The State of the Union – The Rebuttal’s and the Lack of Hope in Change, Except from Within the Beltway
The President delivered his fifth State of the Union address last evening, while watching it recalled previous speeches, with the more use of the word “investment” – in education, construction jobs, et al. There was the usual, “I’ll do it my way” Sinatraesqe bluster regarding Presidential pens and a Congress that wont’ get out of His way, a rise in the minimum raise – and of course, the please put back the Unemployment extensions. The full video of the speech can be found, along with the variety of rebuttals at the Washington Post Video Library here
What rang true was the pomp and circumstance that is Washington, with a few voices crying out in the “wilderness” – among them Mike Lee of Utah, who delivered the Tea Party (who is now organizing in certain states as a political party) (See SC Tea Party Convention), and Paul Rand, who makes as much sense as Mike Lee, meaning, literally, they both make sense. The Republican official Rebuttal was delivered by sweetness and light, Cathy McMorris Rogers, (R-WA), who talked more about American Exceptionalism, stepped lightly and referred to policy differences – it was cookies and milk after a repeat of the Walton’s gone astray in the White House.
What this means to the American People, is the same old, same old, with a twist – There used to be a State of the Union and the Rebuttal by the Party not in the White House, and however, now we have options. Granted those options need to grow, but at least that’s one thing we can take away from this annual “rah-rah” speech – there are options, and not a moment too soon.
For those of us, not, as was suggested by some, trying to save, but to stay even and not drown, those holding onto jobs for dear life, regardless of the circumstances – and the ever present, yet not ballyhooed inflation that is eating away at income which is now available for essentials only. Most American’s are trying to keep what’s left of their heads above water –and yet the platitudes and the promise remain the same, year in and year out.
Being older than dirt, one can recall a time when, after a rather depressing 4 years of one President, a cowboy from the west, rode into town and put things to right – the horror of trickledown economics was discussed in every institution of higher learning as a disaster, yet, the general public, was enjoying an increase in income, not necessarily in real terms, but where it counts, at the gas pumps, at the grocery stores, with the ability to have extra to put away, as well as take-in a movie, or go to a ball game.
Yes, things change over time, and when one adjust for inflation that $1.00 an hour, is worth the same as it was 50 years ago, so not so much really. It is the policy and the policy makers, and the leadership or lack thereof, strict adherence to political ideology without the ability to compromise that is killing those middle class and those struggling to obtain middle class – by giving those more – of the same and not allowing growth in this nation.
It isn’t as if those in Washington are clueless, they know how to budget and how to cut into the budget and eliminate waste, but they don’t, they also know putting more money into the pockets of working American’s will increase businesses, and the economy all around. They know what has worked in the past, and yet, they refuse to budge.
Which is why Rand Paul and Mike Lee make so much sense, they, in leadership roles, although not mainstream, and more libertarian –Tea Party, they instill a confidence that things can improve, by using historical and proven options.
It makes perfect sense, and so, as a result of making perfect sense most of those in Washington from the top down, will ignore it, and continue to make platitude speeches. PT Barnum would have been proud.