Jason Hayes
Balancing ecological, economic, and political realities to promote progress and liberty.


SOTU thoughts

More thoughts on the SOTU address that Obama gave Wednesday night now that I’ve had a chance to finish listening to the speech. (yeah, I’m late but I was busy yesterday)

Short version of the review – this was one of the more irresponsible and childish displays that I have ever had the misfortune of enduring. This man is frightening. He is quite simply an arrogant and spoiled, thin-skinned egomaniac. He used the State of the Union address the same way he would use a campaign speech. This speech was all about him and his plan for fixing everything for everybody. He’s not giving us the state of the union. He’s starting his campaign for 2012.

Additionally, his commitment to keep on spending, despite the deficit, is downright scary. We couldn’t afford his spending from the past year and now he has told us that he is going to keep spending at this rate for another year. Furthermore, he intends to make us endure a further $150 billion stimulus plan, before he agrees to halt spending. But even at that point, his spending halt amounts to something like 1% of the budget and will do nothing to touch the $2 trillion deficit he has created.

He’s boldly ignoring the last three big losses in the polls — even the Obama Girl has apparently lost faith in the ONE. But he’s trying to spin those loses as support for him and his policies. He’s ignoring the needs and wants of the American people and telling us that regardless of what we say, he’s committed to carrying on. “Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!”


Continuing on from my previous post. The President starts right into the “Lost Decade” portion of his speech – Amazing! This guy is still blaming Bush!?!?! Get over it man!!! Bush hasn’t even been on the scene for a full year. You’re in charge now. Man up and take responsibility for YOUR policies!


Interesting that he’s talking about people having to do more with less, that small towns are closing because of the recession. His policies are threatening to shut down our energy industry, as he refuses to drill for more oil and his cap and trade bill will shut down half of our energy generation. If he was serious about helping these people out, he would recognize that affordable energy is at the very base of our economic well-being.


Now, he’s moving on to blaming the banks for the economic downturn. He loves this class envy, pseudo-populism thing. Get the people revved up and waving their pitchforks, demanding the heads of the bankers in New York.

Don’t get me wrong, much of what happened pre-2008 was an offense to any thinking, free market-supporting individual. What we currently have on Wall Street isn’t even close to a “free market.” We have a cozy little partnership between big banks and both of the big parties in DC. Phrases like “too big to fail” ensure that the big Wall Street players have little to fear from a down economy. They know that no matter what happens, they’ll be protected by their friends in DC. As a result we have these companies paying multi-million dollar bonuses to CEOs when their shareholders were taking a bath. Our 401Ks were dwindling away to nothing while our elected officials and Wall Street bigwigs keep on driving limos and eating caviar. Then they have the nerve to tell small business and individuals around the country that its our responsibility to shoulder the real financial burden of “too big to fail” and their profligate waste.

It’s pathetic to hear him targeting the big banks and pretending to be the friend of the smaller institutions and the individual investor. He knows the primary factor behind the careless lending practices and shoddy oversight that caused the recent downturn was the Clinton administration’s community reinvestment act. That legislation, pushed on by Congressmen and Senators that defended men like Franklin Raines, essentially forced the larger banks to give loans to people who had no means to afford the payments. Of course the bigwigs in those banks quickly figured out that they could ride those regulations hard and make billions for themselves, knowing all along that they’d be protected when the bubble burst.


Funny that he is now talking about the “great decency” of America and the American spirit when he spent the past year roaming around the world, apologizing to anyone who would listen for what he sees as a broken, imperialistic bullying country. Now, when he’s losing support across the country, he’s suddenly proud of the country? Now he’s standing up for the country?


Amusing applause line – “I wouldn’t just do what was popular, I would do what was necessary.” Translation: you people out there need to just shut up and let your betters tell you what you need. You’re not bright enough to figure out what this country needs. I … Barack Milhouse Obama … will lead you in the path everlasting. Now “get out of my way,” quit with your “petty” complaints and let me do what I want.


Trying to give reasons for pushing his second $787 billion bailout bill (over and above the Bush bailout) by telling us that unemployment would be double what it is today. He promised up and down that unemployment would not pass 8%. It’s still over 10%.


He’s claiming that he “cut taxes for 95%” of the country – True that he allowed reduced federal withholding from working Americans to the tune of ~$400 a year (a few dollars a month not withheld from your paycheck – Yippeee!!!). However, the Bush tax cuts are still set to expire (they were worth more to the average working American, but at best that will be a wash and some will just break even), the death tax is rumored to be making a comeback (die in 2011+ and the government gets half). Additionally, he’s promised to effectively raise taxes on fuel, he is attacking property owners with new taxes, he counted the C4C handout as taxable income, and he’s strongly pushed the 13+ new taxes included in the Obamacare reform bill.

We “haven’t raised income taxes” amounts to word games because he’s allowing other tax breaks to die out and raising other fees and costs. Plus, he completely overlooks the fact that the top 1% of taxpayers pay 39% of the total tax bill and the top 50% of taxpayers foot 97% of the total tax bill. Half — HALF — of the people in the country pay ZERO or almost nothing in taxes. But he sits there and states that he’s cut their tax bill to the tune of $400 per year.

Even the left-leaning Brookings Institute agrees on their TaxVox blog that to meet his spending plans, Obama is going to have both raise taxes (a lot) and make serious cuts in spending to meet his goals. You know he’s not going to cut spending in any serious fashion — unless he can follow Clinton’s lead and gut the military — so, as is always the case with any politician, ignore what he says and watch what he does. Your taxes are going up in the very near future.


Have to like how he picks out a few individual “stories” about how his $787 billion stimulus fiasco has helped business. Not hard to find how close to a trillion in spending might help a handful of special businesses. Meanwhile we can’t find many of those billions and several billion more went to imaginary districts in Arizona.


What is a “jobs bill”? Just wondering. What will it accomplish? Is he going to legislate that everyone gets a job? That was perhaps the most meaningless, throw-away, applause seeking line any president has ever given in a SOTU. It means nothing.


He got one right!!! Business (especially small business) is the engine of the American economy. …. And he just dropped the ball. Business doesn’t need $30 billion in handouts. They need Obama and his cronies in the government to get out of the way. Stop regulating them to death. Stop taxing them to death. …

Eliminating capital gains on small businessesis an EXCELLENT idea, but I do wonder what constitutes a “small” business. Why not do this across the board, why leave out “big” business? They provide many of the jobs that he is seeking to encourage. Doing that would take us out of the ranking as having one of the highest corporate tax rates on the planet.


Talking about removing tax breaks from businesses that move jobs overseas. Don’t forget about the heavy regulatory load that you place on all businesses across the country. There’s more to keeping businesses and jobs in the country than just tax policy.


Already discussed his attempts to attack the banks above. It’s a sham because Washington has always been intimately involved in the corruption and mismanagement of our financial system.


OK, wait for it … here’s my one moment of faltering toward the left. Enjoy it while it lasts. If we absolutely HAVE to spend government dollars on something, it may as well be on very carefully watched infrastructure projects. I still wholeheartedly believe that private industry would do a much much much much better job of it. But if the American people are dead set on allowing people who have demonstrated time and time again that they can’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag to spend our dollars, we should be putting that money into roads, railways, transmission lines, etc. Again, private industry could do it a LOT better, but if government absolutely HAS to do something, let it be something that will actually help the country move forward. Leave ACORN’s greed out of the equation.


I still have a great deal of difficulty with this idea that government absolutely has to be involved in the development of new technologies.


Yeah! New nuclear!!! Yes – more offshore drilling!!! Yes – new clean coal technologies!!!!

And … you just lost it with pushing the cap and trade bill – which will kill, or seriously set back, all the things you just said you support.

Quit beating the climate change thing. The Climategate (“hide the decline”) and Glaciergate foolishness have effectively sewered that discussion, and Rajendra Pachauri’s profiteering off of climate change has only made it worse. Focus on clean energy because it makes environmental sense (without playing the clichéd climate change tune) and economic sense.


Double our exports? Interesting. When you are taxing and regulating companies out of the country, who is going to be left to export their products? We’ve set ourselves up to be a service economy. Becoming an exporting nation means that we have to actually produce products – when it is impossible to get a permit to log/mine/grow things, there’s very little to export.


If they were actually interested in improving our schools, they would support those people who are home schooling their children, or they would support the freedom to choose where your children are education. Pitching unending billions into the public school system has proven over the past several decades to be largely unfruitful.. I understand that education is a state issue, but the feds are heavily involved in education – anyone who tries to pretend otherwise is either a fool or a liar.

Funny that he is again attacking the banks for student loans – no doubt he would much rather have the federal government running the entire student loans program. That would be that much more power and control for the government. And his notion that we should forgive student loan debt after 10 years if you go into “public service” is just another example of that same plan. He’s already grown the federal bureaucracy and bureaucrat’s pay at astronomical levels. Now telling people that after 10 years, they get a full reprieve on their education loans if they work for government will ensure a rush to those jobs.

“No one should go broke because they chose to go to college.” Everyone has an inherent right to health care. Everyone has an inherent right to an education. Everyone has an inherent right to … pretty much whatever they want, don’t they Mr. Obama. And it is the job of the “rich” to provide it for them. Just “spreading the wealth around.”


Need health care insurance reform as a means to help middle class families? Do we really? Then why is it that married couples will pay a $2,000 per year marriage penalty in health care premiums under the Obamacare plan?

Don’t tell me you’re trying to help the middle class and that you’re trying to “give” health care to everyone in the country and then tell me that because I chose to marry my wife, rather than just shack up with her, I have to pay a $2,000 a year premium.

And now we’re getting the same tired ‘populist’ politicking against the insurance companies. We’re getting the same tired rhetoric and And he’s misquoting the numbers on bringing down the deficit – he just makes it up as he goes along.


“I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people” – Translation: you people are too stupid to recognize just how badly you need me to fix your problems.


“I will not walk away from these Americans and neither should the people in this chamber” – Translation: I don’t care if the American people don’t want socialized health care or the latest version of Obamacare. I don’t care what you think. I don’t care what you want. I don’t care what the past three or four elections have demonstrated. YOU WILL GET OBAMACARE!!! Now “get out of my way” and let me do what I want.


His claim that Bush left an over $1 trillion deficit is an outright lie. Bush left office with a ~$430 billion deficit. Obama’s policies have taken it to about $1.8 trillion, with forecasts out to the next decade saying it will be on average comfortably over $1 trillion every year.

How much longer will he keep trying to blame Bush for the failures of his policies? Bush has enough failures of his own to live up to, he doesn’t need Obama piling more on top of his head. Mr. Obama, man up and accept your failures as your own.


Freezing government spending for 3 years is a great idea. Why wait for a full year before you do it? Why was it a bad idea when McCain suggested it in the presidential campaign. I remember something from Mr. Obama’s mouth about using a “hatchet” instead of a “scalpel” when McCain brought it up.

Another executive order to create his economic committee. The Senate just voted it down, but this guy is going to do it anyway.

“That’s how budgeting works” actually had people in the audience laughing at him None of us are that stupid Mr. President.

“The problem is that’s what we did for 8 years.” – Bush isn’t in power anymore. Get over it Obama. You’re the president now. To steal a line from Arlen Specter – “we’re treating you like the President … act like one.”

Anyone else find it a bit ironic that the man with one of the largest populations of lobbyists in his administration is still talking about “ending the influence of lobbyists”?

Anyone else find it a bit ironic that the man who refused to allow C-SPAN in to record the health care negotiations (despite promising on the campaign trail that he would have those cameras there to avoid back room dealing) is talking about “doing our work openly”?


His attack on the Supreme Court was completely inappropriate – to say nothing about being completely inaccurate. Others have listed the multiple areas in which Obama’s fact checking failed in that comment, so I won’t go into it. However, last year, House Republican Joe Wilson was excoriated throughout government and the media for breaking protocol and shouting “you lie” during Obama’s speech on health care. Wilson was forced to apologize and was then given a formal reprimand by the House for his breach of protocol. Obama’s brazen attack on the Supreme Court was at least as bad and likely worse. Obama styles himself as a Constitutional scholar and should know that using this venue to openly defame another branch of government is completely inappropriate. Even worse, openly challenging them with factually deficient claims is beneath the office he holds.


Earmark reform?!?!?!?! You signed a budget bill last year with 9000 9000 earmarks in it! You signed that bill after telling us over and over again that you would veto and deny any earmarks. And now you have the temerity to lecture the country about earmark reform?

As an aside, the idea of openly publishing earmark requests for the public to see is an excellent idea. I hope they actually do that.


“A perpetual campaign” to find dirt on the other people. He’s telling the truth. Now if he would just drop his chronic campaign about “the past 8 years,” and “that’s what I inherited.” If he would quit campaigning against the Bush administration, his lecturing here would be a whole lot more effective.

Classic! He’s actually attacking the Republicans as “just saying no”. This from the same group of people who invented the term “Borking”.


His discussion on national security would be easier to believe if he hadn’t allowed three terrorist attacks on American soil in the last year. As it is his unwillingness to even use the term “war on terror” or “terrorist attacks,” choosing “overseas contingency operation” and “man caused disasters” instead, makes him and his administration’s efforts on the terror front almost wholly unbelievable.


As much as I dislike the fact that giving a date certain for the end of the war in Iraq will embolden the terrorists, I do hope and pray that he is able to bring our troops home soon!

He’s absolutely right that we need to support the troops now, and when they return.


I’ve posted extensively on the hate crimes legislation, not worth expanding on here.

Not even sure how the “don’t ask don’t tell policy” fits into this speech. Seems like he had to pay off a special interest here so he needed to shoe horn a note on it in somewhere.


He’s closing his address out with cynicism and retelling all the problems. He’s making it about himself again — I never said I could do it all by myself — the narcissism this man possesses is beyond comprehension.

Now he’s talking the country and its spirit up again – again, this is the same man who spent the last year apologizing for the country to anyone who would listen.

Closing with the “I don’t quit” theme is another reminder that we will be dealing with Obamacare and Cap & Trade for many months to come. It’s a shot across the bow more than a call to action.