Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sorry State of the Union

As many people know, tonight is the annual State of the Union address, in which the president lays out his agenda for the coming year.  Although this is a long-held tradition, it often is an exercise in frustration and futility.  

According to the Wall Street Journal, the country is "increasingly worried" about the president's abilities and are fearful about America's future.  A Washington Post poll revealed that fully 63% of Americans have little or no faith that Mr. Obama will make the right decisions.  At the same time, the public seems to support many of the president's themes and policy ideas.  There seems to be some kind of disconnection here.

Mr. Obama and other Democrats have certain phrases that they use over and over, knowing that they resonate with people:  "income inequality", "war on women", "minimum wage", etc.  When it comes to income inequality, for example, who could possibly be against helping the poor improve their lot in life?  No one whom I know.  But pay close attention; what has Obama actually done to address these problems? His "solution" is to take money that the wealthy have earned and redistribute it to those less fortunate. Would it not be better to empower people to rise out of poverty through their own efforts, rather than simply taking from the wealthy? Our economy remains anemic, millions of people have simply given up on looking for work and the median household income has decreased during Mr. Obama's presidency, due to his failed policies.  We could all possibly end up poor and miserable, but, boy, we'd all be equal!  

The United States, although weakened, is still a strong country, but we will likely not recover fully under this president.  Mr. Obama seems to confuse rhetoric with action, and there is a dichotomy between what he says and what he actually does.   We would do well to follow the example of Andrew Carnegie, who said "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say.  I just watch what they do."