★ Critiquing Obama's State of the Union

I did not watch President Obama's State of the Union address.  Knowing that Obama's natural charisma can sell even the worst of ideas, I decided that the viewing experience would not adequately convey the substance of his remarks.  I read the speech instead.  Here are some of the more ludicrous items:

  • Even with all of the garbage he managed to push through Congress in his 'stimulus' package, Obama's tax policy is laughable. His plan, which he assures us will cut taxes for 95% of all Americans, will result in a return of $13 per taxpayer a week. $13 per taxpayer. A week. That's not going to pay too many bills, Mr. President. Nor is the fact that you've placed Joe Biden in charge of overseeing the program going to ease the public's growing anxiety.  Biden's never met a tax he didn't hike, so what are the chances he'll manage this meager tax-return program well? Just let it be known that never before on Capitol Hill has it been said, "This program is so important that I just need Joe Biden to run it."
  • Also, does Obama's new tax policy officially classify families making over $250,000 a year as less important than those making less? I know that Democrats are all into class warfare, but the way Obama talks, you'd think that those damn rich Americans are lepers.
  • Obama talks about his stimulus bill as though it's already solved the economic crisis, but in reality none of the bill's supposedly healing effects have been felt yet. Furthermore, if the stock market has been any indication of late, confidence in the stimulus's effectiveness is already waning.
  • Obama's passage where he takes time to berate the previous administration for their handling of the crisis is telling. The man honestly does not seem to understand that the race is over. He honestly hopes that if he keeps reminding people of how much they disliked George Bush, they'll be more willing to accept him. Get real, Mr. President.
  • I laughed out loud when I read the sentence "China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient." China is one of the world's least energy efficient countries, in addition to being one of the world's most polluted. Anyone who has ever been there can testify to that fact. So what's the point of such a blatant distortion? To denigrate the U.S.? To appease China? I don't quite get it.
  • Obama, not surprisingly, paid lip-service to the Great Green Cause. He talked about carbon caps, alternative fuels, etc. But he offered no evidence that these steps will actually lead to energy independence. In fact, it seems to me that many of them will hurt more than help. Ethanol, for instance, costs more to produce and sell than gasoline and uses corn that could be used to feed millions, while ultimately providing little to no reduction in our carbon footprint.
  • Vague comments on restructuring the auto industry, with no specifics on what that actually means. I'm enthused!
  • The health care passage was expected. Obama and liberals seem oh-so-eager to adopt the British model of health care. Do they actually know what that means? Do they understand the waste? The generally shabbiness of service? I assume that they're too smart not to.
  • Obama's passage on education made me wretch. "Dropping out of high school is no longer an option." While I'm certainly not going to say that kids should drop out of high school, at what point is it the President's responsibility to tell them they can't? It's emblematic of Obama's arrogance. And his demand that all Americans get post-secondary education, while well-intentioned, comes from the same arrogance. Why is it his business? Encouraging people to go to school is one thing. Demanding it is something else entirely.
  • How does Obama plan to cut the deficit when all he's done so far is expand it by nearly a trillion dollars? He can't expect to make up for that lost ground just by raising taxes on the rich. The math just doesn't work.
  • Obama devoted the bare minimum of the speech to foreign policy and military matters. After briefly glossing over Afghanistan and Iraq, he moved on without a hint of his plan. Could it be that he doesn't have one?
  • In fact, could he just be winging it all?

Pedestrian, predictable, insubstantial. That's my verdict. And for those of you who disagree - read the speech. You'll be surprised how different those words seem when they covered in oratory gloss.