American Elephants

The President Just Explained: He Doesn’t Understand the Economy. by The Elephant's Child

State of the Union speeches are seldom anything that goes in the history books, and this one was certainly no exception. You can expect any president to attempt to paint a picture that is at the least a little rosier than reality, but really, this was ridiculous. Presidents and their speechwriters try to come up with ringing phrases that will be memorable, that reporters will repeat over and over the next day, but history requires some relation to reality.

Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.

The president realizes that the public is concerned about jobs. Even those who are still employed are worried and most either have a family member or know someone who is out of a job. So he offered up some titles for federal micromanagement initiatives: “manufacturing hubs”, a “partnership to rebuild America,” a challenge to “redesign America’s schools, and “Energy Security Trust.” Memo headings, with the details yet to be filled in.

In the real world, the state of the union is that the United States is $6 trillion deeper in debt than it was before Barack Obama became president. He has spent more in four years than George W. Bush did in eight. Economic recovery is slower than it has ever been in any recovery in recent memory, and economists fear that we may be falling into a new recession. Since the recession ended in June of 2009, incomes have dropped another 4.8 percent. And as far as reducing the deficit, this is how it is done.

There is an extensive history of how we recover from recessions, and how we create jobs in our free society. Business owners, managers, and business organizations have been quite public about what is preventing them from investing and growing their businesses. High corporate taxes, an excess of unnecessary regulation, ObamaCare and its rapidly rising costs and regulation, the high cost of energy, the fear of overcriminalization.

The president has destroyed businesses with excessive controls. The flow of useless regulation from the Interior Department and the EPA have put whole companies out of business. This president, in pursuit of an ideological agenda that is not new, but old—very old, and has failed over and over, has created a climate in which businesses are afraid to hire, afraid to invest or grow, and no “Partnership to Rebuild America” nor “Energy Security Trust” will do a thing unless the administration changes direction. Which he will not do. He does not change his mind.

He will go on chasing global warming, which is proved by Hurricane Sandy and this summer’s drought though this is weather, not climate. He actually claimed that “the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15”, which is completely false as there has been no warming for the past 17 years. None. Even the IPCC is admitting that it’s over. Enthusiasts have been chasing electric cars since the early 1900s, always sure that the final breakthrough is just ahead. Wind energy is not free, but just raises our costs of energy to unaffordable levels.

You can print out the speech if you are interested. It’s easy to refute, line by line. It is a fraud. He raises straw men as he always does, and congratulates himself when he knocks them down. But there are plenty of clues to what the man actually believes or at least what he tells himself. You cannot read the speech without wondering why he understands so little.

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