The PJ Tatler

The Victory of Flash Over Substance

America is in trouble.  The caliber of politician we have in Washington D.C. constitutes a national emergency.  In President Obama’s first State of the Union Address in his second term, we heard the same old retread of extreme left-wing liberalism that has made up the bulk of the last four years.  But Republican proposals, counterarguments or solutions were drowned out by a response that lived up to the stereotype that the GOP is old, stodgy and incapable of beating the statist who is Barack Obama.

President Obama said, “Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.” Apparently Mr. Obama only believes in government keeping promises on the goodies it dishes out through entitlement programs.  The president is less concerned about keeping promises to those who actually pay for entitlements.  Take one example, Social Security.  The brochure that announced this new government redistribution scheme back in 1936 was entitled “Security in your old age.”  The first sentence sounds innocent enough. “Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States Government will set up a Social Security account for you, if you are eligible,” it reads. But here’s where Americans of today will throw their hands up in exasperation when they realize this program sounds nothing like the entitlement program we have today. The brochure outlines the following:

For the first three years, starting in 1937, both employer and employee will pay 1 cent for every dollar the employee earns, up to $3,000 a year.

The next 3 years, starting in 1940, employer and employee will pay 1.5 cents for each dollar the employee earns, up to $3,000 a year.

The next 3 years, beginning in 1943, both will pay 2 cents for every dollar earned, up to $3,000.

After that each pays 2.5 cents for three years up to $3k. And finally, beginning in 1949, twelve years from the start of the program, both employee and employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar earned, up to $3,000 a year.

The section ends with this PROMISE: “That is the most you will ever pay.” The pamphlet concludes saying that the taxpayers´ money will go into a fund where it will earn 3% interest. And, “What you get from the Government plan will ALWAYS be more than you have paid in taxes and usually more than you can get for yourself by putting away the same amount of money each week in some other way.”

News flash Mr. President Obama, none of these promises, to the ones paying the freight, were ever kept.  If only there was a competent opposing party that could articulate this.

Marco Rubio had a lot of good things to say.  He was articulate, well-paced, and nobody can remember anything about his speech other than his nervousness, and the “gulp heard ‘round the world”.  The GOP put Rubio in an impossible situation.  Those chosen to give the response to a presidential State of the Union address are at a deficit to begin with as they’re competing with the pomp and pageantry that comes with the presidency.  The GOP, in their infinite wisdom, decided they’d play right into the president’s hands and accept their fate.  They put Rubio in a small room, with hot lights, sweating, tightly framed and didn’t even have the forethought to make water available within reach of the senator.  The planning undertaken in the GOP response doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence that Republicans can be trusted to come up with solutions for our nation’s problems.   Back in 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia came close to some “out-of-the-box” thinking.  McDonnell delivered the response in front of GOP lawmakers and invited friends in the chamber of the Virginia House of Delegates.  Why wouldn’t the GOP put Rubio in a large room at the Heritage Foundation in the presence of raucous supporters?  Because, that would take imagination, something in short supply in Republican-land these days.

Mr. Obama brought liberals to their feet, clapping loudly for efforts to limit the 2nd amendment rights in the U.S.  His retreaded extreme left-wing polices, an affliction on America these last four years, were easily predictable.  What’s worse, the man who occupies the White House can spread his destructive agenda with little or no cohesive opposition, as the GOP seems content with surrender.  The GOP will lose the argument on illegal and legal immigration because they won’t allow conservative Latinos to carry the ball.  They won’t win the battle on taxes and jobs because they refuse to acknowledge that Obama is unlike any previous president we’ve ever had.  This president isn’t concerned with the best interest of the country or his legacy.  He’s an ideologue in the purest sense.  Republicans, after getting plastered by Obama twice, continue to use the same playbook, which should have been thrown out back in 2008.  It’s a sad day in these United States.  “We the People” have a front row seat of the victory of flash over substance.