Instead of outline common-sense solutions to fix the problems plaguing our nation, he essentially proposed to double-down on the same disastrous policies that helped get us into this mess. That may play well to his far left political base, but not to the American people. They know that as sunnily as the President portrayed the state of the nation in his address, it can’t cloud the very real problems we confront – problems that his disastrous policies have made demonstrably worse.
For example, the U.S. has lost 1.7 million jobs since the President took office, according the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. Moreover, unemployment has remained above 8 percent nationally for a record 35 consecutive months and the average length of unemployment has doubled, from nearly 20 weeks to just less than 41 weeks.
And let’s not forget the national debt, the elephant in the room that the President largely ignored in his speech. In his first State of the Union address, the President pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Instead, he has presided over the three highest deficits in history and added $4.6 trillion to the national debt, which now stands at $15.2 trillion and is climbing.
Our nation is following in the footsteps of Greece, Spain and other debt-ridden European countries facing economic calamity. But rather than cut out-of-control spending, the President proposed raising taxes on the very people – small-business owners, for instance -- who create 70 percent of the new jobs in the U.S. and can best help put our country back on the path to economic prosperity – all so he can keep on spending.
In touting the need for a strong economy that was “built to last,” the President did pay lip service to manufacturers, saying he was committed to helping them keep their plants and jobs here in the U.S. Such assurances mean little, however, when our nation’s high corporate tax rate and the Administration’s excessive and punitive regulations continue to drive American manufacturing jobs overseas.
Incredibly, the President also had the audacity to talk about developing our domestic energy resources – this a week after denying a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline, a shovel-ready project that would lower energy costs, lessen our reliance on overseas oil and provide jobs for tens of thousands of American workers.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the only energy project this President has sacrificed on the altar of environmental extremism. He also has clamped down on offshore drilling and choked off access to energy resources across the nation, including here in Utah where energy leases have been slashed by 87 percent. At the same time, the President handed over $2 billion in U.S. taxpayer money to Brazil to subsidize its production of Brazilian oil.
Well, in my travels across our state, it is clear that Utahns don’t want more of what this Administration has dished out over the past three years – more government, more spending, more taxes and more crippling debt. They also reject the President’s class-warfare economics that have sought to divide – not unite – our country.
Like Americans everywhere, Utahns were looking for the President to show leadership in his address to the nation. Instead, he gave them more hollow rhetoric and empty promises. If Utahns were afforded equal time, their response to the President would be simple: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.