Big Red Car here. Bit cloudy in the ATX and looking for some rain.
President Obama reported to the Congress and all of us yesterday on the “state of the union.” You may wonder which union he was talking about but then you’ve always been a hater, no?
Perhaps you saw it on the telly but if not, here is a link to a transcript of the speech. Oh, go ahead. Read it.
Unfortunately, the President seemed to be reporting on the state of some alternative union as it was not remotely related to the reality in which you live. It was some alternative reality.
Distorted in action
In case you didn’t notice, in the President’s alternative reality things are going swimmingly in the economy.
No mention of the implosion of the labor force participation rate (the magic by which the unemployment rate goes down because discouraged job seekers are no longer counted as being “unemployed” because they have “dropped out” of the work force — voila, they are no longer unemployed). Ninety two million Americans not in the work force, the highest such total since 1978.
No mention of the stagnation of wages or the continuing decline in family incomes. Disastrous, really.
No mention of the horrific increases in the cost of Obamacare, the explosion of deductibles, the meteoric rise of premiums [Me? I’m still waiting for my premiums to go down $2,500 “on average.” You? I bet your premiums already went down and you’re just not telling me.].
Foreign policy is apparently going well also as there was no mention of the Middle East on fire, the potential for a nuclear Iran or the impending fall of Yemen which was recently trumpeted as a huge success at the wizardry of the administration while now we have Navy ships waiting offshore to evacuate the American embassy as the country (home to terrorist training camps) begins the death spiral reminiscent of Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq.
But not to worry, foreign policy is otherwise going well. And, remember, as James Taylor told the French: “You’ve got a friend.”
Poor Russia is now to be pitied and their recent seizure of Crimea and threats against eastern Europe merit no concern. Things with Vlad are apparently not of any consequence. Seize a country or two? Not going to get invited to the Christmas party. Take that!
One of the most irritating elements of the President’s State of the Alternative Union was his taking credit for the state of energy in the United States which has been accomplished in the complete vacuum of the non-existent Obama energy policy and in spite of the efforts of this administration. Federal land productivity is down sixteen percent while the country is flirting with energy independence.
Nonetheless, even in the face of the high-fiving about energy, the President continues to hold the Keystone XL pipeline — jobs, energy, incredible wide support — hostage to his personal vanity and his political allegiance to his ultra liberal (Tesla liberals) base. Of course, then he scolds the Congress for being influenced by their constituents. The country overwhelmingly supports the construction of Keystone but it isn’t going to happen under this administration. It’s been six years, y’all. It is not going to happen.
Election? What election?
The energy cost decline — which will have a negative impact on places like Texas — will deliver the biggest faux tax cut on the horizon thereby jump starting many state economies who do not have a dog in the energy fight. This will be good for the national economy and the Obama administration has done nothing — NOTHING — to make it happen but still the President spiked the ball in the end zone.
Missing in action
The recent discussion of admitting 5-10 million low wage, low skill workers to the United States through presidential executive order wasn’t important enough to get much air time. This will, of course, have a wonderful impact on wages and jobs. Oh, boy, this is going to be great. If you are a man or woman with a real job, you can expect a pay raise in 2036. Only if you are lucky.
Luckily the war on terror — what are we calling it these days? — has been won. Out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, no more threats to the US, right?
Al Qaeda not even mentioned even in the context of their involvement in sponsoring the recent Paris attacks. Couldn’t happen here, right? Leadership decimated, defeated, destroyed. Ooops!
Now that ISIS bunch? What are those barbarians up to? Remember the idea to train 5,000 Syrian rebels? Apparently the President doesn’t either.
What was also missing was the complete and total repudiation of the President’s policies which he correctly noted were on the ballot a couple of months ago when they motivated the electorate to deliver the Senate into the hands of the Republicans, increase the Republicans’ majority in the House and sweep governorships and statehouses into the care of the Republicans. Not a word.
The President, having put his policies up for a vote by his own admission, is not interested in hearing anything he doesn’t want to penetrate his own alternative universe. He is not interested in talking about or to anyone who does not agree with him. It is delusional.
Entitlements — what happened to the debate on entitlement reform? Wasn’t that supposed to happen as the quid pro quo for the past tax increases? Weren’t we supposed to creep up and touch the third rail of entitlements? Wasn’t that the thrust of the Simpson-Bowles Commission? My bad, sorry.
The President has pledged cooperation with the degenerate and craven Republicans on the other side of the aisle. Well, only after he gets done threatening them with a few vetoes — vetoes threats don’t really count until you get to ten and then they are still evidence of a truly cooperative spirit?
“I want to cooperate with my friends across the aisle, well, unless they make me use my veto pen because I don’t like what they send me. Who cares what the electorate said about my policies? I won my two elections, right?”
It is difficult to be taken seriously on the issue of cooperation when you threaten a veto before the legislation has even been drafted. Small point I admit, but still a telltale sign, no?
The President proposed a number of new taxes. My personal favorite is the increase in capital gains when the prior increase in capital gains hasn’t even hit the books yet. Raising taxes on taxes you already raised? Can’t we at least let a year go by? Not if you’re a tax, tax, tax and spend liberal.
The House — where all revenue enhancements (liberal code for new taxes) typically originate — is not going to increase taxes on the eve of a presidential election. None of these taxes will be enacted into law. One is left with the obvious question — if everyone knows they are not going to be enacted, why waste the effort to even propose them?
What genius suggested to the President that asking, no demanding, more taxes would have a snowball’s chance in Hell of becoming reality? It is simply not going to happen and it is a waste of time, breath, paper and ink to make such a silly utterance.
The other splash of reality that may be useful is that Federal revenues — tax receipts — are at an all time record high in the history of the United States. All. Time. High. We do not have a revenue problem, we have a crack head spending problem. The evidence is overwhelming. Now is the time to control spending.
We are projecting $600,000,000,000 — six hundred BILLION dollar — deficits for as far as the eye can see. If not now when we have record revenue, when?
Summing it all up
In the end, we are left with yet another State of the Alternative Union speech — a speech being the President’s default condition when he is otherwise unable to decide what to say or do — that is just a combination of words and contains no real opportunity for progress or change.
It was a scolding — threats of vetoes of as yet undrafted legislation.
A reminder that, yes, Barack Obama had won his last two elections. I have no problem with being reminded of that fact. He has earned that right but it might have been balanced by a comment as to the whipping his party had taken when his policies were on the ballot in November. Those facts are both true and have to coexist in reality.
He is entitled to a bit of gloating and he should also acknowledge that the Democrats got whipped like a rented mule in November. Gloat on, Mr. President. You earned it.
I predict two years of gridlock of the most desperate dimension. Constant bickering. A progressively more thin skinned President who finds offense in everything except his own self anointed brilliance. More class warfare coming from the White House. Race baiting par excellance. No real progress while the economy continues to drift lower but there will be a bit of selective recovery.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Reality? It is a bitch. It is not going to be changed by this speech. [Oh, BTW, the 2016 Presidential election is officially underway. Welcome!]