It is regrettable that we no longer have a true “State of the Union” speech. Rather than hearing a recapitulation of the condition of the nation and where it’s headed, we get what appears to be little more than another campaign speech replete with a veritable Christmas-list of populist proposals and recommendations. Predictably, there were errors, omissions, and outright prevarications, and very little mention of the problems that have been exacerbated over the past four years.
“As long as I’m commander in chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world,” said the President. Our consulate in Benghazi was denied additional security multiple times, and the former Navy SEALs who rushed to embassy personnel’s rescue last September 11 were told to “stand down.” This can hardly be classified as doing “whatever we must to protect” our citizens serving abroad.
As for the “maintain the best military in the world” comment, he must truly think all American citizens, not just his star-struck adherents, are cretins. His administration has already recommended reducing military spending from 5% to 3.4% of real GDP, and the sequester, which was the administration’s idea and which he has disingenuously promised “will not happen,” is set to kick in next month. Unless congress kicks the can down the road further, that will trigger another $1 trillion in defense cuts. Plus, the President is intent on reducing our primary deterrent, our nuclear arsenal, by another 40%. Only in a convoluted, twisted illogical world do those factors add up to maintaining the “best military in the world.”
“Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self,” he further told us. Yes, Al Qa’ida is less formidable than before, but what about all of the other Islamic extremist groups that maintain similar heinous objectives of eradicating infidels and wiping Israel off of the map? Groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now running Egypt, to whom the administration is selling 200 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks and a squadron of F-16 Falcon fighters. It is truly inscrutable how he can boast about the decimation of Al Qa’ida while selling our best implements of war to their ideological brethren.
Another whopper was the, “Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion,” statement. There has been no reduction in the deficit, and our average for the past four years has been $1.44 trillion. In other words, we’re borrowing 43 cents for every dollar that we spend. What he classifies as a “reduction” is accounting smoke and mirrors that are not real. The only thing that has been “cut” has been the rate of projected budgetary spending growth.
“We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas,” the President boasted. Well, not hardly. The CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency) standards goal is to double miles-per-gallon efficiency by 2025. Such a forward looking goal is strikingly at odds with the past-tense reference that it has already been accomplished. I’ve heard some pundits attribute that to his “god-complex,” that because he has uttered it, it is so. And the 2025 standard is a goal, kind of like “not adding a dime to the deficit,” although reality has this nasty habit of contradicting the hypothetical.
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