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Obama Didn't Get the Message
At over an hour in length, President Obama's State of the Union address revealed one thing: he hasn't been paying attention to the will of the American people. The President was quick to remind us of the dire economic conditions he "inherited" from his predecessor. He failed to acknowledge that his policies have produced no demonstrable economic recovery as evidenced by continued job losses, even in the holiday season, and 10% unemployment. While the stimulus failed to keep unemployment below 8%, the President touted the measure as a success, and called for another "jobs bill" to be delivered to his desk as soon as possible.
The President continued blaming former President Bush by asserting that the trillions of dollars in deficit spending racked up over the past year were the result of his predecessor's "tax cuts" and failing to "pay for two wars." The "Stimulus bill" and spending hikes by the Democrat controlled Congress are the more accurate contributors to our current fiscal woes. The TARP bill also played a role, and was signed under the former President. However, it had the full support of Obama and his transition team and was touted--wrongly--as a necessary measure to save our financial systems.
As if laying the blame for his fiscal irresponsibility at the feet of Republicans--who haven't controlled Congress since 2006--wasn't enough, the President also mounted a staunch defense of his "Bank Tax" and simultaneous attack on "bonuses." In his words, if the banks can afford to pay their employees "big bonuses," then they can afford a tax to repay the money they were loaned by the American people. Ignore for a minute the basic fact that it is none of the President's or Congress' business how much a private corporation decides to pay its employees. The big banks are the only ones who have paid off their loans, and many of these were forced to take the money in the first place. In reality, they've paid back so much of the money that the President's administration wants to use it to fund other projects. It President Obama who has refused to return the payments to the taxpayer, and it's GM, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac that haven't repaid their debt. The bank tax is nothing less than a punishment for maintaining a profitable business. Well maintained banks don't foster support for ridiculous government regulations.
If Health Care wasn't about building a monument to himself and putting another notch on his victory belt, then the President would have called for the Democrat controlled Congress to scrap the current legislation and start over with actual solutions. Instead, Obama ridiculed the filibuster, berated the GOP when it is his administration that refused to meet with Republican leaders, and urged Congress to continue its efforts. If these statements aren't enough to convince you that President Obama is either oblivious to the meaning of the Massachusetts election or just doesn't care what the American citizens think, then nothing will.
Finally, respect for our Constitution, a document President Obama took an oath to defend, and the President's virulent attack on the Supreme Court's decision are incompatible. It is not the government's job to decide which groups are allowed to speak, and which groups deserve to be silenced. Far from "opening the floodgates to special interests" the decision has, if anything, eliminated the unions' advantage in political advertising and once again evened the playing field during campaign season. Pushing Congress to enact regulations to circumvent the court's decision is Un-American at best.