My fellow Americans, the state of our Union is divided, dysfunctional, and polarized in large part due to presidential failure, mismanagement, and incompetence.
President Obama is about to deliver his sixth State of the Union address. My prediction is that he will say that our state of the Union is sound and that despite the worst recession since the Great Depression, we are in a recovery although not as robust as he would like.
He will scold Congress for their inability to work together and will blame the bitter partisan climate for inaction but will take no personal responsibility for it.
Let’s face it. If it weren’t for bad news — Obama does not make news.
All we need to do is look at what he promised and what he delivered in his State of the Union speeches over the past five years, and you will have a good indication of his performance.
With regard to the deficit, Obama promised to reduce the deficit and said, “I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office.” Instead of reducing the deficit by the close of his first term he almost more than doubled it.
Obama promises to pass healthcare reform and urges Congress: “Here's what I ask Congress, though: Don't walk away from reform,” he said. “Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people.”
Congress did in fact pass Obamacare but it was premised on false promises. We know now that you: 1. Cannot keep your present healthcare insurance and 2. You are not assured in healthcare savings nor are you, 3. Assured in keeping your present doctor. Not one Republican voted for Obamacare and in 2014 the predictions made by them as to the flaws and failures of Obamacare prior to it being passed are more than coming true today.
Like he did in his first State of the Union the president again called for immigration reforms. He said that America needs to act now “to protect our borders, enforce our laws, and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.” To date the president has been unable to lead or advance a bill to address comprehensive immigration reforms.
He also in 2011 and 2012 called for sweeping tax overhaul of the U.S. tax code. He said America has “one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and it has to change.” He went on to rid the code of loopholes and said, “use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years.”
He also called for individual tax reforms to simplify the tax code. To date the president failed to make any sweeping changes to the tax code.
The president in the aftermath of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School violence vowed sweeping gun control legislation. All attempts by the president to exploit the tragedy of Sandy Hook to jam through unnecessary gun control legislation have been rejected. Some of the biggest opposition has come form members of his own party.
In 2013, he called for the increase of the minimum wage to $9 per hour. Obama in 2013 was unable to pass legislation because in a fragile recovery now is not the time to hurt existing jobs — now is the time to save them.
Many states have minimum wages in excess of the federal minimum wage and a federal mandate is not what it needed. States need to set their own wages because each state’s economy and job needs are different.
If the president in 2014 looks back to seek the approval of his base before making decisions and compromises, as he done since becoming president than his party will face serious setbacks in the House and Senate in the mid term elections.
Unless the president is able to make significant progress and accomplishment in some if not all of the following issues: Obamacare, job creation, spending cuts, a sound budget, deficit reduction, immigration reforms and entitlement reforms than he will become the lamest of ducks for the remaining three years of his presidency.
Our Union is fragile at best and we continue to face tough times, which requires tough choices and real and meaningful solutions.
In a Capitol chock full of politicians, what is really needed are some statesmen and women.
If America gets back her economic health it will not be because of one party it will be because of both party’s working together for the greater good. Rest assured there will be enough credit to go around.
The buck however does stop with the president. And at the end of the day, he will either suffer or benefit from his leadership or lack thereof.
All Americans, regardless of political stripe, should be rooting and working for America’s full and complete economic recovery as soon as possible.
Good governance is good politics. And right now we need both badly – the state of our Union depends on it.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.
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