SOTU – Deja Vu
Unsurprisingly – and against all evidence – on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, President Barack Obama told a joint session of Congress and America that the state of our union is strong.
Is it? Let’s review.
The last recession officially ended in June 2009, five months after Obama took office. The financial near-collapse of 2008 had already been stabilized by the TARP protocols passed during the previous administration. Markets were in recovery. The media blamed the panic on President George W. Bush but ignored its real cause: Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s federal government guarantees, which had encouraged mortgages for unqualified home buyers at inflated prices – policies advanced and backed by Washington Democrats.
Furthermore, as Victor Davis Hanson observed, "Most Americans believed Obama when he made the argument that our current problems abroad had mostly started with George Bush and would end when he left."
In short, Obama took office with a clean slate. The entire blame for the poor economy and international uncertainty was placed on his predecessor, and the recession’s end was imminent.
Enjoying the support of a malleable Congress with both houses controlled by his own party, the new president headed a nation uplifted by the election of its first minority chief executive.
The future belonged to Barack Obama – if he governed on the unifying message he peddled in his first campaign.
Instead, employing Chicago-style hardball politics, Obama used his congressional majorities to force-feed Americans a statist agenda. Abandoning financial and fiscal responsibility, Obama and his Congress accumulated more than $6,000 billion in new debt, while debasing our currency, adopting inflationary policies, increasing regulatory burdens, nationalizing the health-care system, encouraging entitlement expansion and ignoring job creation. His inept, indifferent foreign policy resulted in the deaths of four Americans in Libya.
Polarizing races, classes and genders, Obama promoted a zero-sum notion of "1 percenters" vs. "99 percenters." He vilified job creators for not "paying their fair share." Ignoring millions of distaff Republicans and Independents, Obama accused his opposition of waging "war on women." The Obama administration’s reflexive responses to principled opposition have been to blame Bush or shamefully hint that his critics are motivated by racism and bad faith.
In a brutish campaign that made no attempt to defend his record, but which demonized his predecessor, his opponent and nearly half of Americans, Obama received fewer votes than John McCain did in 2008 and barely managed re-election.
Had Obama been forthcoming in his 2013 State of the Union Address – a quality he has seldom exhibited – among other oversights, he might have mentioned a few pertinent facts.
In 2009, Obama promised that his massive $835 billion stimulus bill would reduce today’s unemployment rate to 5.2 percent. But, at 7.9 percent, the current official jobless rate is higher than it was when Obama took office and, while sometimes above 10 percent, during his first term, the rate never dropped below the one he inherited. If discouraged job-market dropouts and part-timers seeking full-time work are included, the unemployment rate is in Great Depression territory.
America is technically in a recovery, but today’s average jobless interval is twice that of the past three recessions.
Obama and his shills claim that the total number of private sector jobs grew by 2 million in 2012 but fail to mention that 2.4 million people left the workforce last year.
For the employed, real weekly earnings fell 4.8 percent in four years and continue to decline post-election.
The Census Bureau reported that the number of Americans in poverty grew by 711,000 people in 2011 alone. Today, a record 48 million people are on food stamps – up 47 percent since Obama took office.
Think back to Obama’s first two years – his popularity, his friendly, filibuster-proof Congress, the fading recession – and remember this: Obama’s campaign promises not kept during those years cannot be blamed on his opposition. The voters of 2010 didn’t give Republicans a House majority to keep Obama’s 2008 campaign vows. Only Obama and Washington Democrats are responsible for broken promises and the negative fallout from four years of liberal governance.
The election is over, but the Obama campaign continues. The president is still trying desperately to distract Americans from his abysmal record, from a lousy economy, and from the plights of the poor and jobless.
Obama’s 2013 reality-defying SOTU address contained nothing new – more taxes, spending and debt. A decade of war is ending (but another has begun). At once, Obama’s sometimes awkward, highly ideological speech was theatrical, immodest, hectoring, arrogant, condescending and petulant – another campaign manifesto, another distracting attempt to blame others and indemnify himself from his own inactivity and policy failures
The nation is in the very best of hands…