THE REAL STATE OF THE UNION
It is often not what a President says, but what he does not say, in his state of the union address that is the most telling. That was the case on January 28 when President Obama did not say that the state of the union was strong. Indeed, were he to have said it, the near universal response would have been disbelief, perhaps even derisive laughter. Since he could not say the state of the union was strong despite six years of his presidency, and could not tout the success of his only major piece of legislation, Obamacare, he chose instead to talk in generalities about income inequality, use of his pen to act when Congress would not cooperate with him (which is almost all the time), and promises to elevate the federal minimum wage, among other trifling and vague actions, none of which was particularly earthshaking.
Truth be told, the union is struggling, but of course because President Obama is a major contributor to that struggle, he is the last one to focus upon the reasons for the difficulties. Consider the true state of the union and weep.
The national debt is $17.3 trillion with over a third of that created during President Obama’s two terms. By the time Obama leaves office, our national debt will likely top $23 trillion.
The real unemployment rate (when one takes into account those who are unemployed and have given up their search for work along with those who are unemployed and are seeking employment) is over 11%.
More Americans than ever before are on food stamps. Fifteen percent of Americans, one in seven, rely on food stamps. In some states, nearly one in four are on food stamps. In the District of Columbia, 23% of residents are on food stamps, and in Mississippi, 22% are on food stamps.
The savings rate is only 4.2% (with most Americans living paycheck to paycheck).
Median household income has dropped 7% since 2000 after adjusting for inflation. Median household income is the lowest it has been since 1996. Average household income is 8.3% below what it was in 2007.
The poverty level has risen to more than 16%, representing some 46.5 million Americans. That is the highest poverty rate since 1993. Almost 20% of American children live at or below the poverty level, up from 14.3% in 2009. One and a half million American households are in extreme poverty, meaning that they live on less than $2 per day.
In a study comparing health in developed countries, the United States ranked near the bottom in life expectancy for both men and women. People in Switzerland have the highest life expectancy at 79.33 years. People in the United States have an average life expectancy of 75.64 years.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans oppose President Obama’s self-proclaimed signature law, Obamacare, yet the President insists on its full implementation. Obamacare promises to add over 20 new taxes by next year and to increase Americans’ tax burden by about $400 billion over the next decade.
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In sum, America is far worse off today than it was when President Obama took office (and it was not doing well then). He has no major achievement to show for six years in the White House, not one. He has contributed to the plight of America, to its loss of wealth and prosperity. He has added tens of thousands of regulations to the market’s burden and hundreds of billions in new taxes, all of which retard the American economy to such an extent that sustained economic recovery has become an elusive goal. The state of the union is poor, approaching dire, and few predict that it will improve materially anytime soon. Nothing in the President’s State of the Union Address offers any prospect for relieving America of the weighty government burdens that are holding the nation back. Nothing in that address promises a means to reduce the enormous national debt. Nothing in that address provides concrete means to roll back the regulations that are stifling enterprise and preventing a rise in employment levels or in gross domestic product. Indeed, the only direction the President offered in his state of the union address was one of greater reliance on federal intervention and regulation and greater federal spending. In short, President Obama’s plan is to fail.
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