Last night President Obama gave his third, and likely final, State of the Union address. Rather than discussing substantive reforms to solve our nation’s economic troubles, Obama chose once again to waste an hour of our country’s time with campaign slogans and empty promises. The President should know by now that the American people are not looking for another four years of rhetoric; they are demanding results.
Today, Obama returns Iowa, the state where young people catapulted him to the White House. He returns to a much different Iowa than four years ago. Today those same young people are finishing college and about to enter an Obama economy where nearly half of those under 30 cannot find a job. Four short years ago, young Iowans welcomed Senator Obama to the state with optimism, but today they welcome President Obama with cynicism and diminished opportunity.
Since his election, Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad has taken the opposite path of the president. Soft on rhetoric and strong on results, our Republican Governor with our Republican controlled House boldly passed a balanced budget last year despite a billion dollar budget gap. Unlike Washington, Iowa’s government has responded to the millions of voices demanding our elected officials live up to their promises and confront our problems directly and honestly.
In contrast, President Obama has been largely successful in managing our nation’s decay while placing the blame on everyone else. Last night, whether by unattached ignorance or willful deception, Barack Obama failed to be honest with the American people by feeding them more empty campaign rhetoric rather than the facts they deserve.
President Obama failed to address the fact that the federal government’s debt is spiraling out of control, under his watch. On Inauguration Day 2009, America had been a country for nearly 233 years and amassed a total debt of $10.6 trillion; three short years later Obama has increased our debt to a staggering $15.2 trillion with no end in sight. Our President watches our debt climb $4.2 billion every day, $175 million every hour, and almost $3 million every minute. Do you truly believe America can endure four more years of such mismanagement?
President Obama failed to discuss the facts of entitlement reform. We cannot make an impact on reducing our debt without bringing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid into the 21st centruy. In just 15 short years, every cent of every tax dollar will be needed to solely fund these programs and interest on the debt. Without reform, these programs will fail. The president has ignored these facts at the chance to demean the previous administration and shrink the responsibility of the job he was hired to do.
President Obama failed to mention the fact that unemployment continues to remain well above 8%. Since Obama took office, America has lost 1.7 million jobs while the percentage of Americans with a job is the lowest in decades. Now, the same young people that turned out in droves for the president in 2008 are now forced to confront their outrageous student loans with even less of an opportunity of gainful employment. Putting Americans back to work is the most imperative ingredient to ensuring America’s future success, and our president continues to be unable, or incapable, of providing solutions.
President Obama spoke of “American-made energy” but failed to mention the fact that he singlehandedly canceled the congressionally approved Keystone XL Pipeline just days prior. In one stroke, President Obama turned his back on tens of thousands of ready-to-work Americans that the pipeline could have immediately employed while deliberately obstructing the will of the Congress. Our president prioritized the minority opinions of the far left, rather than create jobs and secure American energy independence. On top of this, Americans continue to feel the pain of Obama’s energy policies on a daily basis. On Inauguration day 2009, a gallon of regular gasoline cost $1.85; today it is $3.39 – an 83% increase in just three years.
President Obama also failed to note the fact that his third State of the Union marked exactly 1,000 days since the Senate passed a budget. In 2011, it was on the floor of the Democrat controlled Senate that the president’s own budget was unanimously rejected. Obama’s estimated budget deficit this year will once again run more than $1 trillion, further compounding the problems we face as a nation.
Four years ago as a candidate, Barack Obama benefited from making lofty promises without a demonstrable record to the contrary. Today however, his administration’s record stands diametrically opposed to the empty, prepared words he reads from his teleprompter.
The president has, quite simply, made a ad situation worse, and remains unapologetic in asking Americans to condone such degradation. To win reelection, the President must convince the American people to listen to his speeches, instead of watching his actions. He expects Americans to disavow the belief of American greatness while accepting a painful “new normal” of lost opportunity and potential. Our president requests both naivety and ignorance from the American people, and plans to reciprocate with four more years of the same.
The last three years have placed the state of our union in grave condition. Thankfully, Americans have the chance to right this course in November by demanding accountability and renouncing complacency.
Chairwoman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans
If you are interested in helping out College Republicans throughout the state of Iowa, please look at our website at iowacrs.org
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