Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union: The Both Sides of Obama’s Mouth

My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery. - Sarah Palin

President Obama wants to get reelected. Now that there is a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the days of ramming through unpopular programs like the Stimulus and Obamacare are over. The president admitted this in an unspoken way during the State of the Union address by not delivering as partisan a speech as he did last year and by abandoning the rhetoric of “punishing our enemies” and “they can sit in the back.” Instead he struck a more amiable tone as he expressed the need for members on both sides to not only “sit together tonight, but work together tomorrow.” His approach was to give everyone something they wanted - or at least make it sound that way. As a result, he spoke out of both sides of his mouth.

Rush Limbaugh called it a campaign speech.

He talked about medical malpractice tort reform but completely ignored a necessary matching component: the sale of health insurance across state lines. Roughly translated, I’ll call the lawyers off if you don’t repeal Obamacare. The president talked about reducing the corporate tax rate while eliminating tax loopholes to pay for it. Roughly translated, his proposal is revenue neutral and will not save corporations the needed money for hiring more employees. He talked about freezing spending at current levels. Roughly translated, the era of big government is here to stay but it won’t get any bigger.

"The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other," Calvin Woodward of the AP wrote.

See how that works? He tells conservatives he’ll move toward the center while telling liberals he will protect what he’s gotten them already. We are watching a man walk a political tightrope who only goes to the center when it means saving his hide or not falling off the wire. Yesterday’s state of the union included “investments” for green technology and infrastructure for the left and a consolidation of government agencies for the right.

Where he bombed is when he said he wants to work with Republicans on keeping the costs of entitlements down but in his old Obamaistic way drew an extreme allegory by saying this:
To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.
Roughly translated, he is saying no privatization options for social security. When discussing entitlement reform, the president wrongfully assumed Republicans would want people putting their social security money into volatile investments such as aggressive emerging growth mutual funds. That’s simply demagoguery and is far from what we would expect Republicans to offer as part of a private option for a portion of money that is withheld for social security.

Should the Republicans get everything Obama offered them last night, our national debt will continue to rise, although much more slowly than it is now. And, only way to “reform entitlements” without a private option will be through huge tax increases that will come once liberals have let the crisis grow to a level where they will no longer be able to let it go to waste.

Don’t be fooled by the president’s rhetoric and tone last night. Community organizers who are well read in how to transform societies into European socialist democracies don’t just change overnight. They just hide it better until after they are hopefully reelected. He hasn't given up on redistributing the wealth.
And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply can't afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. (Applause.) Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.
Tonight, we will hear from Sarah Palin on Greta Van Susteren’s show On the Record. It will be interesting to get a clear contrast to Obama’s speech. If there’s any inclination on where Palin may go with her remarks, it would be to think that it is most likely that she will highly agree with Paul Ryan who Palin has expressed high regards for in the past. Don't expect doublespeak from Palin tonight. Expect to get it straight, just as Paul Ryan gave it to us straight last night in his response.

-Please listen to my Blogtalk Radio show tonight at 11:00 pm ET

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