Mark W. Hendrickson

He also proposed a Financial Crimes Unit to combat fraud. (Are the FBI, the Federal Reserve, and some 116 federal agencies with oversight of financial institutions not enough?) If the president succeeds in establishing an anti-fraud squad, will it crack down on the entities that promise to fund retirement programs but instead borrow money to cover current disbursements? That is what the Social Security System is doing because of President Obama’s two-percent cut in withholding from wages. Will Uncle Sam be exempt from oversight by the Financial Crimes Unit?

Even Obama’s choice of words was telling. He spoke of his desire to “consolidate” the federal bureaucracy, not “shrink” it.

At one point, Obama remarked that Americans are “cynical” about Washington. His address helps explain why. His talk of unity was belied by his second-class treatment of Republicans during the address. The Democrats had printed copies of Obama’s text—a simple courtesy denied to Republicans.

After raising the American flag and extolling the great accomplishments of our military forces, President Obama made it clear that the only federal spending he is serious about cutting is military spending. To add insult to injury, he will order the Navy to waste part of its (reduced) budget purchasing over-priced and less reliable green energy.

Imposing politically correct energy on our armed forces illustrates how obsessed this president is with centralizing economic planning. It reminds me of the Chevy Volt fiasco. First, Team Obama coerced GM into making a high-cost, uneconomical car that few people want; then it boosted the Volt’s sales figures by directing federal departments to purchase Volts. Now, after spending billions to artificially increase the supply of high-cost, uneconomical wind and solar energy, President Obama will use his authority as Commander in Chief to artificially increase demand for green energy. First, the president uses taxpayer money to subsidize an inferior, unwanted product, then he uses taxpayer money to buy it—a double whammy.

Appealing to our national pride, President Obama promised not to cede dominance in green energy production to China and Germany. Excuse me, but who wants to be Number One at losing money? Please, let the Germans and Chinese take over those money-losing boondoggles. With over $15 trillion of national debt, we can’t afford them.

President Obama’s SOTU address demonstrated that he has no intention of altering his course. If you’re satisfied with his policies over the last three years, maybe he’s your man. If you think we need to try something different, he’s probably not.


Mark W. Hendrickson

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.