(Here are excerpts from the State of the Union speech, with my comments after each.)
Obama said: Most of Al Qaida's top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban's momentum has been broken. And some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home. These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's armed forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. Comment: Yes, indeed. Because it is the military, the institution that Democrats hate most. The institutions of government that have let us down are Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the rest of the Democrat-built bureaucracy.
Obama said: We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. Comment: OK, here it comes. Get out the violins. And don’t you think he might avoid the words “fair shot” when Gabrielle Giffords is in the audience? How about “fair chance”? And this idea that everyone should play by the same rules is more Democrat hypocrisy. So Mr. President, when will all those poor people start paying taxes instead of sucking the economy dry?
Obama said: In 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We learned that mortgages had been sold to people who couldn't afford or understand them. Banks had made huge bets and bonuses with other people's money. Regulators had looked the other way, or didn't have the authority to stop the bad behavior. Comment: Yes, loans that banks were forced to make by Democrat government plan. And Republicans tried to rein in Fannie and Freddie. Regulators didn’t look the other way, however. They were stripped of their power by votes made by Obama himself along with his fellow Democrats.
Obama said: On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's number-one automaker. Comment: Obama’s union buddies had ruined Chrysler and GM in the first place! And now they owe the taxpayers billions that they will never pay back. Meanwhile Obama gave large parts of those two companies over to the same unions.
Obama said: What's happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh. We can't bring every job back that's left our shore. Comment: It won’t happen if Obama’s union cronies organize the labor forces at these new companies. Or if the environmentalists block every factory. Or if Democrat regulators continue to undermine the business climate.
Obama said: We should start with our tax code. Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. Comment: You lie! Companies have moved overseas because the Democrats have forced them. And then the same Democrats want sky-high taxes on firms that stay.
Obama said: Tonight, I'm announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trading practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections... Comment: Wow. Another bureaucracy. Big surprise.
Obama said: I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can't find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that: openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work. Comment: Workers are not prepared because of our pathetic, union-controlled public schools and our left-wing colleges that teach ‘global warming’ alarmism rather than real science.
Obama said: Model partnerships between businesses like Siemens and community colleges in places like Charlotte, and Orlando, and Louisville are up and running. Now you need to give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers, places that teach people skills that businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing. Comment: Yes, more money for community colleges. That is what this is all about. Because these colleges are just like high schools - all run by the government and full of unionized employees who vote largely Democrat.
Obama said: At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced states to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies, just to make a difference. Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let's offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. And in return, grant schools flexibility: to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test... Comment: Blah, blah, blah. Many of these teachers stink. And many of the public schools stink. They’re all run by and for the benefit of Democrat unions. They don’t need more money. A public school teacher in the failed Milwaukee, Wisconsin system makes $77 an hour in wages, benefits and pension.
Obama said: Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves millions of middle-class families thousands of dollars. And give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years. Of course, it's not enough for us to increase student aid. We can't just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition. We'll run out of money. States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down. Comment: These price-gouging colleges and universities are run by Obama’s left-wing cronies. And tuition tax credits are nothing more than a way to shift those costs to the taxpayer, and let the price gougers off the hook.
Obama said: And nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years, we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration. And tonight, I'm directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. Comment: It makes no difference what the feds do in most of these cases. Obama knows that his radical enviro cronies will halt or try to stop development. In New York state, in the Marcellus Shale natural gas area, enviros are putting on the pressure to stop the whole process.
Obama said: I've ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don't make sense. We've already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years. Comment: Yeah, right the Democrat reformer. What bunk. For every reform, five other laws kick in. Meanwhile state and local laws and regs create a whole new layer of bureaucracy.
Obama said: When Bryan Ritterby was laid off from his job making furniture, he said he worried that, at 55, no one would give him a second chance. But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan. Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts. Today, it's hiring workers like Bryan, who said, "I'm proud to be working in the industry of the future." Comment: It’s all government jobs. ‘Green energy’ only survives with taxpayer subsidies.
Obama said: I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We've subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable and double down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. Pass clean-energy tax credits. Create these jobs. Comment: This is a lie that Democrats and enviros repeat over and over. The oil industry has never been subsidized. “Subsidized” means it gets more from the government than it pays in taxes. The oil industry does not need subsidies; it is profitable. ‘Green energy’ on the other hand, would never survive without subsidies.
Obama said: So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We've got crumbling roads and bridges, a power grid that wastes too much energy, an incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small-business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world. Comment: Here’s the “infrastructure crisis” again. Yet Obama spent $800 billion in ‘stimulus’ and fixed zero crumbling roads and bridges. What a phony.
Obama said: We'll also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people's investments. Some financial firms violate major antifraud laws because there's no real penalty for being a repeat offender. Comment: Obama made this speech on the very same day that the second biggest Ponzi swindler in American history, R. Allen Stanford, went on trial in Texas. Stanford is a HUGE Democrat liberal. Like Bernie Madoff and virtually all of the other swindlers.
Obama said: Finally, none of this can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town. We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign of mutual destruction, that politics is about clinging to rigid ideologies instead of building consensus around commonsense ideas. Comment: Yeah, right, from the guy who told his audience to “punish your enemies”.
Please visit my blog at www.nikitas3.com for more conservative insights.