I promised I would do a little something on the state of the union address given by Obama last week so here it is as promised. Sorry it is such a belated response, but I had a couple other things I wanted to write about as well. (Mainly this post ) Plus, Obama did speak longer than most so it was a lot to go over. I find that the more someone has to try to explain what they are doing the more likely they are blowing smoke up your…well, you know. As usual, here is the transcript of the prepared remarks if you would like to read the whole thing. I have only taken parts out to offer some explanation. As you read it you will notice that as in every Obama speech, he thrives on going after people’s emotions. By taking the emotional point of view, he can avoid pesky things such as logic and facts. He will also keep you from thinking about these things.
The very first thing I wanted to cover is something that I did not see in the prepared transcript. That was Obama’s very unprofessional statements toward the Supreme Court. It was one of the most un-presidential things I have ever witnessed in a state of the union address. Please click on the link below to watch the clip if you did not watch it live.
First of all, the Supreme Court did its job in protecting our first amendment rights in this case and Obama is dead wrong on this issue. Secondly, Obama openly told the legislative body to immediately put in legislation that the Supreme Court just ruled unconstitutional. This shows arrogance and a blatant disregard for separation of powers created by the Constitution. Third, just like in Talladega Nights, preceding your statement with all due respect does not mean you can say whatever you want. Like many times before, Obama’s conduct was unbecoming of someone who holds the office of President. And just as a side note, Obama was the beneficiary of these special interests. He broke his promise of public funding in order to get to this money. Unions spent upwards of $81 million to elect him and he had so many undocumented donations (foreign money anyone) that the government did not have the resources to investigate it. He also had the full resources of the MSM. Can someone say hypocrite…thank you. Now to the rest of the speech.
One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted, immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.
The very first thing Obama did was to remind us that none of these problems were created by him. He was just the unfortunate soul that had to take over and fix everything. He does not want to remind you that Democrats have been in control of Congress since 2006. He also does not want you to realize that it was a liberal economic philosophy that got us into this mess in the first place; things that he advocates to this very day. (that would be liberal philosophy from both sides of the aisle for those who confuse political philosophy with political parties). Here is a good post I wrote on the subject. In addition, despite the President’s statement, there were opposing views on how to deal with this economic problem. As time wore on, there was less and less support for this administration’s policies. Conservatives for the most part were against all of these bailouts and by the time the stimulus came around, even the CBO stated that the long term health of the economy would be better if we did nothing rather than fund a stimulus bill. We did not make it through this period of time because of his actions, we made it through despite them.
This recession has also compounded the burdens that America’s families have been dealing with for decades, the burden of working harder and longer for less, of being unable to save enough to retire or help kids with college.
This statement is factually incorrect. It is Obama’s continual effort to push class warfare. This tactic was used extensively by FDR to get re-elected. Proof that this is nothing more than a liberal lie can easily be found. Take the example given by Glenn Beck.
“In 1949, someone who worked minimum wage over the summer would have enough money to buy the following items: A Smith Corona typwriter, Argus 21 35mm camera, Silvertone AM-FM radio; and Silvertone 3-speed phonograph. In 2009, that same person, working the same number of hours at minimum wage, would now be able to purchase: A Dell laptop computer, HP color ink printer, scanner, copier; Canon 8 megapixel digital camera; portable GPS system; 32″ LCD HDTV; 8GB iPod nano; GE microwave, Haier refrigerator/freezer; Toshiba DVD/VCR combo; RCA home theater system; Uniden cordless phone; RCA AM/FM radio; Camcorder; Sony Playstation 2; and about 7 other things”
So you can easily see that this statement is nothing more than a lie meant to divide, not unite. It is also a myth that you have to make tons of money to save for retirement and pay for college. Not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it can be done. Most are just are not willing to make the choices required to do so.
For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry. They don’t understand why it seems like bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded, but hard work on Main Street isn’t, or why Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems. They’re tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness. They know we can’t afford it, not now.
First, he once again plays on the emotions of Wall Street versus Main Street. That is getting really old, especially when it is his administration that is rewarding failure and punishing those behaving responsibly. Second, I thought he was joking when he brought up partisanship and pettiness. Obama is one of the most partisan Presidents we have ever seen. This statement is not only supported by general polls, but also his actions. It was Obama who appointed Rahm Emanuel, it was Obama who publicly ridiculed Republicans who believe in Reaganomics, it was Obama who ordered the attack on Rush Limbaugh, and it was Obama who ordered the attack on Fox News. And those are just the highlights. I did not even mention their refusal to include GOP lawmakers in the room during the writing of legislation. Well, I guess I just did.
So I supported the last administration’s efforts to create the financial rescue program. And when we took that program over, we made it more transparent and more accountable. And as a result, the markets are now stabilized, and we’ve recovered most of the money we spent on the banks. Most, but not all. To recover the rest, I’ve proposed a fee on the biggest banks. Now…Now, I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.
First lie is that he made the TARP program more transparent and more accountable. His administration denied access to information about these TARP funds. Until pressured, they also would not allow these banks to pay back the TARP funds they were given (some of which did not want the money in the first place). Again there are things that Obama does not want you to know or hopes you will not research on your own to find out the truth. Here are the facts. The 4 major US banks who received funds have already paid back all that they owe the government plus interest. Numerous large regional banks have done the same. A few of the large insurance companies who refused government money will also be hit with this bank tax. So who will not? Fannie and Freddie will not be hit with the tax and they still owe over $100 billion. His friends in the auto industry still owe $30 billion to the government, but they also will not get hit with the tax. The real little tidbit that Obama will not tell you is that we the taxpayer will end up actually paying for this tax. The banks will pass on this cost to the consumer in the form of lower interest rates for saving instruments such as savings accounts and CDs. Yea us, we get to be patriotic again. Here is a good article on the bank tax.
That’s why we extended or increased unemployment benefits for more than 18 million Americans, made health insurance 65 percent cheaper for families who get their coverage through COBRA, and passed 25 different tax cuts. Now, let me repeat: We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person, not a single dime. Now, because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed. And we’re on track to add another 1.5 million jobs to this total by the end of the year. The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. That’s right, the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill. Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped saved jobs and avert disaster, but you don’t have to take their word for it.
Here we go again. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families and we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime. What he did not mention is that he has raised taxes but in ways you probably will not notice. If you smoke, he enacted the largest single increase in the tobacco tax in our history. They also are allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. Despite what a liberal might tell you, Bush lowered taxes for everyone. The job creation statement was quite funny in my opinion. A week before 3 of his advisors gave 3 different job numbers. The truth of the matter is that there is no way for the administration to determine if those jobs would have been created without the stimulus. And we have seen the bogus numbers the White House has come up with. The stimulus was filled with every liberal pet project you could think of to include the jump starting of Obamacare’s rationing board. Economists also do not agree that the Stimulus saved jobs and averted disaster. Many believed then and believe now that the opposite is true. Of course now the evidence clearly shows the stimulus did nothing to help the economy. Obama tried to call out Republicans on this point and in my opinion was embarrassed when Republicans gave him a list of over 200 economists who basically were saying told you so.
That is why jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight. And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America. Now, the House has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these steps. As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same, and I know they will. They will.
I think it is quite humorous that Obama is now calling his proposed second stimulus a jobs bill. Unfortunately changing the name is all you need to do to convince some people that you are doing something different. But unfortunately for Obama, I have a brain and have already written a post on this second stimulus. For those that did not pick it up in his little speech, the House has already passed a $155 billion dollar second stimulus while you weren’t looking.
We can’t afford another so-called economic “expansion” like the one from last decade, what some call the “lost decade,” where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion, where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs, where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation.
Just a small point I would like to reiterate is that this housing bubble was once again caused from the liberal philosophy of everyone has a right to a home. They manipulated the standards to put people into homes that could not really afford it. Then they tried to prosecute those who would not make these risky loans under the precept of “discriminatory loan practices”. This is one of the things Obama did as a lawyer for ACORN.
Now, one place to start is serious financial reform. Look, I’m not interested in punishing banks. I’m interested in protecting our economy. A strong, healthy financial market makes it possible for businesses to access credit and create new jobs. It channels the savings of families into investments that raise incomes. But that can only happen if we guard against the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy. Now, the House has already passed financial reform with many of these changes. And — and the lobbyists are trying to kill it. Well, we cannot let them win this fight. And if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back until we get it right. We’ve got to get it right.
His intentions may be good, but that does not really matter. Most government interventions have good intentions, but government intervention always results in very bad things. In this case Obama is referring to H.R. 4173, which I wrote about after the House passed it. This is very dangerous legislation that increases the size of the government and gives the government unprecedented powers over private financial institution. It also guarantees further bailouts for financial institutions if they make more poor business decisions. (that will teach them) Here is my post on the topic.
And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. I’m grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.
It is obvious here that Obama still believes in good old Al Gore. I do not disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. The only problem is that this evidence actually disproves the global warming alarmists. If Obama cannot see this after climategate, then I doubt any evidence will convince him. His own EPA was even busted for hiding reports containing evidence that was counter to his belief in this mystical idea of global warming. He also appears to still support the Cap and Trade legislation passed by the House. This legislation would increase energy costs for every American and put millions of workers at risk of losing their jobs while having no significant effect on the environment. Genius.
To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let’s take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let’s tell another 1 million students that, when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years, and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.
For those who did not pick up on it, Obama wants to completely nationalize student loans. This is something he has talked about before, but apparently he also wants to eliminate any personal responsibility that goes along with the loan. This is a constant problem with liberals in government. Personal responsibility is just not something that they believe in. So aside from the issues of expanding government, there is also this issue.
I didn’t choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. And by now, it should be fairly obvious that I didn’t take on health care because it was good politics. Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan. It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress, our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades. 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, this process left most Americans wondering, “What’s in it for me?” But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Let me know. Let me know. I’m eager to see it.
It appears that Obama still believes that the health care reform in its current form is a good thing and he still apparently believes that the only reason that you and I do not think the same is because he just did not explain it well enough. How arrogant can he be. This is one of the worst cases of denial that I have ever seen. This single issue turned the bluest state in the union red. Despite Obama’s claims, this legislation will not reduce deficits. The financial gimmicks to reduce cost within the CBO’s 10 year time frame would make even Madoff proud (a Democratic congressman actually said that, not me). They have tried to split off large elements of the cost. They have made unrealistic assumptions on cutting Medicare costs that are not viable without real reform and they have delayed major elements of the plan to 2014 while starting the taxation immediately. And to top all of this off, there has been absolutely no transparency as promised.
This leads me to my rebuttal of his point of lobbying and horse-trading. All of these deals were made with his comrades in Congress and with the unions; Obama was personally involved with the closed door meetings. And what a deal he got them. The best description I can think of is passing health care Chicago style. So no Mr. President, we understand what your reform looks like and it is not what we want.
What we would like is for you to consider the multiple ideas that have been presented to reform health care from the other side of the aisle (the ones you refused to invite to the table). He likes to perpetuate the lie that Republicans are a party of opposition that has no real ideas. Well, I know of at least 3 pieces of health care legislation that were proposed. The Republicans also offered a counter stimulus and a counter budget. All of which were ignored by the President, Congress, and the media. Based upon this, I find Obama’s comment of eagerness to listen to other ideas as nothing more than another lie.
By — by the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door.
Once again, in the same speech nonetheless, Obama makes sure we understand that he is not responsible. But this is not exactly truthful. I found this analysis from the Heritage Foundation helpful in explaining.
“The President’s claim that the long-term trillion-dollar budget deficits are “the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program” is clearly misleading. While these factors contributed to turning earlier surpluses into deficits, the budget deficit still stood at just $162 billion when the recession began in late 2007. The larger subsequent deficits have been driven by the recession, the financial bailouts, the President’s stimulus bill, and large discretionary spending hikes enacted by a Democratic Congress. Once the recession ends and its costs wind down, budget projections show permanent trillion-dollar deficits driven by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid growth, as well as the higher discretionary spending baseline, and growing net interest costs on this large debt – not even counting the President’s expensive proposals. While President Bush certainly spent too much, it’s not okay Obama would more than double down.”
It’s like Obama does not believe that he and the Democratic led Congress (since 2006) have drastically increased spending. As if he did not sign the largest spending legislation in our nation’s history. I find that amazing.
I’m absolutely convinced that was the right thing to do, but families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. So tonight, I’m proposing specific steps to pay for the $1 trillion that it took to rescue the economy last year. Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected, but all other discretionary government programs will. We’ve already identified $20 billion in savings for next year.
After spending more of your tax dollars in one year than any previous President, he now wants to freeze government spending. This is really quite funny. First off, listen to what he said while campaigning, “We do have a disagreement about an across-the-board spending freeze. It sounds good. It’s proposed periodically. It doesn’t happen.” Based upon this you would expect it is just a political stunt and really that is all it is. First the spending freeze does not address the elements that are really driving the deficit (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security). Second, you will notice that the spending freeze will not start until after the next elections and will not apply to the large increases they already made for next year. Congressman Ryan actually called him on this last Friday when Obama met with the Republican members. Here was the exchange:
RYAN: The spending bills that you’ve signed into law, the domestic discretionary spending has been increased by 84 percent. You now want to freeze spending at this elevated level beginning next year. … So my question is, why not start freezing spending now?”
OBAMA: “The fact of the matter is, is that most of the increases in this year’s budget, this past year’s budget, were not as a consequence of policies that we initiated but instead were built in as a consequence of the automatic stabilizers that kick in because of this enormous recession. So the increase in the budget for this past year was actually predicted before I was even sworn into office and had initiated any policies. … Now, the reason that I’m not proposing the discretionary freeze take into effect this year — we prepared a budget for 2010, it’s now going forward — is, again, I am just listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. And what they will say is that if you either increase taxes or significantly lowered spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that that would have a de-stimulative effect and potentially you’d see a lot of folks losing business, more folks potentially losing jobs. That would be a mistake when the economy has not fully taken off.”
When Ryan pressed again for him to actually answer the question, Obama basically blew him off and moved on to another question. You will see once again Obama tried to push the blame to someone else as if he has no control. The discretionary spending has nothing to do with what he was talking about, but that is a whole other discussion. Despite economists and historians saying otherwise, he still believes that we need to spend our way out of the recession. I am sure holding steady funding for liberal programs until after the election has something to do with it as well.
To help working families, we’ll extend our middle-class tax cuts. But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, for investment fund managers, and for those making over $250,000 a year. We just can’t afford it.
Class warfare again…he is only going after the rich. Unfortunately most small business owners fall into this category so don’t blame me when they have to lay off workers because of an overbearing government…I think that is Bush’s fault…right?
And in the last year, hundreds of Al Qaida’s fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed, far more than in 2008. And in Afghanistan, we’re increasing our troops and training Afghan security forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011 and our troops can begin to come home. As we take the fight to Al Qaida, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people. As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as president.
A long time ago before Obama took office I said that he would try to take credit for ending the Iraq War and here he has. When he talks about the wars I usually get sick to my stomach because if anything, his words and actions have been a detriment to our cause. But I will cover a couple of points. First, we have been training both Iraqi and Afghan security forces for a long time. I do not want Obama to get away with the impression that this is something that he has initiated to get our troops out of these war zones. It has been the plan from nearly the very beginning. Second, the plan to remove troops from Iraq was developed and agreed upon by the Bush administration. The agreement with the Iraqi government was made with this administration. It was actually rumored that Obama asked the Iraqi government not to agree to anything before he took office. Obama had absolutely nothing to do with ending the war in Iraq. I will leave my comments at that.
Now, these diplomatic efforts have also strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of nuclear weapons. That’s why North Korea now faces increased isolation and stronger sanctions, sanctions that are being vigorously enforced. That’s why the international community is more united and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated. And as Iran’s leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: They, too, will face growing consequences. That is a promise.
Obama’s efforts on the international front have been almost laughable. He gave into Russia’s demands and did not get a single thing in return. Iran has become more bold in its words and actions because they see this administration as weak. Obama is getting taken advantage of by more seasoned and wily world leaders. And to make matters worse, we have stopped standing up for the rights of free people around the world. Specifically two items come to mind. The situation in Honduras and the situation in Iran, both of which I have written about.
We have gone from a bystander to a leader in the fight against climate change.
Actually we have not done anything since he has taken office. Speeches do not count.
My administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination. We finally strengthened…We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate.
The only way they could this hate crime bill through Congress was by hiding it in a defense spending bill (even with their majority position in Congress). This was probably because it was not really needed. Don’t our current laws cover crime? I thought so anyways. As for his civil rights division. Please explain their dismissal of voter intimidation by the Black Panthers. It was done by one of the top people at the DOJ.
This year — this year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It’s the right thing to do.
This is his constant promise to repeal the don’t ask, don’t tell policy of the military. I imagine it will never come to pass because of the revolt he will get from those in the military. He obviously cannot even conceive the affect that this single action would have on the military. Probably because he does not understand the culture of those who are sworn to defend our nation. But I guess he has to cover his liberal bases.
The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away. No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there. No wonder there’s so much disappointment. Those of us in public office can respond to this reality by playing it safe and avoid telling hard truths and pointing fingers. We can do what’s necessary to keep our poll numbers high and get through the next election instead of doing what’s best for the next generation.
The only thing I can think of at this point is that hypocrisy and irony know no bounds. He promotes the very thing that he proclaims to despise… with every speech, every word, and every action. Hopefully people are beginning to see this now. Well, I am tired of typing so I am going to stop. If you want to read some more comments and reaction to the state of the union address I found this article that has some good information from people a lot smarter than me. Happy reading.