The notion of politicians promising one thing and doing something entirely different is not entirely original, and Barack Obama has thus far been no exception to this. The President’s final State of the Union Address prior to the election was difficult to watch, not only because constant applause occupied around 15 full minutes of the hour long speech, but because the speech itself was as devoid of true material as the applause that surrounded it.
Early, the President dropped talking points about the greatness of America and the American worker. He said the economy is moving forward to one in which “responsibility is rewarded.” While this sounds excellent in front of the American audience, the reality is that Obama’s policies have supported the exact opposite notion. Businesses that practiced irresponsible financial policies were bailed out, proving that overly speculative and rash behavior on the part of businesses is a no-fail scheme under this presidency of “too big to fail.” Combine this with the President’s wishes for indefinite unemployment benefits and increased taxes on the financially successful, and the actuality of the situation is that we live in an economy where failure is rewarded. Success, on the other hand is discouraged, if not punished. As expected, Obama also hammered home points about the income disparity in the country, neglecting to mention that the average earnings has increased in all classes, rather then just the richest.
As I have shown before, success in business will be indicated by a significant rise in the wealth of the top as well as the bottom. But because the CEO of a company, through its success, has his income rise marginally more than that of a company worker who also sees his income increase, the president has painted this as an overall negative for the American economy. While he means well, the end product of Obama’s economic dream would be a country in which doctors and entrepreneurs make the same as janitors, and the amount would be smaller than what janitors currently make. All one has to do is look at Britain during the mid-20th century to see what sort of revenue is required to run a social democracy state with even a hint of longevity: tax rates on the highest classes were at 90 percent, and the vast majority of talent was moving overseas where they could make more money.
Finally, Obama touched on the protectionist rhetoric that has become commonplace in the Democratic Party of late, lamenting the shipment of jobs overseas. Obama concluded that there should be greater taxes on businesses that export jobs. Unfortunately, the president continues to misidentify the source of the problem, as ever-increasing minimum wages and federal regulations have made American industry, and as such American jobs, uncompetitive with the rest of the world. It is much cheaper in many cases to produce things in a country with a lower wage. That is not the fault of the business, simply trying to make a product economically viable; it is the fault of the government policies that are screwing over the American worker.
Until we have a president who understands economics, rather than one driving an ideological, misguided agenda of European style social democracy, this country will never fully recover. Obama’s State of the Union further proves that his removal from office come next year will be the best thing that has happened to this country in a very long time.