Matt Welch over at Reason Magazine really knocked this one out of the park, really mimicking my thoughts of the President’s State of the Union speech last night. It’s actually pretty rare for me to read something by a political writer and have them capture my thoughts so well. In this case, empty words with most of our political class:
Here’s a reality check: We will not have high-speed rail within Segwaying distance of 80 percent of the country, ever. We will not get 80 percent of our electricity from “clean energy sources” by 2035, unless someone far outside the halls of government invents a snail that eats trash and poops hydrogen. Obama won’t veto every bill that arrives on his desk with earmarks–re-watch that part of the speech last night; no one believed him.
That’s right. I’m sure there are people out there that will believe this stuff, just as there were people with past President’s SotU speeches that ate it up. Until both the President and Congress are willing to not just “reform” entitlements, but actually get rid of them in the long run, and until the people of this country are ready for that same thing, we’re going to continue towards the cliff. It just depends on how fast we get there and how far down the drop is. Paul Ryan is on the right track, while a large minority of the country freaks out at the idea of cutting the National Endowment for the Arts or freezing discretionary spending, it’s a track that we’re not going to take.