January 29
Vice President Joe Biden, back left, and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, back right, listen as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill on Jan. 28. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)
Vice President Joe Biden, back left, and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, back right, listen as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill on Jan. 28. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

I’m a little surprised that there were no surprises in last night’s State of the Union address. The White House received a lot of criticism recently for lacking creativity and energy, so I expected the president to use the opportunity to prove everyone wrong. Was it just me, or was the president overacting? It seemed as if he was adding inflection to make up for what he knew was weak content.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Discount for my biases, but I think the half-life of this speech is less than a week. If nothing much else happens for the rest of this week, the speech will receive some attention through the weekend news shows, but by the Super Bowl kickoff, it will be ancient history.

What the president said and proposed consisted of platitudes and small-bore programs that will be inconsequential politically. That’s not to say everything in the speech should be ignored by the GOP. I hope Republicans take over the discussion the president started last night about lowering corporate taxes, and I hope there is an earnest look at whatever the president was proposing about the “myRA,” a new type of savings account.

Beyond those two ideas, the president relied on lofty rhetoric to mask the same old Democratic policies that kill jobs and stall economic growth. Raising the minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts, more carbon regulation, increasing jobless benefits, etc., all either drive up government spending or force consumers to pay more for anything that requires electricity. In other words, business as usual. It would be unfair to say it was a typical tax-and-spend speech from a liberal Democrat, because, for once, President Obama didn’t call for new taxes. So it was just more spending and more dependency on the government.

And, oh by the way, last night the president predictably talked about “inequality,” but, in reality, never before have so few been called on to pay for so much for so many. That’s the real state of the union under President Obama, and, judging from last night’s speech, it looks as if more of the same is on the way.

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