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The President, as usual, brought the art of demagoguery to an all new level on Tuesday. Using a combination of lies, half-truths, misleading statistics and even couple things that were honest to goodness facts he wove together a tapestry meant to fool and confuse. An ability he has shown a talent for that is far above all that have challenged him.
He of course called the State of Union and specifically the economy strong. A statement that belies the facts that the last quarter the economy shrunk and actual unemployment still stands around 11%. The truth is the union is not only economically weak, it is also divided more than just about anytime in history. About the only thing that can be considered strong is the governmental, a government that has increased dramatically in both control and size since President Obama took office.
The President to is credit did mention dealing with the burdening debt, at least in a way. He lamented the fact there might be actual cuts in spending if the coming sequestration law is not addressed. Poking his finger in congress’s eye for passing the bill in the first place he conveniently failed to mention it was his administration’s idea and that it was he who had signed it into law. As far as actually dealing with the debt his plan is simple, tax more and spend more. He laid out a whole list of things he wanted the government to do from more “shovel ready” highway repair jobs to “investments” in green energy boondoggles. All of which he claims will miraculously not add to the deficit. (how this miracle was to be accomplished was a detail he thought not worth mentioning)
On energy he did a rope-a-dope worthy of Sugar Ray Leonard. After a blocking and fighting against increased drilling for almost all of his last term he touted the increases in oil and gas production that has been accomplished in spite of his best efforts to stop it. He also hailed increases in renewable energy (he claimed output had been doubled, in actuality it increased only10%) but failed to mention the billions lost in failed government ventures and that each job created cost the economy at least 2. As far as coal, that was totally left out all together. Maybe that is because, as promised, he is slowly killing that industry off.
He went on to how ObamaCare, that is just now really entering implementation, is somehow responsible for slowing the increase in healthcare cost. The fact is people are spending less on healthcare because they have less money and there are less insured (some of that is because of ObamaCare). Even his own Office of Management and Budget says costs are bound to go up under ObamaCare not down!
Probably his greatest act of deluded demagoguery was in the area of wages. First he pushed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, an act that would make employers guilty of sexual pay discrimination until they could prove otherwise. Although women today still average lower wages than men it is also true they on average work less hours, less years and in lower paying jobs. In fact any study that fully takes things like seniority and hours worked into account shows virtually no difference in average pay between the sexes. Even if wage discrimination can be shown in some particular case it is already a violation of the law.
Then there was the predictable call for an increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage sets the standard for which workers are worth employing and which are not. An increase will push America’s least productive workers, teenagers and those re-entering the workforce, out of work. The idea that the minimum wage should be a “living wage” for families is silly beyond belief as is the idea that laws can make people wealthier. If that was true than make it the law everyone should get at least a million a year for their work and be done with poverty altogether. Hiking the minimum wage is an idea that is beyond silly, it is economically damaging and irresponsible.
The fact is the President’s grand State of the Union speech meant to kickoff his second term contained nothing new. Obama’s whole speech was nothing more than fresh paint on the rusting hulk of worn out Democratic ideas. It can be summed up in with the liberal mantra of regulate, tax and spend. Policies that have lead to slow economic growth, less freedom and increasing debt. What President Obama’s speech showed is that while the State of the Union might be weak the state of delusion is going strong.
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