22 Jan
2015
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State of the Union Follow Up

Last night President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address. The following is the one of our blogger’s response to the President’s remarks.

“But tonight, we turn the page.”

The Blog: Unfortunately, the same words are on the next page.

“Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.”

The Blog: Unfortunately, the workforce participation rate is still the lowest it has been since President Carter was in office, and the median household income is 5.7% lower than it was in 2000.

“More of our kids are graduating than ever before”

The Blog: But they can’t find jobs. The youth jobless rate is around 48% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“More of our people are insured than ever before.”

The Blog: But insurance is more expensive and covers fewer procedures.

“We are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.”

The Blog: Despite the administration denying and delaying drilling permits for domestic energy exploration.

“Our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.”

The Blog: Because the president said so – not because we have defeated the bad guys.

“Today, fewer than 15,000 remain (in Iraq and Afghanistan).”

The Blog: Which is why ISIS now governs vast territory in Iraq and Syria, and beheads people with impunity.

“We’ve made strides towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care.”

The Blog: False. Has he forgotten the problems at the VA?

“Thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.”

The Blog: Actually thanks to Saudi Arabia’s manipulating the price of oil to below $60/barrel in an effort to bankrupt American shale oil companies.

“Our deficits cut by two-thirds.”

The Blog: Because one-time bail outs were not repeated. Actually, the national debt has increased under President Obama more than all the other presidents combined.

“Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave.”

The Blog: First, the vast majority of businesses already offer paid sick leave. The ones who do not are typically service industry positions. As a practical matter, this just means that paid holidays will be reduced.

“Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.”

The Blog: That has been the law since the 1960s. This is a purely political talking point that ignores the reality that women often take time out of the workforce to raise a family. Even the White House does not pay women the same on on average for this same reason.

“If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.”

The Blog: First, people who make minimum wage make up a minuscule portion of the workforce, and at least half of those are kids working their first job where they are either seasonal, or are promoted soon after starting. We are talking about 1% of the workforce. And almost all of minimum wage workers are not the primary earner in their household. Furthermore, if someone only makes $15,000, they are also collecting public benefits the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in additional income. Finally, increasing the minimum wage will make it more expensive to hire people, and thus harder for kids entering the workforce to get that first job.

“We still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions.”

The Blog: Right to work states have seen jobs arrive and wages increase – not states with strong collective bargaining laws. Eight of the top ten states for economic and employment growth are right to work states whereas the bottom ten are all non-right to work states.

“We still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need.”

The Blog: Thanks to Government subsidies, the cost of education has increased more than twice the rate of inflation, and federal loan programs have higher interest rates, thus charging students more, than private loans.

“21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure – modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet.”

The Blog: Union jobs, union jobs, union jobs, and union jobs.

“Let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline.”

The Blog: Why not build that pipeline, too? The Keystone Pipeline project would create 42,000 jobs.

“More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking at bringing jobs back from China.”

The Blog: But they are unable because American taxes and regulations are not competitive.

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program”

The Blog: False. Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has increased since 2009, and production has surged since 2013.

“Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars.”

The Blog: This was years behind schedule because the President dismantled the existing space program and voluntarily ceded American dominance of the final frontier.

“No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”

The Blog: Nuclear war? Radical Islamic Terrorism? Bill Bellichek?

“China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions.”

The Blog:  No they did not. They agreed to consider it. If China and India do not seriously curb emissions, no real progress will be made on cleaner air, no matter how much we tie our own hands economically.

“(The shift in U.S. Cuba relations) stands up for democratic values.”
The Blog: Cuba is a communist country that exhibits the exact opposite of democratic values.

There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails – alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress.

The Blog: Just to be clear, you’re saying sanctions don’t work right?

Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo.

The Blog: Ok, got it now. Sanctioning Cuba with an embargo wasn’t a good idea. Totally clear now.

Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.

The Blog: So, ummmm, sanctions worked? Hooray for sanctions????

“Over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn’t delivered on this vision (of a united country). How ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. It’s held up as proof not just of my own flaws — of which there are many — but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, and naïve, and that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it.”

The Blog: Um, yeah that’s right.

DISCLAIMER: This post and the contents thereof are the views of only the author identified immediately above and do not necessarily represent the views of the New York Young Republican Club (the "NYYRC"), its officers or its members. The NYYRC expressly disclaims responsibility for the contents thereof and by its charter documents may not, and does not, endorse any candidate for any office, except in a general election.

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