/out-sourcing firms from India, who are undercutting American citizens and depressing salaries by bringing in foreign workers on H1B visas.
Obama suggested that we need to bring in more foreign workers to fill all these jobs. Yet, we have bright IT professionals graduating from college, who discover they can’t get the job they want because the IT department has just been out-sourced/in-sourced to a firm from India. There is a major disconnect here between the politicians in their bubble and the real world. Obama attempted to tie education to immigration and suggested illegals aliens who managed to get into college would be able be given a pass, then went on to suggest amnesty for all illegals, using the same old code phrase, “comprehensive immigration reform”.
Obama failed to mention the inherent corruption that occurs when public sector teacher unions, and the politicians they help elect, make sweetheart deals, bankrupting progressive states with salaries, benefits and pensions that have became unsustainable. Obama will continue to redistribute tax dollars from responsible states to prop up the irresponsible states, which have been corrupted by alliances between unions and the politicians they support.
Since the creation of the Department of Education, the federal government efforts improve the educational system has been a dismal failure. Education of the citizens is not a function of the federal government under our Republic. The states need to decide for themselves how best to educate their citizens and how to pay for education. The federal government should step aside and allow the states to do their jobs.
Obama barely touched on his signature legislative achievement, which was a wise decision. Forcing Americans to purchase outrageously high insurance, against their will, is not only unconstitutional, but is terribly unpopular with most of the American public. We can only hope the SCOTUS does the right thing and strikes down Obamacare.
In a laughable display of hubris, Obama suggested that he supports an “all of the above” energy policy. This comes from president who has blocked American energy exploration and production at every turn. Obama’s EPA is filled with far let enviro-activists. like Lisa Jackson, who are only interested in the so called Environmental Justice movement. Obama’s EPA now considers the air we breath out of our lungs to be pollution. As promised, Obama policies regarding coal production has caused electricity prices to skyrocket. The price of gasoline has nearly doubled on under Obama’s watch. The most recent debacle was the Obama’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline, which could have provided much needed American energy and jobs.
The only people who believe that Obama has a policy of “all of the above”, when it comes to energy production, are those who still believe in the “Hope & Change” Obama promised during his 2008 campaign. Those would be the true blue kool-aid drinkers who refuse to see Obama as the far left ideologue that he really is.
In a transparent and ineffective attempt to tack right for the upcoming presidential campaign, Obama has fallen back on empty promises and misrepresentations of his positions. Obama believes he can once again fool the American people. Fortunately for us, he now had a record on the issues and his agenda has become quite clear to those who are paying attention. His class warfare strategy and attempt to divide the American public is the anthesis of what a great leader should be. Obama has demonstrated that he is just another “run of the mill” politician who will say and do anything to hold onto power. America needs a real leader, especially at this time in our history.
It’s time for voters to send Barack Obama back into the private sector, where he can no longer continue to bring down our country and economy with misguided progressive policies. Four more years of an unchecked Obama administration could leave this country damaged beyond repair.
America must now elect someone as president who has the guts to stand up to both parties and attempt to undo the mess the political elites have caused. Obama has proven he incapable and/or unwilling to get the job done.