Union: 1, Obama: 0
Barack Obama set out to restore the American public’s wavering confidence and trust both in him and in government during his State of the Union address on Wednesday, but all the President really did was raise the question of how such an eloquent orator could be such a terribly confused leader.
Many political experts and strategists predicted that Obama would take this opportunity to address the nation and use it to display that he intended to move to the center of the aisle. They predicted he would distance himself from the liberal policies that Americans have made clear they are fed up with. The two gubernatorial losses in states he commanded in 2008 in combination with the loss of the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts has put every Democrat in Washington on alert that they are on borrowed time. Given these facts, it seemed logical for Obama to abandon his failing far-left policy ideas during the speech – but Obama did nothing of the sort. In fact, he insisted that his government press forth not only with the unpopular health care bill, but also with a climate change bill and even more stimulus spending.
Obama didn’t show he was prepared to change; he instead showed that he is completely convinced that everything he has done thus far is working out great. He took the State of the Union address to give a campaign speech talking up all his plans. Just look at these ludicrous things he said during the speech.
He gushed about how he met his campaign promise to cut taxes when he said, “We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families… And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime.”
What he fails to mention is that the deficit has hit an all-time high under his administration. Anyone can cut taxes and blow the budget up. Why is he bragging about that? That is like me bragging about buying something on my credit card and saying I spent no cash. I would still owe the money. Obama still needs to regain the lost revenue. If he balanced the budget and cut taxes, it would be a different story. Sadly though, the nation’s public debt is now at about 67 percent of GDP, up from 37 percent of GDP in 2007 during those miserable George W. Bush years.
He boasted about the jobs he has saved.
“Because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed,” he said.
This statement about how many jobs he has “saved” really clued me in to how out of touch Obama is right now. I won’t even get on Obama for exaggerating the total jobs his stimulus bill has “created or saved” because I don’t need to in order to rip up this statement. What should be concerning is the 4.1 million people who lost their jobs during Obama’s first year in office. That’s the biggest single-year job loss of all time. The unemployment rate has soared from 7.7 percent when he took office to 10 percent. This is hardly a time for him to boast about the jobs he has saved. Consider a report made by his own administration, before the stimulus was passed, entitled “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” which projected that if there was no action at all taken by government the unemployment rate would rise to 8.5 percent in 2009 and peak at 9 percent in 2010. But the government spent nearly $800 billion on the stimulus package. Apparently, that only made matters worse.
The stimulus did not do what it was set out to do. It was created to stop the unemployment rate from reaching 8 percent. It didn’t do that. What it has done is put our nation in the biggest deficit it has ever faced.
But Obama was not done. He even went back to his classic promise from his nomination acceptance speech as to how he will pay for all his spending. You remember the promise. He vowed he would pay for all his new spending by, “closing corporate loopholes and tax havens.”
“I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less,” he added.
Obama went back at it again on Wednesday when he said, “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’m still laughing at the original promise from his nomination acceptance speech, and I continue to get my laughs in now. I’m glad he’s still using the same campaign rhetoric over a year later. He probably figured the lies got him elected, so he may as well stick to them at this point.
The problem is the lies aren’t fooling anyone anymore. No one believes Obama has the solutions to health care. No one believes the record deficit spending has been efficient or successful. The belief in Obama has vanished. Words will not solve Obama’s problems anymore. He has to restore the trust of America by creating success through strong bipartisan solutions, not empty words or doomed-to-fail liberal policies.
Regrettably, Obama has not realized any of this. Many of us now realize that as good of an orator as he is, he still lacks the leadership and ideas to solve our nation’s problems. The State of the Union address did nothing to change that disastrous reality.
Alex Perry is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org