So I have finished watching both the State of the Union and the Republican rebuttal. I thought both were weak. I thought both were full of bulldookey. I am not going to address every single thing that the President said tonight, but I am going to address some of the things that jumped out at me. Because in the end, I felt like he was right back in campaign mode, but more importantly, he was right back to claiming one thing while doing something completely different. I am sure that Black Flag will say “what did you expect?” I would answer that I expected exactly what I got. I am simply pointing out my disappointment that I was not surprised. And there are just so many things that I have to rebuke, if nothing else for the plethora of facebook posts from all manner of my friends saying how great Obama was and how awesome it is that he is on our side and how proud they are to be Democrats tonight. It literally almost drove me mad. Had I not had a few Raptor hybrids that D13 sent me to test out, I wouldn’t have had anything to kick and might have gone out and attempted to remove the pom poms and springs from Nancy Pelosi’s hindquarters. By the way D13, they really are as trainable as you promised.
Allow me to open by saying that I was quite angered by the President playing the political games that he played in terms of partisan rhetoric. I expect it from Harry and Nancy, as they are classless hacks anyway, but I didn’t think the President himself would join in. He was downright ignorant to the Republicans. Furthermore, I found his remarks about the Supreme Court Case in extremely poor taste, chastising the members of the court as they sat directly in front of him. Low class indeed. So on to some of his claims and my rebuttals:
Now, let me repeat: We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses…. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person, not a single dime.
I am tired of the political semantics games. The key word in the sentence is “income.” It is true that he has not raised income taxes in his first year. Doing so would have caused a revolt. But he did increase PLENTY of taxes on 95% of America. Tobacco taxes comes to mind as an issue we discussed here. And I might remind everyone that people pay taxes, corporations do not pay taxes. This falsehood has allowed the Democratic party to play semantics games about not raising taxes for far too long. You tax Microsoft, they pass it on to us. There are NO taxes paid in America that are not paid by the people. Remember that as you clamor on about evil corporations who need to be punished.
Now, because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed.
I am always amazed how many Americans will fall for this lie. Last year we needed a stimulus bill to keep unemployment below 8%. Now with the rate at 10%, he claims he saved jobs. 4 million Americans lost their jobs last year. Yet he claims to have saved 2 million. This whole “saved jobs” farce has played out long enough. It is time that even those on the left stop pretending this isn’t a coking of numbers.
That is why jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight. Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses… but government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers.
By “jobs bill” he means that he wants a second stimulus bill like the one passed last February. Nice play on words to name this one a “jobs bill”. Again the wordplay in Washington is amazing. What I like best is how he does this sort of thing over and over and over and then later in his address talks about how he is trying to end the political games in Washington DC and how America doesn’t trust the government. I wonder why, Mr. President? Could it be because we can see you there behind the curtain pretending to be a wizard?
And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.
Again, we create a reward and punishment system that government can use against business. Instead of recognizing that they should not be taking any money from the businesses in the first place, they instead simply increase the tax on some while giving a TEMPORARY break to others. Later they can reverse the trend and give the breaks to the other side TEMPORARILY. In the end, the businesses ALL got their taxes raised twice without the American people thinking a thing. Remarkable isn’t it?
And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.
I am simply stunned that he is still going to attempt to get Cap and Trade passed through. It isn’t enough to watch it fail in the rest of the world. Of course, the government knows that it failed everywhere else. They don’t care. They are not passing it because they think it will do what they claim anyway. They are passing it for power and money. It has certainly succeeded in that way everywhere else. I retract my statement. I absolutely understand why they continue to pursue it.
I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.
Yes, there are those that disagree with the “overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change”. They are called realists. In the same year that we have watched the AGW house of cards come crashing down, I am appalled to see a President continue to act as though we are all that stupid. Yet later in the speech he will actually lament over the fact that Americans no longer trust government.
To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let’s take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants.
And let’s tell another 1 million students that, when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years, and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.
OK, let’s take away any incentive for banks to give student loans. That makes complete sense only if you want to ensure that government is the only place where you can get one (hint, hint). But what floored me the most was that if you take a student loan, you don’t have to pay back more than 10% of your income. Suppose I get my degree in social work and work primarily pro bono for the first ten years, then become a politician! FREE EDUCATION!!!!! Your debt will be forgiven? Really? We will tell banks that if they make a loan, they get no perks from government, and on top of it, after a certain period of time, the students will not be required to pay the bank back! BRILLIANT. Talk about a socialist sentiment.
Still, this is a complex issue. And the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering, “What’s in it for me?”
Now we are on to health care. I love that the politicians assume that Americans are simply too dumb or too uninformed to understand. The problem isn’t that the bill is absolute shit, the problem is that he didn’t explain it to us well enough (perhaps that is because NO ONE has actually had the time to read the monstrosity and what we have read makes us real skeptical of its effectiveness). This ranks right up there with “Scott Brown won because MA voters were upset that we didn’t move fast enough with our far left agenda” in terms of the alternate reality of those who run our country today.
As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed. There’s a reason why many doctors, nurses, and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo.
Again, he tells us that I want you all to look at this bill again, because you obviously don’t understand. After all, the smarter people than you, the ones in the health care industry, overwhelmingly think this bill is peachy keen. First of all, that is an outright lie. MANY medical professionals think the bill is shit. Second, I may not be a doctor, but I don’t need to be, because the bill in question has nothing to do with health care. Stop pretending I am stupid Mr. President. If you do it to my face I will just embarrass you. I promise.
By — by the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program.
On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door.
Now — just stating the facts. Now, if we had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficit. But we took office amid a crisis, and our efforts to prevent a second depression have added another $1 trillion to our national debt. That, too, is a fact.
Here we go, let’s blame this all on George Bush. At some point, this President will have to take the blame for something. In 2000, we had a budget surplus that you would have wiped out with 1/4th of the very first big spending bill you signed into law. Then we watched as the housing bubble burst based on bad loans, set up during the Clinton administration. We watched the dot.com bubble burst. George Bush was no saint, I agree, and he ran the country poorly. But I am tired of seeing him and Republicans blamed for everything. Let’s not forget the economy might have started its run to recession under a Republican President, but it also did it under a Democratic Congress who controlled the budget.
Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected, but all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will. We will continue to go through the budget line by line, page by page, to eliminate programs that we can’t afford and don’t work. We’ve already identified $20 billion in savings for next year.
I find it very interesting that they will continue to spend like madmen throughout the rest of the current Congressional term, but will suspend all spending as soon as the 112th Congress (which very possibly will be REPUBLICAN controlled) is seated. We had to start tightening our belts LAST year, oh great one. Weird that all you wicked smaht political type folks are taking two years longer than us to realize that you need to do so. Again not lost on me that he doesn’t propose cutting spending until the current Congress is done. That way they can still pass more BS, and the new Congress will be hamstrung. And if they do manage to pass something, he can say “I told you I would VETO it.” Well played Democrats. Well played. The best part, voters are buying it (judging from my facebook comments).
That’s why I’ve called for a bipartisan Fiscal Commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can’t be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Now, yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I’ll issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.
Congress won’t approve what I want, so I will simply ignore them and issue an executive order. Interesting, we just had a discussion about executive orders the other night…
From some on the right, I expect we’ll hear a different argument — that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts including those for the wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away. The problem is that’s what we did for eight years. That’s what helped us into this crisis. It’s what helped lead to these deficits. We can’t do it again.
No, those are ambiguous claims that you will claim the right makes in order to make them seem bad. And I am again growing weary of the constant claims that the ideas of tax cuts and all the other things failed us for the last 8 years. I could just explode on this arrogance from the Democratic party. It is a populist statement and it completely ignores the reality of what got us to the point we are with the economy.
That’s what I came to Washington to do. That’s why — for the first time in history — my administration posts on our White House visitors online. That’s why we’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs, or seats on federal boards and commissions. But we can’t stop there. It’s time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my administration or with Congress. It’s time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office.
As I recall, his administration fought for a long time to keep us from knowing who was coming and going in the Oval office. And we find out that it was because there were a whole lot of ACORN and SEIU visits. And now he claims that he was voluntarily transparent? And the guy that outspent any previous presidential campaign by three times now wants to limit campaign contributions? He wouldn’t be there without all that lobby and corporate money.
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.
In other words, with all due deference to separation of powers, I charge Congress to find a way around the ruling of the Supreme Court. I found this to be one of the most disrespectful moments that I can remember in a State of the Union. If you have never watched one, the Supreme Court Justices are in the seats directly in front of the President. He basically told the SCOTUS that they are wrong in interpreting the law the way they did, and did so in front of the nation.
But again, I am stunned to see the most corporate donated to President in history complain that elections are bankrolled by powerful interests. And the claim that they will be controlled by foreign entities is nothing more than good old fashioned fear-mongering, or at least it would be if a Republican said it.
I’m also calling on Congress to continue down the path of earmark reform. Democrats and Republicans. Democrats and Republicans. You’ve trimmed some of this spending, you’ve embraced some meaningful change. But restoring the public trust demands more. For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online. Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there’s a vote, so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.
WHAT? He is going back to this? After saying nothing about the bill he signed with 8,560 earmarks in it (stimulus). After saying nothing about Ben Nelson being given a big old medicare earmark for Nebraska in order to buy his vote. After saying nothing about May Landrieu receiving a giant earmark to buy her vote. With all due respect Mr. President, for you to even mention earmark reform at this point is an insult to the American people.
But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day. We can’t wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side — a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can.
And they haven’t, you outright liar. This runaway liberal Congress has passed more legislation, spent more taxpayer money, than any in history. And you have the gall to sit up there and claim that they delay or obstruct every bill simply because they can? Maybe they obstruct some of them because they are bad bills that they don’t believe in. I have far less problems with this than I do with you buying votes to get bills passed.
Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, no matter how malicious, is just part of the game. But it’s precisely such politics that has stopped either party from helping the American people. Worse yet, it’s sowing further division among our citizens, further distrust in our government.
Saying anything about the other side is not good, I will admit. For example you should make a false claim that one political party delays or obstructs every single bill because they can. And I haven’t seen you come out and stop your party members in Congress from painting all those on the right as racists, homophobes, or worse. In fact, you have allowed the very party leadership to play this game that you claim to not like. Fix your own party, and perhaps then you can cast stones from your glass house.
To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town — a supermajority — then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.
Didn’t he just finish saying that the partisan lies and games were bad. Maybe I misheard him.
This was a partisan statement as much as any I have seen. And it is more games being played by a man who is standing there claiming to want to eliminate the games. And it is also not lost on me that he was basically saying to Democrats that they should use the power to ram things through without Republicans. And of course there is the fact that he still lives in the fantasy world that tells him that the American people support the bullshit that Congress is doing.
That’s why we stand with the girl who yearns to go to school in Afghanistan, why we support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran, why we advocate for the young man denied a job by corruption in Guinea, for America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity, always.
You know, the funny thing here is that I remember it differently. Because I remember you remaining completely silent while the women in the streets of Iran were being beaten and killed. You offered no support at all. It seems the only freedom American politicians stand for anymore, is that of other countries.
Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions — our corporations, our media, and, yes, our government — still reflect these same values.
Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people’s doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith.
The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.
No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there. No wonder there’s so much disappointment.
Again, I simply see things differently. These institutions are NOT filled with honorable men and women. They have no interest in making America prosper any more than is needed to keep a revolt from happening. In fact the worse the economic situation can get without revolt, the better the government seems to like it. Because it allows them to claim that they are the saviors of us all.
There was so much I could have liked about this last little section, because he is right on so many levels in terms of how Americans feel about business, the media, and especially politicians. There is cynicism for far more reasons than he is willing to admit in a speech publicly.
Overall, this speech showed me a lot more of what I call the “anti-Reagan” rhetoric. What I mean by that is that Reagan, whether he meant it or not, made the profound statement that “government is not the answer to our problems. Government is the problem.” This speech was 70 minutes of us being told that the only answer to our problems lie in the actions of the United States government. As many of you can surmise, I say bullshit. The way for this country to truly fix itself is for government to shut down for a decade or so and allow free men to devise solutions.
The speech disappointed me because it was what I expected. I know those on the left here will skewer me for the analysis that I have given, but I am Ok with that. For those that don’t want to bother…. there is always continuing the open mic discussions that were started yesterday!
And for the record, before I forget, I watched the Republican response. More rhetoric of the same. Government is the solution, but we will do it better than them. I was completely unimpressed with the Governor’s speech, but I was completely impressed with his hair. I think it could have cut someone if you hit it at the wrong angle.