Opinion

The State Of Our Union Is Not As Strong As It Should Be

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Posted: Feb 06, 2020 12:01 AM
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The State Of Our Union Is Not As Strong As It Should Be

Source: Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP

It was a great speech, and amazing success by President Donald Trump Tuesday as he delivered the State of the Union Address. There were too many wonderful moments to highlight them all, but at the end of it there was little doubt that the President won the night and Democrats have their work cut out for them if they hope to win in November.

But it wasn’t all good. Democrats refused to cheer things like record low unemployment, the lowest ever recorded for black and Hispanic Americans. Are they not happy that so many people have jobs? Possibly, government dependence is their goal and a major source of their power. Some Democrats wouldn’t even cheer a member of the fabled Tuskegee Airmen being promoted to General while sitting next to his great-grandson who wants to follow in his footsteps. How empty inside do you have to be to not cheer that because you hate the man introducing him?

Democrats also groaned at the reunification of a deployed soldier and his family in the House Gallery, a young black girl receiving a scholarship to escape failing government schools, and a baby born just shy of 22 weeks surviving through the miracle of modern medicine. When Rush Limbaugh was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, what Democrats remained were pushed over the edge.

It was masterful on behalf of the president – he didn’t have to call out Democrats for anything, he simply pointed to good things, things worth celebrating, and allowed Democrats to expose themselves as the bitter creatures they are.

The official Democratic response was essentially the verbalization of Nancy Pelosi’s scowl – pointless and boring. Do you remember one line from it, or even who delivered it? If your job doesn’t somehow involve knowing, or you don’t live in Michigan, it’s unlikely you do.

While the president’s speech was a home run politically, practically it suffered the same flaw every State of the Union address has suffered (and every campaign speech from everyone running for any office, for that matter): a lack of realism when it comes to out of control government spending.

Our national debt is more than $22 trillion. Our deficit this year will be more than a trillion dollars. And no one seems to care.

Now that there’s a Republican president, Democrats pretend to care about debt and deficits. And now that there’s a Republican president, Republicans pretend there is no problem. When the parties are reversed, those positions and talking points will be swapped. Neither side has any credibility on the issue whatsoever. It’s a joke.

The state of our union is not nearly as strong as it should be not only because of the heightened level of partisanship that led to the impeachment of the president, but because neither party wants to take seriously the biggest problem we face – our federal spending is out of control and it’s going to break us.

Democrats blame tax cuts, even though federal revenues have never been higher. Republicans, as I said, pretend there is no problem at all. But there is a problem, a big problem. The Titanic was having a lovely voyage until the moment it hit that iceberg. Our debt problem isn’t an iceberg, an iceberg you can swerve and miss. It’s an ice wall. There’s no getting around it.

I get that no one wants to be the skunk at the party, and the idea of scaling back government spending even a little will be used by opponents to attack its advocates, but so what? Sometimes leaders have to lead, even if those decisions are unpopular and might cost some people their jobs.

Democrats simply want to raise taxes, but even if they did (and you ignored the economic damage that would do), any money they’d raise is already spent and then some with their promises of everything under the sun being “free.” This gives Republicans, who used to pay lip service to spending concerns, the chance to lead.

Lord knows there are a million opportunities to cut government waste. There are literally dozens of programs to “help” the poor that a duplicative and wasteful and their elimination wouldn’t be noticed by anyone except the bureaucrats who administer them. Medicare and Medicaid are riddled with waste and fraud, hundreds of millions of dollars.

No serious plan to address the debt can ignore entitlements, just as no serious plan to address the debt can ignore the Pentagon. That makes Republicans nervous, but so what. When you’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars the opportunity for waste and fraud are epic. Reining in spending needs to include things like the single largest Pentagon spending project ever – the F-35. As I wrote last year, “the program is now expected to cost $1.196 trillion over its lifetime. That is larger than the nominal GDP of all but 14 countries of the world.” The plane costs a staggering $1.4 billion per year just to maintain. How soon will it be obsolete and something else, something more expensive, be needed to take its place?

Some fiscal sanity would be helpful here. Democrats are promising more to double federal spending in an attempt to buy votes, Republicans are pretending there is no spending problem, and we’re all steaming toward that ice wall. When an economy collapses there are no lifeboats. Both sides have to give if we’re going to avoid disaster, but one side has to lead. Right now we have no one even acknowledging there’s a problem. That might be the biggest problem of all.

The state of our union is not as strong as it could be or should be because everyone is pretending our biggest problem doesn’t exist, which might just mean our biggest problem is ourselves. 

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.