Officially, it was the State of the Union address — the annual report, constitutionally mandated, from the president to Congress.
Back in the day, it wasn’t a big thing. Many such reports were simply letters from the president. Over time, however, they have grown in prestige and pomp. And they have also become less of “giv[ing] to the Congress information of the state of the union” and more of “recommend[ing] to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
In other words, it becomes a pageant for the president’s further agenda. And that’s exactly what we saw the other night.
Despite virtually everyone’s concern about the state of the economy, spiraling debt, and job creation, Barack Obama’s speech the other night was focused far too much on lofty goals than the nitty-gritty we need to refloat our ailing ship of state.
While rhetoric is expected at such addresses, Obama has probably the most dangerous rhetoric of all: empty.
His repetitive talk of “achievement” and “innovation,” without a willingness to promote the initiatives that led to America’s success in these areas in the past, means that — as usual — he is all talk.
Not once in his speech, for instance, did he really concede that his health care plan is dragging down the economy. Not once did he mention the necessity for us to keep up oil drilling initiatives as the world looks for greener energy sources. And again he sought to mislead Americans by dishonestly speaking of his “tax cuts” which were little more than keeping the tax rate under George W.Bush.
Frankly, Obama has shown he will continue to ignore the will of the people while only paying casual lip service to their concerns.
For someone who seems to like investing, which may have been the word of the night, he doesn’t seem so interested in doing the due diligence that most real-world investors are required to do.
If we are really serious about having American students “Race to the Top” to be innovative and compete with the likes of China and India, for example, then we’d better get serious about focusing on teaching math and science like China and India rather than sex education, diversity initiatives, and healthy eating habits.
In listening to Obama’s speech, it’s obvious that he and I do not share common dreams and common hopes. I’d hoped that, for instance, when Obama said that a government shouldn’t spend more than it takes in, he was speaking about fiscal discipline. Instead, it seemed he was simply talking about taking more money from our pockets.
When Obama says millionaires should give up their tax cuts and that we cannot afford to give tax breaks to the top two percent of Americans, it says to me that he feels the government is entitled to impound the income of the hardworking wealthy — regardless of its impact on our competitiveness and job creation.
Want innovation? Remove tax burdens and regulations from the throats of businesses to increase profits, create jobs, stimulate growth, and encourage entrepreneurship.
At this time of great national uncertainty, it would have been better for Obama to be more introspective about the state of our union than the extrovert he was the other night.