Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Obama's 2013 SOTU Address: More Taxes, More Spending, No Cutting

In his State Of The Union address, Obama called for massive new government revenues from eliminating tax loopholes and a carbon tax. He likewise called for massive new spending as the path to prosperity, or at least his far left version of it.

As to his proposals:

- Medicare: Obama says he will agree to reform Medicare, he just won't give specifics. We have heard like proposals in prior SOTU speeches, none of which amounted to Obama offering any compromise on entitlements.

- Revenue & Tax Structure: Obama wants “hundreds of billions of dollars” in more revenue by closing tax loopholes for the evil rich. He made no mention of the fact that he rejected just such an offer in December, preferring to raise tax rates above what they were during the Clinton years.

- Capital Gains Class Warfare: Obama is still playing class warfare for all its worth. He still wants to tax investment income the same as ordinary income, regardless of how economicly insane that idea actually is. There is a reason that Sweden, the most socialized and highest tax nation in Europe, recently dropped their capital gains tax to . . . zero. As Obama put it, he wants to insure that “billionaires with high-powered accountants can't pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries.”

- Debt Ceiling: A warning to evil Republicans – stop using the debt ceiling to challenge spending (Art. I, Sec. 8 be damned)

- More Public Sector Stimulus: Pass Obama's American Jobs Act (because public sector unions need more money and the government needs to get more involved in private sector finance)

- Research: Obama defended spending on “research,” most brazen being his assertion that he is spending to “[devise] new material to make batteries ten times more powerful.” Great. But didn't we just blow a quarter of a trillion dollars in taxpayer money sent to A123, the producer of advanced lithium batteries that was just purchased in bankruptcy by a Chinese company?

- Global Warming Set-Up: Obama stated “the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.” Where did that come from? One, using the term on “on record” refers to a little more than the past century. The earth has been, at many times, far warmer than it is today. Two, there has been no warming globally over the past 16 years. Three, even the IPCC draft wholly contradicts the claim that “heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods” are in any way connected to climate change. What horseshit.

- Carbon Tax: Obama called, in so many words, for the implementation of a carbon tax or a cap and trade system. The fact that the EU's experiment in cap and trade involved massive fraud and that their cap and trade market has completely fallen apart didn't make it into the speech. And if you can tax carbon, then you can tax every aspect of human existence. It is a nanny state nightmare.

- Constitutional Shuffle: If Congress won't give him what he wants, he stated his explicit willingness to bypass Congress and get what he wants through the regulatory bureaucracy. That he can do this really is the most significant systemic problem our nation faces. It flies in the face of the Constitution.

- Green Investments: Continue throwing money at wind and solar, ancient technologies that stopped being cost effective centuries ago.

- Energy Security Trust: Use our “oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.” So this hits three buttons. It creates a brand new bureaucracy for government to fund. It proposes punishing gas and oil production to fund it. And, the purpose of the trust is to channel funds to more left wing donors.

- Fix-It-First Program: A massive new public works program to fix our infrastructure. No price tag given.

- Partnership to Rebuild America: Obama plans to invite private businesses to fund his public works projects. This one actually sounds quite ominous, though no particulars were given. My understanding of business is that they invest with the expectation of profit, not mere good will from government. This has the distinct smell of a mafia strong arm operation.

- Housing: Obama plans yet another Fannie / Freddie style foray into our financial system, with the government taking over refinancing of existing mortgages to today's rates.

- Massive Expansion of Head Start style program: We know that Head Start has no lasting impact on children, yet the centerpiece of Obama's new push on education is to create “ a high-quality preschool program” for all of our children, claiming that this will be the most helpful. This is nothing more than another giant program for public sector unions. What children need is access to good schools – just like those that Obama's children attend.

- Tie Federal Aid In Student Loans to Costs & Success Rates: This actually is a good idea.

- Immigration Reform: check.

- Violence Against Women Act: check.

- Paycheck Fairness Act: This act has nothing to do with paycheck fairness. It would have much more to do with the bottom line of lawyers than women. As it stands, this act is just the left's weapon to beat Republicans over the head with when the left needs to claim a war on women.

- Minimum Wage: Obama wants to raise it to $9 an hour. The negative effects of the “minimum wage” laws are so well established that its hard to understand how Obama could possibly push for this, particularly at a time of record long term unemployment and in an economy where the majority of new jobs being created are low wage jobs. Just insanity.

- Underwrite Democrat Failures At The Local Level: Virtually all of the most economically depressed cities in America share a single thread – years of one party Democrat rule. Obama wants to put our federal tax dollars to work helping out the 20 worst offenders. You will recall that after the election, one of Detroit's politicos asked when Obama was going to start sending Obamabucks their way, since they had gotten out the vote for him. They apparently now have their answer. No price tag given.

- Afghanistan: We're out of there. Obama is unilaterally ending the war.

- Al Qaeda: Its dead, but its reforming in many places. Obama will do nothing in the war of ideas. He is just going to support Muslim governments.

- Cybersecurity: This is a legitimate issue. Obama wants much more Trade: Obama is calling for some type of trade pacts with Asian nations and the EU. No details were given.

- World Poverty & AIDS: Obama wants to spend tax dollars so that he can cure world poverty and eradicate AIDS. He has a plan, I think.

- Gun Control: According to Obama, gun control is good, it's needed, every thinking and moral person wants it. Interestingly enough, he called on Congress to give each of his gun control measures a vote. I found that fascinating, given that there are a host of Democrat Congresscritters in purple and red states who would rather have their teeth pulled than have to vote on gun control.

Other Responses:

- Rand Paul's Rebuttal On Behalf Of The Tea Party

- Marco Rubio's Republican Response

- AP Fact Check

- Nice Deb: Sen. Cruz Statement On SOTU

- WSJ: Obama offers an agenda aimed at electing a Pelosi House

- Daily Caller: Obama puts government at center of Americans' lives

- Krauthammer: ‘This speech is about spending your way to prosperity

’ - George Will: SOTU makes clear no entitlement reform, spending cuts are coming

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