On Tuesday, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. I would like to say that he said something new but he did not. It was not long after his address that the fact checking websites went to work pointing out the list of inaccuracies in his statements. I am not going to harp on all of them; just a couple that I find the most troubling.
The first has to do with jobs. Obama was quick to tout the eight million jobs he has created. He neglected to point out that if you count the jobs lost once he started, the number is around three million and the other thing he left out was that most of those jobs are part-time and minimum wage jobs. Obama also praised the unemployment numbers as the lowest since his presidency. While the number going down might be true, the numbers they report are not an accurate depiction of the unemployment picture in the United States. The Department of Labor has several different unemployment numbers but I wanted to look at something that was an easy way to tell how distorted the unemployment number really is. Take a look at the employment numbers. While the number of unemployed people is going down, the number of people employed should be rising but it is not. The number of working Americans has been steady, not rising. If unemployed people were getting jobs, that number should be rising. Unemployed people are not getting jobs; they are dropping out of the workforce. There is no other possibility. If unemployment numbers go down, but the employed number remains constant the figures have no relation, even though they should. Along those same lines, Obama stressed the need to extend long term unemployment benefits. That contradicts the job numbers he was touting. If he is creating all of these jobs, why is there a need to extend benefits? Besides, how is giving people money for nothing helping them? I am not against unemployment benefits (on the state level) but there needs to be a limit, everyone needs some help once in a while, but when there is no end to the help, it becomes a dependency.
The second thing I wanted to mention was his blatant violation of the Constitution. Several times leading up to the State of the Union, Obama was running around telling everyone he had a pen and a phone and that he would use executive orders to push through his agenda. The most upsetting part about that is that half of Congress gave him a standing ovation. A tyrannical President stands and tells the legislative body that he is going to ignore them, which means ignoring the rule of law. He is going to take Constitutional given power away from them and do it himself, and they applaud him. Obama is not the first President to consolidate power in the executive branch, but he is the first to stand in front of Congress and tell them he is taking their power. Checks and balances will not work if the ones doing the checking are letting the balance be upset.
Radio talk show host Mike Church had the best comment regarding the State of the Union. He commented, what union? He is right; the federal government has ruined the Union. It is no longer a union of independent states, it is a leviathan controlled by a central government using force to impose its will on those entities that created it.