Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SOTU 2014

Tonight President Obama will deliver his state of the union address.  The issues of illegal immigration and a minimum wage increase will likely take a prominent role, sewn together with class warfare. Don't be terribly surprised to hear a call for a clean debt limit increase as well.

Following the speech, progressive politicians will release their platitudes.  Calls for legislation to address those demands that even President Obama will not make by executive order will be made.  And, all of this will likely be done with the willful blindness and hypocrisy that has come to define progressives.

First, on the subject of illegal immigration, the most recent U-6 unemployment rate is 13.1%, about 4% higher than before President Obama took office.  With over 20 million Americans out of work, President Obama wants to add at least 11 million illegal immigrants to the workforce.  Unless the progressive politician actually believes adding 11 million people will create at least 11 million jobs, it's hard to understand how anyone could think this will not produce a net increase in unemployment.

To put that in perspective, you would need the economy that occurred under the divided government of a Republican Senate, a Republican House, and Democratic President Clinton to achieve 11 million jobs.

The playbook for 2014 so far seems to be to create division, casting anyone that disagrees with President Obama's economic policies as being pro-rich at the expense of everyone else.  And, despite the fact that early reports indicate that President Obama will actually propose tax cuts for the mega-corporations as part of his speech, those on the left will believe him because he will also talk about increasing the minimum wage.

Speaking of minimum wage, the Employment Policies Institute recently released a study of how members of congress that are calling for an increase in the minimum wage pay their staff.  A full 96% of them that support a 40% increase in the minimum wage don't pay it themselves when it comes to their own employee interns.  In fact, they are paid nothing at all.  And yes, that includes both Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Matt Cartwright, according to EPI.

Not that the mainstream media would ever ask Casey or Cartwright about this but if they did, they would likely say that they cannot pay these low-level, unskilled employees because their budgets don't support it and, if they had to pay them $10.10 an hour (as President Obama has suggested,) it would create less intern positions.

If you substitute "create less intern positions" with "create less jobs" you arrive at precisely the argument that employers make, incidentally.

Continuing the progressive mantra of "Do as I say, not as I do" consider the following:

'The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.' - Barack Hussein Obama, 16 March 2006
The same person that said the above (opening and closing paragraph, you can follow the link to read the full statement) sent Jack Lew to congress to make clear that, despite his previous calculation indicating that we had until March, he has now revised his estimate to say that the White House will actually need more money by late February to keep the government afloat.

Under President Reagan, the national debt was $2.7 trillion or 53.1% of GDP.  After George W. Bush, it was at a little over $10 trillion.  When a deal was struck with Congress in mid-October, the debt was at $17.075 trillion. The debt has increased over $6 trillion under President Obama and now eclipses our GDP at 102.7%.

Even though the national credit card is maxed, expect a call for an increase in the credit line.  Or, to put it another way, expect another "leadership failure" that shifts "the burden of bad choices today onto the back of our children and grandchildren."

Instead of relying on the entirely predictable playbook of the left, instead of encouraging division and strife among Americans, President Obama should prove our prognostication incorrect.  He should commit to working with Congress to secure our borders before even discussing amnesty.  He should admit the inarguable errors of Obamacare and agree to scrap the inherently flawed job killer for policies that will actually work.  And, he should reflect on his own words from less than a decade ago and make a firm and steadfast commitment to force the federal government to live within its means and stop spending more money than it has taken in the form of taxes from hard-working Americans.

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