State of the Union Falls Flat



President Obama’s most recent State of the Union address was nothing but a rehash of the president’s famously empty rhetoric. The speech was often times reminiscent of motivational speakers who sound great, but when you pay close attention, they speak of nothing but overused platitudes. Railing against corporate profits, ‘growing’ inequality, and politics as usual, the president had his hypocrisy on full display.

Preaching about opportunity, he urged citizens to go out and work as hard as they can, yet his administration has been piling up new regulations that push businesses to do the opposite. Obama’s key achievements have done nothing to help grow the economy. Obamacare is set up to do the opposite by raising the cost of low-skill employees to even higher extremes. The financial reform has done nothing to make our financial markets more efficient and just about everything to make them more convoluted.

It is clear when the President says he is pro-business, he is only pro government supported business and pro businesses that tow his line. He said not a single bad word about renewable energy companies that only make profits because of government subsidies, but he railed against the oil industry even though the ‘subsidies’ they use are accepted accounting practices.

Talking about inequality and the minimum wage, Obama makes it sound like a win-win. Pay the lowest workers more, those workers will spend more, and businesses will prosper. The President leaves out the fact that when the cost of labor increases companies often have to fire employees and cut hours. Minimum wage jobs are meant to allow employees to get their foot in the door and build a resume. Very few will see careers in burger flipping, but many will start careers there.

This year’s State of the Union wasn’t for America, or the world to notice. The entire speech was a play to the President’s base. Obama has never been a coalition builder, and this has been a drag on not only his party but the United States’ economy. Unwillingness to compromise has left immigrants in limbo and a looming budget crisis.