Obama’s Revisionist State of the Union, Pt. 1
On Tuesday night Barack Obama, America’s class warrior-in-chief, gave a rambling, divisive campaign speech thinly disguised as a State of the Union Address. It was short on facts and truth, but with a heaping helping of blame, obfuscation and denial of any responsibility he bears for the current mess in which the nation finds itself. This was an exercise in unadulterated narcissism, plain and simple, with very little reference to what makes America great. In this meandering diatribe, Obama used the word “I” an astounding forty-five times, “my” eighteen times, “fair share” four times, “millionaires” twice and “shared sacrifice” twice. By contrast, he used the word “freedom” once, “liberty” once, and “personal responsibility” exactly zero times. There were more than two dozen examples of Obama telling us what we should and shouldn’t do. It was all quite nauseating.
As a public service, I will once again break down the SOTU and correct the many errors and omissions contained therein. I can’t cover everything, but I’ll try to hit the high points.
“Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.”
A good place to start with education would be the elimination of the federal Department of Education, which now consumes over $100 billion of the annual federal budget, yet has produced no improvement in student achievement in math and reading, and has actually worsened results in science. It is a bureaucratic jobs program that takes money from the states, passes it around in Washington, then gives part of it back with enough strings attached to weave a blanket, demanding a one-size-fits-all program of mediocrity.
As for high-tech manufacturing and high paying jobs, it is government that is the problem, and the solution is to get government out of the way. American companies are double-taxed, on both domestic and foreign profits, putting them at an economic disadvantage with overseas competitors. Our maze of confusing regulations and our labyrinthine tax code also make it much harder to do business here. Politicians love to vilify “greedy corporations” and the CEO’s that take jobs overseas, but the fact is that our politicians are driving them overseas. They can either move to a more favorable economic climate or they can go out of business. You want higher paying jobs? You want economic growth? Then stop treating business as the enemy! When businesses engage in truly illegal or unethical practices then punish them. But stop acting as if every business in the country is a sweatshop, and every CEO is Ebenezer Scrooge.
“The two of them [Obama’s grandparents] shared the optimism of a nation that had triumphed over a depression and fascism.”
Today, Obama is trying to use a near-depression as a pretext to turn America into a de facto fascist nation. Fascism is a system of government headed by a dictatorial leader, in which industry is privately held but its actions are directed by government. Obama has recently and repeatedly stated he will act unilaterally when Congress won’t (or, to be more accurate, when Congress won’t obey his will). Through the auto union bailouts government has taken over the domestic auto industry (except Ford). Through ObamaCare, government has taken over health care and the student loan industry. Through the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, the federal government has essentially taken over the financial sector. Are these not examples of soft fascism? Has not Obama repeatedly and unapologetically violated the Separation of Powers doctrine?
The most clearly laughable part of that section of the speech was the call for more energy independence, so that we are not relying on hostile countries to supply our energy needs. This comes in the immediate aftermath of having rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have significantly increased America’s oil supply by importing oil from a friendly neighbor. Obama claims more time was needed for review, yet the State Department had already completed a three year study, concluding the project presented a very low risk of negative environmental impact. It was privately funded, and would have created 20,000 immediate jobs, plus another 120,000 jobs in support industries. Yet Obama blocked it to appease his enviro-fascist supporters. Now that oil is likely headed to communist China, and America once again loses a chance to reduce our dependence on oil from anti-American, murderous dictators.
“The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake aren’t Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. And we have to reclaim them.”
Obama is a master of uttering untruths and inanities that you’ll swallow hook, line and sinker if you allow yourself to be seduced by the smooth, comforting cadence of a mellifluous voice, rather than listening to the words themselves and comparing them to known facts. Obama is absolutely right that we need to reclaim American values…from him! He said several years ago that America is a great nation, and that he wanted to “fundamentally transform” it. That should have been a huge red flag, but Americans were weary of the Bush-Clinton-Bush years of highly partisan politics, and assumed that Obama’s call for “hope and change” meant that he shared their love of America. He didn’t and he doesn’t. If something is great and you love it, you don’t fundamentally transform it. You may tweak it here and there when you see a flaw, but you don’t go in for a complete overhaul. America is great because our form of government allows (theoretically) individuals to take chances, to innovate and create without government interference, to rise or fall on merit. Government was intended to be a neutral arbiter and a protector of rights, not the bully that chooses winners and losers.
Obama talks about the need for all Americans to do their “fair share” and “play by the same set of rules”, but he doesn’t mean it. If he meant it, he would be concerned that just a hair under half of Americans pay ZERO in federal income taxes, and some get welfare handouts in the form of “refundable” tax credits. He would be concerned that these people enjoy the benefits our government offers, yet contribute nothing to its upkeep. And he certainly would not vilify the Top 1%, which pays nearly 40% of all federal income taxes. Do those in the 1% use nearly 40% of all government services? No! Then how can Obama claim they are not paying their fair share when they are paying far more? Marx would have loved this type of punishing income tax; Madison, not so much.
Obama rode a wave of economic uncertainty, combined with a lofty slogan, into office, having had virtually no record to be judged by. Four years later he has amassed a miserable record as president, which is why he is desperate to keep the focus this campaign cycle on anything BUT his record. Next week, we’ll analyze more of his speech, and cast a little sunshine on it to disinfect the lies.