On Obama’s 2011 SOTU speech


This week, Obama delivered his 2011 SOTU speech. Mitch McConnell (RINO-KY) praised Obama as a “centrist” and Obama’s policies as “centrist”. Ridiculous.

The fact is that, despite all the gibberish stated by the media and liberal Republicans like McConnell, Obama simply re-stated his liberal beliefs during the SOTU speech and proposed a gamut of new liberal policies – and backed them up with widely-circulated liberal lies.

Obama is still a radical leftist. He hasn’t become a centrist. He hasn’t experienced a Damascene conversion. He’s simply accepted a few policies forced on him by Republicans and is playing a charade game to make Americans believe he’s a centrist.

One of the few media outlets that doesn’t buy the widely-circulated media myth that Obama is a centrist is IBD, which has written this:

Will the man who conned the public into believing he was a moderate, but who has governed as the most immoderate leftist in the country’s history, now try to pull the same con so he can be elected again?

How naive does he think we are? Well, pretty darn naive, given the polls that everyone is bending over backward to cite. They show President Obama’s approval rating turning up in large part because he didn’t let the Bush tax cuts expire, enlisted cronies to help him appear more “business friendly” and paid lip service to regulatory reform.

Such moves, according to the spinmeisters, are part of a grand “repositioning” of the president as a “centrist” who “got the message from the November election” and who is now less hostile to the free-enterprise system he’s been trashing for more than two years.

Give us a break. Does anyone think that the Barack Obama who set out to “transform” the America that he found so distasteful has himself been transformed? Does anyone believe that if the mid-terms went the other way and the odds of his re-election hadn’t gone south, Obama would be considering any detour whatsoever on the leftist low road he has charted?”

(http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/560754/201101241859/The-Grand-Pivot-and8212-Whos-He-Kidding-.htm)

Obama has been trashing the free market and private enterprise since the day he became a politician. He still remains hostile to them. Only naive people could believe he has experienced a Damascene conversion.

His SOTU speech is proof of that. It’s proof that Obama is still a big-government liberal hostile to the free market and to private enterprise. It’s proof that Obama still advocates a big government which, he believes, should punish what liberals don’t like, subsidize liberals’ beloved socialist programs and inefficient/unaffordable stuff, and decide what Americans can or cannot buy.

A few examples from his speech:

“Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.”

If China wants to waste money on boondoogles like solar panels while its one-child policy is slowly ruining its finances, let it do so. Moreover, Chinense and Indian workers earn a fraction of what American workers do, and their school systems are much cheaper than America’s. As for the world’s fastest computer, it’s an invention of private enterprise, not the Chinese government.

“We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time.”

It doesn’t take a huge, bloated $3 trillion federal budget, federal spending on boondoogles, or highways that states don’t want.

“We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

The US doesn’t need to out-build the rest of the world. Its infrastructure is already the best in the world.

“We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business.”

The only way to do that is to implement policies OPPOSITE to those proposed by Obama: significantly reduce domestic federal spending, open America’s oil and NG reserves to drillers, privatize all enterprises owned by the federal government, hand over America’s schools back to parents and towns, abolish all federal regulations, abolish all federal subsidy programs, and prevent the federal government from dictating anything.

“Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.”

Utter gibberish. Private enterprise, not the federal government, produced all of these inventions. As for companies, it is profitable for them to invest in basic research projects, and the federal government should not invest in civilian projects that are not profitable. If something is not profitable, it doesn’t deserve government funding.

“We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.

Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy.”

Again, utter gibberish. Firstly, government programs don’t create jobs. Secondly, “clean energy” programs are wasteful and useless, and we are not seeing “the promise of renewable energy”, because “clean energy/renewable energy” is a dud that cannot provide more than about 2% of the electricity that America needs every year. Wind turbines don’t work when the wind doesn’t blow (which is 70% of the calendar year), and solar panels don’t work during nighttime. But, of course, liberals are too stupid to understand these simple FACTS.

“Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert’s words, “We reinvented ourselves.””

Of course – by milking “government loans”, i.e. federal subsidies. That’s not “the promise of renewable energy”, that’s a government subsidy distorting the free market.

“With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

Again, utter gibberish. Almost no one buys electric vehicles (because they’re hugely expensive and unfeasible – where is the infrastructure to plug in these vehicles), and as for biofuels, they cannot EVER supply more than 12% of the gasoline America needs, even if the entire country is turned into a corn field. Moreover, biofuel programs are diverting food crops away from hungry people and toward fuel processing plants – thus causing a global food crisis – and cost more oil to produce “clean biofuels” than conventional gasoline. The net oil balance is negative for biofuels. This is just another way for someone (in this case, the biofuels industry and Midwester farmers) to milk federal subsidies. Essentially, Obama is proposing to grow already-bloated government subsidies for unprofitable industries that worsen, rather than solve, America’s problems.

“We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”

Oil corporations are doing well (though not better than Walmart), but the subsidies they receive are vastly smaller than the subsidies received by the forementioned unprofitable industries. Obama was also wrong to claim that biofuels and solar panels represent “tomorrow’s energy” – they don’t, they merely represent unprofitable, dysfunctional, actively-damaging industries.

“Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling.”

There will NEVER be a market for biofuels, solar panels nor wind turbines (a huge solar plant recently went bankrupt in MA and was closed). They are not technologically-feasible, needed, energy-efficient, or profitable. No one except federal and state governments buys them.

“So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.”

This is yet more proof that Obama is totally divorced from the real world. No, America doesn’t need wind turbines, solar panels nor biofuels. Moreover, the 80% goal is unrealistic, unless Obama and his Democrat pals are suddenly going to radically change the government’s policy on nuclear electric plants (which is effectively preventing the construction of any new NEPs) – which they are not, because they depend on the votes of radical leftists.

“To all fifty states, we said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.””

No, you said “we’ll continue to spend vast amounts of money on failing schools every year, regardless of the results”. The ED’s FY2011 budget is $122 bn (counting both its discretionary and its obligationary spending). Moreover, ANY federal education policy is unconstitutional as per the 10th Amendment, as is the ED itself.

“One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation.”

No, they do not. They did not grow up as Americans, they don’t love America, and they don’t pledge allegiance to its flag. They don’t even consider themselves Americans. They constitute a separate society and refuse to assimilate themselves. They should all be deported.

“The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.”

High-speed rail is collossally expensive, unprofitable, and utterly useless. It should not receive even one cent of federal or state funding. It is not needed to compete with other countries – indeed, if America is to be financially stable and able to compete with other countries, it should cancel all HSR programs. HSR is unfeasible in the US for a number of reasons, including the fact that cars are much more comfortable and cheaper to use and the fact that huge distances between American cities mean that HSR would never attract more than about 8% of passengers. HSR has utterly failed to maintain rail transport’s market share in Europe or Japan, let alone increase it. Cars are the most widely used means of transport in Europe and Japan, capturing over 60% of the market share, while airlines have significantly increased their market share in Europe due to the EU’s Open Skies policy. Cheap airlines mean that for just 80 EUR, you can now board a plane in Poland and land in Italy a few hours later, while travel by train would take days and cost you hundreds of euros. HSR is also more exposed to terrorist attacks than planes (because you have to protect the entire infrastructure rather than just airports and planes on the ground), collosally expensive, noisy, bad for the environment, and unionized. Japan opened its first high-speed rail line in 1964 and Europe in 1978. Since then, they have utterly failed to outcompete (or even remain on par) with the US, as Obama himself acknowledged during his 2011 SOTU speech.

“Our infrastructure used to be the best – but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do. Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in their roads and railways than we do. China is building faster trains and newer airports. Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a “D.”

America’s infrastructure is still the best. The US is the ONLY country in the world except France which has a complete highway network connecting all of its big cities (even the German Autobahn network is incomplete), totalling 75,000 miles of Interstate Highways alone. All other countries’ freeway networks contain gaps or have been hardly developed at all. Moreover, German Autobahns have too few exits. France has ceased the construction of motorways, Poland and Russia are reducing their pace of motorway construction and spending on motorways, and the Russian federal road budget, as well as its total road network, are shrinking (the source: the Nemtsov report). The IHS is the envy of all non-Americans. It is the US that has the best infrastructure in the world.

 ”

The jobs created by these projects didn’t just come from laying down tracks or pavement. They came from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station or the new off-ramp.

Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.”

Utter gibberish. On net, these federal programs did not create a single job. They only wasted taxpayers’ money on useless boondoogles.

“We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians.”

Federal government programs don’t put any Americans to work. Every job created by government programs costs someone else a job because of the taxes levied to pay for this “job created by the federal government”.

“Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.”

Utter gibberish. High-speed rail will NEVER be twice faster than by cars. It requires its own separate infrastructure, separate rights-of-way, and separate, truly-high-speed trains. These things are collosally expensive and hard to obtain. Even if HSR were twice faster, however, Americans would still not ride HS trains, for the same reason Europeans and Japanese folks do not: because cars are cheaper to drive, more comfortable, and go where you drive them, allowing you to travel from door to door, rather than from one station to another. This is despite the annual European Day Without A Car, huge taxes on fuels, and huge subsidies to railway and transit corporations provided by European governments.  Americans respond to fuel price hikes by temporarily reducing the distances they drive annually, but then they install fuel-efficient gizmos in their cars (or buy new cars) and then drive longer and longer distances every year. No government policy short of a total ban on cars can change these behavioral patterns.

Moreover, high-speed trains will never outcompete intercity buses – they have failed to do so in Europe, Japan, and America’s Northeastern Corridor. Acela is 1 hour faster than a Greyhound bus, but the cheapest Acela ticket from NYC to DC (scheduled for 29th Jan 2011) costs $76 (morning, afternoon or evening ticket alike), and the ticket for the fastest Acela train costs $139. By comparison, the most expensive Greyhound ticket for a bus scheduled for the same day (a standard ticket for 1 adult) costs $37; Greyhound, however, sells tickets for adults on the Net for $17 per person. So, the standard Greyhound ticket costs over 50% less than the cheapest Acela ticket, for a comfortable bus with a plugin for a laptop, wi-fi Internet, air conditioning, a toilet, and an environment-friendly engine. With that kind of a private-sector competition, HSR can never attract more than a few passengers.

As for planes, they are (and will always be, with or without HSR) much faster than planes, and attacking rail transport is much easier than attacking airports or aircraft, as shown in Madrid and London.

“All these investments – in innovation, education, and infrastructure – will make America a better place to do business and create jobs.”

False. These investments will be in socialist programs beloved by liberals, in useless boondoogles that Americans don’t need nor want, in unprofitable and unfeasible projects that the free market and private enterprise deem totally useless. This will only drive America deeper into debt. And how does Obama propose to pay for it? By cutting the defense budget, of course.

“This freeze will require painful cuts. Already, we have frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I’ve proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without.

I recognize that some in this Chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and I’m willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without.”

The “painful cuts” will almost certainly be aimed ONLY against the DOD. As for the SECDEF and his generals – they don’t believe, and NEVER said, that the military can do without these billions of dollars, they’ve merely proposed that this money be redirected from one DOD account to another (redirected from DOD bureaucracies, generals and paper-pushers to weapons and the force structure). Gates has clearly said that he opposes reductions of the overall defense budget.

Obama further lied that:

“We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets.”

Nope, it began in 1989 and the deficits were not necessary at all. Nor did they “keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets.” Government spending doesn’t save any jobs, and as for money in people’s pockets – is Obama lying, or is he totally ignorant? How does taxing people and spending the US into financial oblivion put money in Americans’ pockets? It TAKES money OUT of their pockets.

“So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president.”

Again, gibberish. A freeze will reduce the annual budget deficit by only about $40 bn, which is chump change considering the size of the annual deficit ($1.29 trillion). It will not reduce discretionary spending by more than a smidgen, and will not reduce the overall size of the government. Moreover, Obama’s “freeze” doesn’t apply to the utterly wasteful, unnecessary, freedoms-violating Department of Naked Body Scanners, nor to the DVA, which is so inefficient that private hospitals treat veterans at a much smaller cost than DVA hospitals.

As for the DOD, its budget is scheduled to increase by a paltry 1% in FY2012… and then to be frozen.

“To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations.”

There is no reason to strengthen a Ponzi scheme.

“And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.”

The Bush tax cuts increased, not decreased, federal revenue. Moreover, the tax cuts for rich Americans benefitted the economy, because the wealthiest Americans began to buy more mansions, cadillacs, and rooms in holiday resorts in FL and HI – thus benefitting ordinary Americans like Cadillac and mansion builders.

“In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code.”

That would require a flat tax, which Obama opposes.

“Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its obligations, the Iranian government now faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before.”

Gibberish. UN sanctions are pathetic, easy to avert, and contain dozens of loopholes. Iran’s nuclear weapons program is continuing and Iran is more belligerent than it was during the Bush era.

“And on the Korean peninsula, we stand with our ally South Korea, and insist that North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons.”

While North Korea continues to attack SK and kill its citizens.

“With our European allies, we revitalized NATO, and increased our cooperation on everything from counter-terrorism to missile defense. We have reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances (…)”

The “reset” is a policy of appeasement towards Russia. NATO hasn’t been revitalized – it is just as irrelevant today as it was before Obama became president. And as for Asian alliances, Obama’s pacifist policies and Gates’ petty disputes with Japan have WORRIED America’s Asian allies.

Overall, Obama’s SOTU speech represents “more of the same”. More of the same liberal policies which have been tried in Europe and failed. More of the same liberal policies that he has been pushing for during the last 2 years. More of the same liberal policies that the Democrats have been advocating for decades.

http://americanrhetoric.com/speeches/stateoftheunion2011.htm

EDIT: Here’s John Hayward’s opinion on the SOTU speech:

There will be “investments” in research and development, including “clean energy” that doesn’t work, instead of the oil and gas America desperately needs.  In fact, Obama wants to cut oil and gas tax subsidies to help pay for the green boondoggles.  This will inevitably make energy more expensive, when we’re already heading for five-dollar gas.  The return on investment for “clean energy” is far less than it is for fossil fuels.  Government does not become smaller by shifting subsidies to less efficient, but politically favored, industries.

He spoke of more reliance on biofuels, which are already producing a global food shortage, and more subsidies to clog dealership parking lots with “one million electric cars” nobody wants to drive.  In the future, your subsidized electric car will last just long enough to get you to the train station, where you can use the fabulously expensive high-speed rail system Obama wants to build.

The President wants to make lavish new “investments” in education, adding 100,000 new teachers by the end of the decade, and extending tax credits to help pay for overpriced college educations.  That should make the Democrats’ patrons in the teachers unions happy.  Instead of allowing competition and accountability to increase the quality of our educational product and reduce cost, the President wants more subsidies at the production and consumption ends.”

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41394

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