American Elephants

What to Expect From the State of the Union —Or Not by The Elephant's Child

UPI Pictures of the Year 2012 – WASHINGTON POLITICS

The New York Times offered a preview of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech tomorrow, sounds like same as last year’s except longer and duller:

President Obama on Tuesday will move beyond of the politics of the moment to define a second-term agenda built around restoring economic prosperity to the middle class, using his State of the Union to unveil initiatives in education, infrastructure, clean energy and manufacturing.

After four long years of increasing unemployment, Obama wants more money to spend “invest.” There has been enough talk about the sequester, that Obama is probably aware that his very own clever ideas (Republicans will be so terrified by the idea of huge cuts in defense spending that they will give me what I want) are not going to work. The Sequester was entirely Obama’s idea, and he is so resistant to reducing spending at all that Republicans may just accept the sequester to get the necessary cuts in spending.

Democrats, impervious to reality, simply refuse to accept the idea that spending is a problem. It seems pretty obvious when we spend more money than our economy produces. Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. The recession that he “inherited” officially ended in June of 2009. Median household income was $54,983. By June of 2012, Median household income had shrunk to $50,964, adjusted for inflation. That’s $4,019 in lost real income. That hurts!

The unemployment rate is 7.9 percent — one tenth of a point higher than it was when Obama took office. But this does not cover the real toll of joblessness. The Labor Department’s  U-6 rate, which includes people who want a job, but have become so discouraged they have quit looking is 14.4 percent. A new study from Rutgers University shows that 23 percent of those surveyed have lost a job sometime in the last four years, while another 11 percent have seen someone in their household lose a job. Jobs, unemployment and the economy are the top concerns of the public, ranking far above any other issue.

Obama’s mindset and ideology make him convinced that changes in the economy come from the actions of government. Government will create jobs with new government spending on green energy projects. Government will create more capable new employees with government retraining programs and more student loans. Look for the new “Healthy Housing Initiative.”

So now that the economy is recovering (?) all the poor government employees who are vastly overpaid in comparison to their peers in the private sector, but who have suffered immeasurably by having their salaries frozen for the past two years, really deserve a raise, which Obama intends to give them. He really is blind to what is actually going on in the economy, and it doesn’t occur to him to set an example of thrift.

In a New Year’s interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” Obama said his top priority for the next four years was immigration reform. In his inaugural address, Obama ignored the issue of the economy or jobs. The closest he came was when he said “An economic recovery has begun.” So now he wants to convince America that jobs are his top priority — in spite of every indication that it isn’t a priority at all.

But it is Lincoln’s birthday. You can expect him to compare himself favorably to President Lincoln.

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Don’t forget your Obama SOTU bingo cards!


Comment by Lon Mead

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