State of the Union: Empty Words and Sadness

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.

8 responses to “State of the Union: Empty Words and Sadness

  1. Funny how this country was doing fine a mere 12 years ago. We had budget surpluses, successful foreign policy, innovation, job surpluses, and pretty much everything was on the right track. In just a few years, this country went from being the envy of the world to one on its last legs.

    Cutting funding for the NEA isn’t going to do anything to put even a slight dent in the deficit. It will hurt our country, though. What we need is a rollback of the Bush tax cuts and severe cuts in military spending. But those things aren’t going to happen any time soon.

    • Yup, for a single year, we had a surplus during a massive asset bubble. Big asset bubble + income taxes = big revenues. So the solution would be to just keep that bubble going indefinitely? I’m sure there are plenty of people in Washington that would love to figure out how. The problem is you can’t. Everything eventually falls back down to Earth.

      Nope, you could reinstate Clinton-era tax rates and completely abolish the military (as well as the NEA, Amtrack, and the Department of Education) and you’d still have a massive deficit. The old “it’s all Bush’s fault!” canard is tired. It’s the entire leadership caste’s fault. We’ve been heading towards a cliff now for almost 80 years. If we’re lucky, we’re still a long way off, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The problem seems to be exponential, when smoothed out over the decades.

      • [The old “it’s all Bush’s fault!” canard is tired.]

        I didn’t say anything about Bush. You’re brainwashed into giving standard right-wing talking point answers, and that’s a big part of the problem. People like you do what you’re told, facts be damned.

  2. Well, when you say, “Funny how this country was doing fine a mere 12 years ago”, that sure sounds to me like a wish to go back to the late, Clinton-era 90’s. Sorry if I misinterpreted, but I’m sure you can see how I’d make that assumption.

    The “standard right-wing talking point” is to blame every Congress and President for the last 80 years for the problem we’re in? Really? I must have missed that Offical Memo from the party (or the mind control waves, obviously, since you called me brain-washed). It’s probably closer to the standard libertarian talking point than to anything else, wouldn’t you say? I blame the entire special interest, big government structure setup during the 1930’s for our problems today. So far, at least, the Republicans haven’t lifted a finger to dismantle it when they’ve held the reins of power, so they share the blame for where we are today.

    That said, seriously, Obama/Pelosi/Reid has certainly slammed the accelerator towards the cliff during the last 4 years. It’s actually kind of rediculous.

    • [That said, seriously, Obama/Pelosi/Reid has certainly slammed the accelerator towards the cliff during the last 4 years. It’s actually kind of rediculous.]

      More right-wing talking points. How do you place the blame on Democrats? What specific legislation have they passed that created the problems we have today?

      • I don’t think you’re getting what I’m saying. I place blame on both parties. BOTH. While 1.5 trillion in the hole is horrible, 400 billion in the hole is pretty damn bad. That’s all I’m saying. What did they do? The same thing the Republicans did: not balance the budget and increase liberty for the people.

        Now, to change the subject to something more interesting to me, if you’re game. I’m honestly very curious: what made you comment on my post after reading it? What’s your goal? Interesting conversation? Attempting to learn other points of view? Trying to change my mind? Just trying to win an argument?

      • [what made you comment on my post after reading it?]

        That’s easy. I saw someone trying to be sincere but possibly not exposed to all points of view. Conservatives have the loudest voices and that is what people hear, and many people accept the right-wing talking points as facts, which often times they’re not.

      • I live in Portland, Oregon: conservatives definitely do NOT have the loudest voices around these parts. I hear the left-wing talking points regularly, believe me. In any case, you look like you’re trying to build a straw man by attacking “right-wing talking points”, though. I’m not a Republican. I’m probably most close to a combination of the TEA parties (referenced on your site, I guess I’m just not bright — nice to know I’m not racist, though) and the libertarians.

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