Once again President Obama will stand before America and define his vision for the nation in the coming year. Once again, grand promises will be made. The question that stands at this moment is if the State of the Union Address will be about the re-election of President Obama, or what will be done to improve the economic and national interests of America?
What we are aware of is that President Obama will be addressing several items.
• A tax code that lets the Bush tax cuts expire and the wealthy pay more
• More refinancing for homeowners in trouble
• Additional tax breaks for companies that create jobs in the United States
• More clean energy incentives
• Enhanced education and job training initiatives
• A renewed call for the so-called Buffett rule, a minimum tax rate for the wealthiest Americans
• The creation of a China task force to monitor trade violations
What is not being addressed? Apparently entitlement reform and illegal immigration. 2 issues from the 2011 Address that never saw the light of day from the Obama Administration.
Of the issue to be address, that we know, what is the consequences?
Increasing taxes on the wealthy is the ultimate feel good answer from a Democrat in trouble. The wealthy are an endless fountain to be tapped whenever a distraction is needed. But will increasing taxes help?
Considering that President Obama is about to increase the debt ceiling, after raising it in 2011, by at least another trillion dollars, going after the wealthy amounts to nothing more than trying to plug a whole with cheesecloth. Even if President Obama could pass such a tax increase, it would not stop or slow the national debt.
Worse yet, it can be well argued – and has been – that increasing taxes on the very people that create jobs and new business slows the economy and would extend the current malaise. While the far-left will be pleased, middle America and the poor, will not be served to have fewer job opportunities. But it will sound good, from the mouth of President Obama.
More funds for homeowners in default and foreclosure is a big issue. The comment avoids speaking about the $75 billion already wasted on the only other effort to help these Americans, started 3 years ago. The Making Homes Affordable Act was a horrendous failure, so much so the Obama Administration refuses to discuss it. Instead, after years of foreclosure and mortgage defaults at new all-time highs, we now finally get a new idea – maybe. Though the question that might be asked is, why all the delay?
More tax breaks for businesses creating jobs is next up. So far the EXISTING tax breaks for this very thing has had, at best, minimal effect on the economy. Tax breaks don’t mean much when these businesses face still mounting costs due to the Health Care Reform. Costs that are still being determined as new complications from the Reform are revealed, even though it has been 2 years since the Bill passed. In effect it is another sound good but do nothing proposal.
Clean energy incentives are funny. After the scandal of Solyndra and the other “green” companies that the government decided were winners – and lost tens of millions of taxpayers dollars when proven wrong – it seems a subject that the President would avoid. But, if the State of the Union is about re-election, then it is critical for his support among the far-left.
Enhanced education, another crowd pleasing subject. Paid for by unknown means, with an ever-growing debt. Yes everyone is for it, but who is paying for it? Do the numbers and even the wealthy cannot pay for all that is being asked and spent.
The Buffett-rule. Another word for an even higher tax on the wealthy. Otherwise thought of as a penalty tax for acheiving the American dream of success.
Which completely avoids a far more simple and direct answer. Warren Buffett and ANY other American can just donate money to the IRS. Not that Warren Buffett has done so – until he was embarrassed into it by promising to match Republican donations, and finding out that Rep. Scott Rigell has already been doing so for some time. But admnishing Buffett for not doing the simple and direct does not play well with Democrats that want higher taxes from other people so they can spend more on what they think the nation needs.
Were this not an election year, and if Warren Buffett was a Republican like his father, do you doubt that President Obama and other Democrats would ask Buffett to just donate a couple million to the IRS as an example of leadership? For that matter, how much has President Obama donated? 0. So much for the rich, which President Obama as a multi-millionaire is, paying more just because it is the right thing to do.
Lastly there will be a trade force to watch out for China. What are the chances of that trade organization asking why President Obama helped China by turning away Canada and the Keystone Pipeline – that had 2 EPA studies and an Obama trade commission approval? One might also ask if GE Chairman Immelt will be on this task force, as he was on the task force to help keep jobs in America and then sent jobs to China.
Considering all the above, and the reported theme of the State of the Union Address being “economic fairness”, it seems that America is in for a re-election speech and not a vision moving forward. This seems to be targeted to one goal, preservation of power for Democrats in the embodiment of President Obama.
We understand that the economy has continued to falter. We realize that every plan and project over the last 3 years has failed. We also recognize that this is President obama’s economy, and by his own words the standard to his election prospect was improvement. This State of the Union will fly in the face of that self-assessment, but that’s what re-election campaign speeches do.