Tomorrow is Obama’s State of the Union Address. Earlier this week, I thought about writing my own state of the Union Address for him, hoping that he would stumble across it after hours of Google searching “Obama + state of the union advice”. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s already got a State of the Union Address typed up.
So, on the eve of the address it appears like Obama will talk about a few certain things. There is the never ending (almost comically frustrating) health care debate. With the addition of Mass. Republican Senator Scott Brown, and the House’s refusal to accept the Senate version of reform, the debate appears to be rolling on like an unmanned train. Certainly Obama will have a few words on that.
Obama will most likely try to strike a populist tone in order to appease the remarkably unappeased middle class. He will do this by touting the successes of his stimulus package and discussing his new jobs plan, which proposes tax cuts on small business owners and around $50 billion in projects on infrastructure aimed at creating jobs.
Also, Obama will discuss foreign policy, particularly growing concerns over global terrorism. Remember the underwear bomber (a.k.a. fruit of the boom)? Along with him you’ve got some violence in Iraq (what’s new?) and escalating war in Afghanistan. You can bet Obama will try to sound tough on these subjects. You can hope that he will sound thoughtful and not evoke memories of his predecessor and all that 4th grade level logic.
Speaking of 4th grade level logic, conservative Republicans seem to think that spending money during a recession is a bad idea. Unless of course that spending involves cash for defense or money allocated to their district through pork barrel spending. Judging on the news out of the White House regarding a $250 billion spending freeze, Obama appears to have heard the Republicans’ complaints.
Now, I will say that something must be done regarding our debt. We are spending too much money, and indefinite deficit spending and rising national debt could cause serious problems in the future. And hey, if this spending freeze really only affects programs that are wasteful and not doing any good, then I would consider being in favor of it. However, cutting spending during a time recession usually comes with negative consequences. In the past two days, several economists have warned that a double dip recession, like the one experienced in 1937 when FDR cut spending, could occur. That’s got me pretty nervous. Even though the freeze won’t begin till 2011, Obama must be very wary of this.
OK, so the freeze Obama will propose will save $250 billion over ten years(to begin in 2011) , but poses the risk of negatively affecting economic growth/recovery. What no one seems to be discussing is the most glaring philosophical problem with this policy: NONE of the cuts will go towards military or defense spending. Repeat: NONE. In fact, we can expect military expenditures to skyrocket over the next 20 years, which will more than cancel out this “freeze”.
Guys, that’s what’s really pushing us towards national bankruptcy. Trying to give poor people bread and health care isn’t bankrupting us, it’s the military industrial complex. Consider our federal budget. In 2008 $625 billion went to military and defense. That’s more than social security and medicare/medicaid (which no one will ever likely cut), and more than all the social programs you can think of combined. Basically, the U.S.military is fucking expensive…more expensive than anything else we have going for us. Until we start talking about cutting defense spending, we’re not really addressing this problem seriously. The idea that $250 billion over ten years is going to really mitigate the increasing flood of debt is ludicrous. I mean come on, the U.S. spent over $3 trillion last year ALONE. The only way to really put a dent in that is to realize that our current military/defense budget is completely unsustainable.
Sadly, Obama won’t give you that argument. Lol, I can’t even imagine what rather unattractive (one of many) senator Mitch Mcconell might say to a Presidential suggestion to cut defense spending. It’s such a simple, obvious suggestion– but unfortunately it’s not going to gain much traction in a government unwilling to shake up the status quo.
Go ahead and watch the speech tomorrow. I think it will be a good one. It’s been a while since he’s given a speech of this magnitude, and he usually comes through in the clutch. So tune in and check it out.
That’s all for now guys. I leave for the District on Friday– feel free to look at my other blog which I consider to be less political but more personal and what-not. Check it out at: http://clarkt888.blogspot.com/
Have a good one,
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