A forecast of the 2011 State of the Union Address

It’s always interesting to listen to the polispeak just before a major political event. The rhetoric always goes out and spins everything for or against whomever is involved with the event, pundits have a field day making predictions. And by the time a month has passed everyone forgets what was said. Or so most politicians hope.

The State of the Union is a bit special though. This is the President speaking to Congress and the public – often with strong asides to international policy. It is the clearest and most definitive roadmap of what citizens can expect in legislation, and everyone has an opinon on it.

For President Obama this will be his 3rd State of the Union Address. As the start of his mid-point in the Presidency, many are looking at a new begining for the President. The key for some is how much President Obama will bend, especially if he hopes to get re-elected in 2012. The hope of most voters though remains on 1 subject alone – jobs.

This State of the Union Address should be quite impressive. For the 3rd year in a row, President Obama is expected to focus most of the Address on the economy and job creation. His first Address was well into the recession that took millions of jobs and dozens of banks by 2009 alone. In that Address President Obama made several critical promises.

“His goals were expansive: overhauling health care, cutting the deficit, improving schools, finding a way out of Iraq and a way ahead in Afghanistan. Most of all, creating jobs. Jobs by the millions.

In January 2009 the unemployment rate was 8.2%. In 2011 it stands at 9.4%, having spent almost every day of the Obama Administration since the Obama Stimulus in excess of 9%. In fact it reached 10%, and spent 19 months in excess or at 9.4% – the net result being over 6 million additional people unemployed under the Obama Administration. At this moment the full extension of unemployment benefits exceeds 2 1/2 years, with more than 40% of those recieving benefits doing so for more than a year.

All of this says nothing of the loss of homes in mortgage foreclosures, 1 million in 2010 alone. While far less in the headlines under the Obama Administration, the rate of foreclosures has maintained all-time highs throughout the majority of the Obama Administration. Mortgage defaults are also at record highs. Projections for 2011 forecast an even worse outcome – though there is no forecast of how much attention the major media might pay attention to this fact.

All of this in an Administration that claims huge success and unprecedented productivity. Yet the national deficit is rocketing higher, the budget has yet to be cut, Health Care Reform is opposed by more than half of the States (and the Government now claims the law as a tax they initial promised it was not), gasoline prices are poised to increase between .10 – .65 cents on the way to all-time highs before the summer crunch.

When you step back, you just have to wonder what this State of the Union Address will contain. After more than 50 speeches stating that job creation is the focus of the nation, it remains the number 1 concern among citizens. After years of policy and legislation, individuals are no better off as mega-corporations are either buoyed or emcompassed by the Government.

Remember some of the keypoints of the 2010 State of the Union Address?

  • The president want to end earmarks by forcing Congress to post the earmarks on the internet. Over 5,000 earmarks were in just the Health Care Reform. Currently Democrats refuse to agree to a Republican ban on earmarks.
  • That the entire mess of the economy was the fault of the Bush Administration. So far the Obama Administration admits no fault in any of its plans, and any shortcomings are the direct causation of Republicans (who only got control of 1 House of Congress in 2011) and/or a President that ended his Administration years ago.
  • That Health Care Reform was critical to improving the economy and saving jobs. It has done neither to date and is roundly opposed, just as it was before being rushed through the Democrat-led Congress.

    In the end, as we make a projection like everyone else, we just have to ask – Is President Obama serious this time? Will whatever promise about the economy and job creation actually take place, or will there be a lot of words and then blame for everyone except the Administration?

    Our expectation is that President Obama will talk big about creating jobs, again, while blaming Republicans. He will create yet another program to spend tens of billions of dollars, slowing the recovery even more. Taxes will increase, further placing a burden on growth. An ever growing backlog of Americans will lose their homes, even as the Obama Administration tries to create other multi-billion dollar programs to slow that pace.

    By the time the race for the presidential election comes around, President Obama will have a spark of hope in modestly lower unemployment numbers (target 9%). The national deficit will be higher, the fault of Republicans. The Health Care Reform will have survived attempts to defund it, and will be an issue on the campaign trail. Plus, President Obama will hold several town halls and press conferences to explain that the general public are too dumb to understand how great things are.

    Net net, no improvement in 2011 of any significance for the average person.

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  • About the Author

    Michael Vass
    Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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