Tonight is the President’s 3rd State of the Union Speech and all indications are it will be an optimistic one, building upon various center-right moves the President has made to correct the course of America after 2 years adrift. The question one must ask is, why did it take so long for the President to take proper actions? And, if we want to wallow in the cynical (which I do, just for a few minutes), why did he let the American people suffer for so long before taking the obvious steps towards recovery?
We have plodded through 20 consecutive months of unemployment over 9%. Related to this, we have had vast uncertainty over healthcare, regulation, taxes, and energy policy, all the while spending like drunken sailors (to compare Congress to drunken sailors is probably an insult to drunken sailors, but you get the idea). The President spoke about the economy, but almost every action he has taken has hurt the economy and damaged the potential for recovery. That is, until December of 2010.
The President will speak about the large challenges we have in front of us, but he will laud his administration for the progress he will exaggerate has been made. He’ll talk about the auto industry’s recovery (based on policies initiated by President Bush) though it is still in question, he will cite the healthcare bill (positive effects have not been felt yet, though the negative ones have hit in spades) which he says saves money but he only counts 6 years of spending and 10 years of taxes to fund that spending. He will talk about the stimulus, and here will be his biggest lie of the night. This boondoggle cost the American people $850 billion for zero benefit, and the generation of huge long-term debt.
What I wonder, though, is whether he will speak about the fact that he had a bunch of disconnected academics in the White House for 2 years, fiddling with the economy but disdaining business all the while. The anti-capitalist, profit-hating, and pro-big-government left wing partisans who plunged our economy into deeper mud as they tested their classroom theories.
If he does so, he can claim some reasons for being optimistic about the future of the economy. This is primarily because he has thrown out at least two key business haters from his administration, and replaced them with people who have operated in the real world and who know how to fix it. Larry Summers is back at Harvard and the American people are finally safe from him and his socialist theories. And Rahm Emanuel, the hyper-partisan, win-at-all-cost, horse-head-in-the-bed Chief of Staff is off to destroy Chicago if he can bribe or threaten his way onto the ballot there.
In their places? William Daley, the former JP Morgan Chase executive, is the new White House Chief of Staff. Yes, you read that right, a Wall Street banker! Democrats, just imagine all of the BS (it’s a technical term) President Obama swayed you with over the last 3 years about Wall Street, only to hire in the most important White House job one of the very thieves who destroyed this country? I jest of course, because William Daley seems to be an excellent choice, and his real world experience in the private sector gives us hope for positive action on the economy.
And then his next choice, Jeffrey Immelt, to replace Paul Volcker to run the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. A Washingtonian replaced by the General Electric CEO. Now Democrats, don’t think too much about this one, because if you do you will really feel duped by the Anointed One. I mean, GE destroyed the Hudson River (and still, according to Greenpeace, refuses to step up to their responsibilities in regards to this), and they are likely the largest producer of energy plants and equipment generating greenhouse gasses today. But for us pragmatists who operate in the real world, we are thrilled to have a real CEO running this council. I know, couldn’t he have found a professor who teaches “The Physics of Wind Power” from Princeton or something? I guess we’ll just have to settle for the GE CEO.
Add to this the President’s refusal to raise tax rates in December, and a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in November, and you have reasons for optimism.
On the one hand we could ask, why did President Obama make so many millions suffer for the last two years before seriously focusing on our economic problems? On the other hand, we can look forward rather than back, and hope that the President has learned his lessons and will continue making moves that get us down a path towards recovery.