Rhetoric Meets Reality
The President delivered his annual “State of the Union” address Tuesday evening. The House Chamber was different as many members chose to sit with “dates” from the other side of the aisle. The President’s speech was different as well. Rather than wading through a laundry list of accomplishments from last year, and goals for next year (an approach that historically had produced a standing ovation from one side of the chamber and a dour, sit on their hands, reaction from the other side), the President attempted to stay above the fray and used different words to express his goals. The bottom line, however, seemed to be the same – just let the government solve our problems.
The President wants us to give the government more money so they can “invest” it for us. He wants to invest it like the billions in government stimulus money that has already been spent. The President wants to continue spending more of our money in future “investments.” Investments like the billions of dollars we are still giving each month to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the “government-owned” mortgage banks. He wants to invest more of our money in things like the debt-feeding Obamacare law that was recently shoved down our throats; a law that will require over one and one-half trillion dollars of additional “investment” over the next decade. Finally, in his most onerous plan, he wants more of our money so that the government can invest it like they have invested the surplus Social Security trust fund monies that have been squandered away each year for decades.
Giving the government our money has never been a good way to spur an economy. Lowering taxes puts money in the pockets of the people and they have proven that they truly know how to invest the money, which is in fact their money. Whether it’s to start new business, hire more employees in their existing business or just purchase goods and services, they are indeed the best stewards of their own resources. It is amazing to me that the President, knowing this basic fact, last year chose the Social Security FICA tax as a place to lower our taxes. The very fact that he chose this tax is an admission that the government has always viewed the proceeds from this tax as money to spend rather than money to keep safe and grow in a trust fund. While lowering taxes is one way to make our country more able, in the long run, to pay the Social Security benefits that many rely on, it is unnerving that so little respect is paid to those funds that our government has collected from our paychecks for years and years.
The State of the Union can’t be good when the Congressional Budget Office, just today, indicates that the projected debt for 2011 will be the highest ever, 1.5 Trillion dollars!!!! Nothing in the President’s speech gave me any indication that the government is changing course to a path of fiscal responsibility. Different words for the same old rhetoric don’t give me a feeling that the President understands the true reality of where our country is right now. It’s up to you and me and people like us to bring a big dose of this reality to Washington.