In one of the sappiest, platitude-ridden state of the union addresses in history, president Obama said "Give America a Raise".
I agree with the idea, not the implementation. President Obama pledged an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour "because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty."
Obama stated "Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here."
While true, not once did Obama even hint at the source of the problem: Real wages have declined because government spends more than it takes in, and the Fed is happy to oblige by forcing interest rates lower, allowing just that.
Rather than fight the real problem, Obama wants to attack the symptom: falling real wages. Mathematically his proposed solution cannot possibly work.
The president even wants to expand on what clearly doesn't work, dragging Senator Mario Rubio into the picture.
"I agree with Republicans like Senator Rubio that it doesn’t do enough for single workers who don’t have kids. So let’s work together to strengthen the credit, reward work, and help more Americans get ahead," said Obama.
Regarding the right to vote, Obama stated, "It should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account, that drives our democracy."
On that, I could hardly agree more. So let's have genuine campaign finance reform, for both parties, including union sponsorship of candidates.
Given that no one in either party wants that, it won't happen. Is it any wonder that for the first time in history, a majority of people in congress are millionaires!
Regarding terrorist activities, Obama stated "We are clear-eyed about Iran’s support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah."
OK so where the hell are the prosecutions for Money Laundering, and Outright Criminal Activity by major banks?
In the sappiest part of his speech, president Obama referred to Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, who on his tenth deployment, was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
I have nothing against those serving this country. However, I do have something against those who put our armed forces in harm's way for no good reason at all.
Instead of praising Cory Remsburg, president Obama should have admitted he personally, and needlessly, put Remsburg's life in jeopardy on a fool's mission.
Sap and Platitudes
As sappy as all that was (and it was the sappiest state of the union address ever), the official republican response was even worse. Here is full text of the Republican response to State of the Union.
Not only did Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers praise Cory Remsburg, she offered the same tired, far-right platitudes bound to please the extreme-right, religious-wrong voters, while offending the crucial political independents.
Republicans desperately need to throw warmongering and right-to-life policies in the gutter for more pragmatic approaches.
Instead, Cathy McMorris Rodgers waved them in our face with subtleties regarding her child's Down Syndrome.
If this was in response to Obama's platitude "women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns". It was a serious mistake.
Four Key Hints
I commend Rodgers for her care, but not everyone has the means to do anything other than dump their kids into the system or choose an abortion upfront.
As an independent ready and willing to criticize both political parties, Rodgers response was far worse than Obama's sap and platitudes delivery.
The saving grace is few bothered to watch it. At least I hope so.
My friend Adam Taggart at Peak Prosperity wrote an equally scathing, yet widely different attack on Obama's state of the union speech. I highly recommend "The Government Comes Up With The Money" A mindset that's killing our economy.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock