Excerpts from BO’s State of the Union speech with my commentary and analysis.
Summary of speech: disgusting in its ignorance of basic economics and an attempt to incite a seething, sub-surface, resentful, hateful, spiteful class warfare.
“A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.”
We already know that America sees a net in-flux of foreign students seeking degrees. We already do a pretty good job in the education department, bromides to the opposite notwithstanding. And we could do better if education was more competitive (private) and less unionized. A new generation of high-tech manufacturing? Does that mean he’s actually in favor of machines replacing workers? I doubt it, but that’s exactly the road to prosperity and the road we’re likely to head down (which is good). A future where we’re in control of our own energy…funny that he says this less than a week after killing Keystone XL. …where work pays off…right, and where not working also pays off because of generous unemployment and welfare benefits.
“the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.”
Which is still true. It always will be true in any system where individuals are relatively free to choose what they do, where they live, and how they educate themselves. The American Dream (whatever it is) is not dead; people just really like to complain about it being dead so that they can elicit more handouts from the government, antagonize free trade, antagonize foreigners in general, and incite class warfare against the wealthy. Always remember: wealth is not the problem; poverty is the problem and wealth is the solution.
“Technology made businesses more efficient, but also made some jobs obsolete.”
Yes, this is called progress. Are you now, contrary to what you said above, saying that you want the country not to create high-tech manufacturing jobs? Are you now saying that you want everybody to grow their own food? We’re all farmers again?
“No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing,”
Again, this is called progress. This time, however, the progress is in the form of good ol’ Smith-Ricardian specialization and comparative advantage. I have a funny feeling that later on in this speech I’m going to be making some comment about how it’s not jobs that are important – it’s productivity. People don’t need work – they need stuff. Specialization and comparative advantage result in the most efficient (yes, that’s as in less waste) means of getting stuff. Often this means more stuff with less “jobs”.
“So we have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.”
Here it is…it’s not jobs that are important. It’s productivity.
“If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making your products here.”
Huh? Does he want more jobs (anti-progress) or does he want more robots making stuff (progress)? He just can’t figure this point out.
“I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can’t find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that –- openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work. It’s inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.”
I’m guessing that “how to fix it” is not to open the US’ borders. Because that’s the easiest way (by which I mean: most efficient, by which I mean least wasteful) to solve this problem.
“When kids do graduate, the most daunting challenge can be the cost of college. At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July. ”
Lowering interest rates will force prices UP and debt UP. This is just a flat out contradictory policy. It’s poorly understood economics and a blatant attempt to buy the votes of all college students and their parents.
“When it comes to the deficit, we’ve already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings. But we need to do more, and that means making choices. Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.”
But Buffett pays more (absolute dollars) than his secretary. Also, the taxes Buffett pays are capital gains taxes which are automatically doubled taxed dollars. So, once upon a time, those dollars were taxed at rates equal to or higher than his secretary. Again, blatant economic stupidity and incitement of class warfare.
“You’re the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You’re the ones who need relief. Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”
I would not call that common sense. I would call that supremely unfair. I would call it common sense when there was (at minimum) a flat tax rate, and (better) a flat tax “fee” (not a rate, but a set amount that everybody paid), and (best) a pay-for-what-you-get system (essentially: no income tax, only “service fees” like what you pay when you get a drivers license or license your car or essentially what property taxes are when educational costs are factored out).
“I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your coverage, or charge women differently than men.”
In other words, he will not go back to a private, free market, rational health care system. He wants to completely destroy health care in America. Not charge different rates for different amounts of service? Imagine if a grocery store, restaurant, electronics store, clothing store, any store did this. How long would they last? BestBuy as a buffet? Everything you can put in your cart for $100. All the clothes you can hang on your arms for $100. Wouldn’t work. Won’t work in health care. This is just an utter failure to understand basic economics.
“That’s why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a government program.”
Bull##it!!! He can say this a million times and it won’t be true. He can say it a million more and it still won’t be true. Utter bull**it.