Another State-of-the-Union Yawn

A little bit of something for everybody; but a really big something for government.  This was the essential thrust of this 44th President’s second — and longest, state-of-the-union speech last night.  While Barack Obama did not include quite as lengthy a shopping list in his state of the union speech as did his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, his list was long nonetheless.

Even though Obama paid lip service to regulatory reform, community-based education, tax reform, and reform of last year’s health care reform (among many other tid-bits), in virtually every instance, the ultimate solution to which he kept returning was more government spending and increased government prioritization.

If  ”clean energy technology” is the wave of the future, it’s because government will dictate it is so.

High-speed rail as a transportation mode of the future? — government will make it so.

Eliminate the billions in government monies now given to “oil companies?” — sure, but turn around and give them to “clean energy” companies.  No mention of simply returning them to the people from whose pockets the subsidies were taken — the American taxpayers.

Reduce the massive federal debt?  The rhetoric employed by Obama in identifying the need to start reducing the debt was indeed soaring; the specifics decidedly more mundane.  For one thing, the list of budgetary sectors the President exempted from cuts — including education and “investments in innovation” — guarantee the cuts will be far less than necessary to truly have a chance of bringing America’s spending profligacy into check.  For example, the President proudly indicated he plans to push for $400 billion in spending cuts over the next 10 years.  That’s $40 billion per year.  That’s a drop in the bucket of the $14 trillion national debt, and it’s not serious deficit-cutting.  It’s smoke and mirrors.

Obama also took meaningful Social Security reform off the table.  Pointedly left on the table is a tax increase for “millionaires.”  So much for not playing the class-envy card.

All-in-all, this was a speech long on time, long on government initiatives, and long on sleight of hand; and noticeably short on real change.

By Bob Barr, The Barr Code.

108 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bob Barr, Dustin Dowdy and Dustin Dowdy, Skepticklish. Skepticklish said: RT @bobbarr: Barr Code: Another State-of-the-Union Yawn http://bit.ly/dJghMS [...]

1q

January 26th, 2011
8:11 am

Everything that the President wants to do for the country, I thought I was having an out of body experience. High speed rail transportation for 85% of the population and new state of the art roadways north south east and west. If I thought he could do it That would be one thing but with the massive debt that will require 100% of all the revenue taken in by 2020, he would have to have out of the world powers. I liked the speech, everything he wants is good but where is the funding?
I have never made a speech, oh I have made them in court defending myself, I sounded good, but the Judge did not seem sympathetic. I am more of a writer, like Hemingway, he never made a speech either. When he got the Nobel Prize for literature, he sent a letter accepting it.

snoortz

January 26th, 2011
8:13 am

Bachmann is the sexiest cross-eyed gal this side of Annie Oakley.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 26th, 2011
8:30 am

One perceives the Republicans will have a pretty specific budget, cutting spending, ready by Valentines Day. Wonder what the budget of POTUS will look like?

carlosgvv

January 26th, 2011
8:45 am

President Obama has not yet learned that when you try to please everyone, you only succeed in pleasing no one.

DebbieDoRight

January 26th, 2011
9:05 am

Hey Bob talked to any “reformed” dictators today or cheated on your wife yet today? Well, since it’s only around 9:00 a.m., the day is still young………

back to work now

January 26th, 2011
9:08 am

If it was up to the market and consumers, we would stay with our “cheap” gas and not do any research to get off our dependence, even though we are certain to be buried by the future costs of oil, given the rapid rise of demand in China and India, etc. Unfortunately, Americans have become too shortsighted to do the right thing for our future.

Joyce

January 26th, 2011
9:08 am

I didn’t vote for Obama. I’m neither republican nor democrat…but an independent who does not adhere to any party line. These parties can lead the public astray all the while thinking they are right. I suggest to the citizens of the United States of America (the best country in this world) that we think for ourselves and quit hyping these age-old, dyed in the wool, out-dated politicians who think they have the answer for everything!

Real American

January 26th, 2011
9:09 am

This is why the world is passing us by” We have to many old conservatives stuck in the 20th centuary, our President sees what it takes to compete against the world the same way JFK did.
Mr. President we have to many uneduated old white males who think their factory jobs are comming back and still living in 1959, while the rest of the world has moved forward.
President Obama thank God for you, so many more Americans would have been living on the street if you had not acted.
These idiots will not appreciate you until you have left, you will go down as the greatest President of our time.

Trapped in a Red state

January 26th, 2011
9:12 am

Bob

You fault Obama by not offering ’specifics’ on his plan to reduce the deficit. Yet, when Boehner and co sidestep specifics of their plans, it’s ok.
They have to ’share the political damage’ when making unpopular cuts. Obama would be crucified if he stated he recommends raising the SS retirement age, and also raise the SS tax. The GOP would just sit back and watch. Both parties must come together with a comprehensive plan and jointly take the ‘heat’. What you wanted from Obama is to ’stick his head out’ like a caged turkey…which would only get his head blown off.

Joe the Plutocrat

January 26th, 2011
9:29 am

I intend to post this on all 4 (CT, JB, KW, & BB) blogs to prove my point. didn’t watch the state of the union. I know the “state of the union”. wanna know how I know? I read the NYT piece about the post mortem on the 2008 meltdown. wanna know what the experts think? 1 – federal investigators lay blame at the feet of both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Clinton for making “home ownership” a de facto policy, and Bush for doing what Bush did best (see: 9/11) ; ignoring red flags because he was too focused on other things. 2 – the federal investigators also pointed out what everybody (save the plutocrats) knows; the meltdown was not caused by some schmuck who “bought too much home”. the meltdown was caused by Alan Greenspan and the Fed (plutocrats) inflating the housing market with “cheap money” which led to speculation and outright fraud. in response to this; Wall Street (plutocrats) saw an opportunity to “double dip” by securitizing the knowingly ‘toxic’ loans and placing side bets via the unregulated over-the-counter dirivitives market (signed into law by Clinton in ‘99. Clinton and Congress are, of course, plutocrats). when the sh*t started hitting the fan, the Bush (plutocrat) administration did nothing being the cynic I am, I suspect he was too focused on bringing “freedom” to the Middle East via the $2 trillion boondoggle in Iraq, WHICH in a very real sense was funded (actually “unfunded”) by the very same malfeasance of the Federal Reserve (cheap money). asset bubbles are asset bubbles, and it really doesn’t matter if the bubble is produced in a housing market, or so, the Defense/Homeland Securtity “market”. I’m gonna ask some of the really dedicated “knuckle draggers” to consider this; is Clinton’s faux effort to ensure “home ownership” for Americans any more dubious, and disinfenguous than Bush’s faux patriotism and goal of a “democracy” in Iraq or a world without terrorism?

So what have we learned, children? if we are trulypaying attention, we are what we are. I am reminded of the famous words of Benjamin Franklin; whom, upon leaving the Constitutional Convention said; “you have a Republic, if you can keep it.” seems to me, if we look at how things have played out, the “Founding Fathers” (along with the commercial interests that drove the call for “independence”) should have said WE have a PLUTOCRACY, if WE can keep it.” and I emphasize the word WE because it is the first word of the preamble to the Constitution. interesting choice, I believe. so, what is “the state of the Union”? same as it has always been, the plutocracy (government and private sector, Democrats and Republicans, bankers and defense contractors – and insurance companies and drug purveyors) are doing just fine; agreeing to disagree on policy and whatnot, but in total, smug agreement that the working American taxpayers will continute to feed the beast; even as “the beast” attempts to blame “the people” for it’s problems.

Dirty Dawg

January 26th, 2011
9:33 am

Hey Bob, what’s up with you and Baby Doc? I mean I expect he thinks he can get something out of associating himself with you, even though whatever influence you may have once had is now relegated to this column, but what is it that you expect from him? Does he actually have any money to pay you? Do you, and he, think that he’ll be back in power in some way in Haiti?…and even if he does – get back in – what’s that gonna get you?

Pretty sad commentary, eh Bob? Maybe even pathetic. But you just keep on pretending that you matter. By the way, I’ll bet there’s a branch of the TeaParty that could use you. I mean if they’ll saddle up to Michelle Bachman, you clearly have a chance.

Trapped in a Red state

January 26th, 2011
9:33 am

Real American
I think you hit the ball out of the park…the difference between the parties is obvious…the progressive Democrats want to use science and technology, intelligently applied to revitalize this country.
The GOP views any government investment as step toward Socialism. Their mindset, if taken to their utopia would lead this country back to the Guilded Age of pre FDR. Forward…or backward. This article by Bob Barr reflects that negativity. He says we should not invest in “clean energy” companies…just give the money saved from oil company exemptions back to the people.That’s
some forward progress there, Bob.

jconservative

January 26th, 2011
9:35 am

“One perceives the Republicans will have a pretty specific budget, cutting spending, ready by Valentines Day.”

Surely you jest. They have already created a stumbling block. A promise to immediately cut $100 billion has now been reduced to $50 billion in cuts. Half of the Republican caucus is up in arms just over that. Right now the House Republicans could not agree on who is in the Super Bowl.

Folks this is going to get real ugly.

In the House you have the old style Republicans bowing to lobbyist and asking for money. You also have the New Republicans, the Tea Party types, the Rand Paul’s, who look with disdain on the old style Republicans. They will fight a real ugly war over the budget.

Then the fight between the final bill the House Republicans pass moves over to the Senate with its 60 vote requirement.

As I say, this is gonna be ugly. And a lot of fun.

Please leave

January 26th, 2011
9:45 am

Trapped in a Red state

Delta is ready when you are.

Democrat states going bankrupt real soon

January 26th, 2011
9:49 am

I’m not sure if Obama is stupid or just plain stupid. His speech was an absolute pile of dung. Just read an article on Yahoo news that fact checked his speech and they pretty much summed it up in one headline: FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger

The president just got the biggest a$$ kicking since the 1930’s and he’s still proposing big government. Kyle wrote a really good piece about how nothing he said made any sense. Of course, Bookman and Tucker act like everything he said was great and dandy.

Democrat states going bankrupt real soon

January 26th, 2011
9:50 am

“Bachmann is the sexiest cross-eyed gal this side of Annie Oakley.”

And left’s “tolerance” continues. What happened to the so-called “civility” that Obama talked about at the re-election stop, I mean funeral, last week?

Democrat states going bankrupt real soon

January 26th, 2011
9:51 am

“All-in-all, this was a speech long on time, long on government initiatives, and long on sleight of hand; and noticeably short on real change.”

Obama took a cue from the old Clinton playbook but he doesn’t realize that Clinton actually had a great economy at the time.

It’s time to handcuff this inexperienced community organizer.

Trapped in a Red state

January 26th, 2011
9:53 am

Joe

Have you read Paul Krugman’s book, “The Conscience of a Liberal” ?
It is a documentary…not an opinion book. It is written like a research paper…all his sources are referenced. It describes the rise of the middle class from late 1800’s to modern day. From your post…I think you will find much validation for your views.

Democrat states going bankrupt real soon

January 26th, 2011
9:58 am

“Have you read Paul Krugman’s book”

Why would a conservative want to read that idiots book?

luangtom

January 26th, 2011
10:09 am

It is gonna remain status-quo…..life will continue on, as it always has. Bickering will continue, partisanship will continue and the tax-payer will be left holding the bag…..status-quo.

sam

January 26th, 2011
10:17 am

This president is a joke. He speaks of innovation and technology but cancels the space program–the single program that has given us the most innovation and changes in technology in the last 50 years. He freezes government spending at the highest level it has ever been at–how is that going to help anything? He talks of energy independence, but doesn’t allow drilling. He talks about how good his healthcare plan is, but exempts his union cronies from having to play by its rules. I am about to vomit.

Democrat states going bankrupt real soon

January 26th, 2011
10:28 am

“He talks about how good his healthcare plan is”

He also missed the part where the majority of Americans want it repealed now.

Joe the Plutocrat

January 26th, 2011
10:34 am

thanks for the recommendation, but I’d probably find it too depressing. the thing is, a plutocracy can function (see your reference to ‘the rise of the middle class’). what has happened (more or less since 1980, maybe 1960; or more specifically, November 22, 1963) is the plutocracy (government by wealth, aka ’special interests’ and special interests use ideology to recruit/raise funds, much like al Qeada uses Islam) decided it did not want any new members. the “big” corporate interests (defense, banking, agriculture, oil, medicine, insurance, etc.) and their stooges in DC “closed registration”. in short, we replaced a tyrannical monorachy with a slightly less tyrannical plutocracy. people like to yammer about how “social security is a Ponzi scheme”? why stop at Social Security? our entire government is a Ponzi Scheme. the stock market is a Ponzi scheme. the ’selective prosecution’ of both the left and the right is amusing, in a delusional, gallow’s humor kind of way. the government of the United States (Democrats AND Republicans) are no better than Berine Maddoff. the fact that people ignore this is one of the most amazing dynamics of American society in the history of the Republic (I mean, Plutocracy).

Greg

January 26th, 2011
10:39 am

I agree with the president on the national debt and the need for investment.

That’s why I’m heading out the door to the title pawn store on the corner, so I can put it all in my 401(k).

A message to Obama

January 26th, 2011
11:26 am

Here is America’s response to Obama:

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Nikos Retsos

January 26th, 2011
11:29 am

Thank you Bob: A yawn is actually an understatement! I believe that something more ornamental is needed.

This state of the union address should have been labeled “STATE OF THE UNION FOR DUMMIES!” The American people proved in the recent congressional elections that have had enough of Obama’s phony rhetoric. The Wall Street executives that have driven us into poverty and despair have gotten $ millions bonuses to steer our economy into the rocks, and $ millions of bonuses from the U.S. Treasury to re-float it. And, like John Dillinger, they know where the money is, “and how to take it out” – but legally! And even though almost nothing has changed since 2008, Obama sees progress and a promised land ahead – but he keeps the supposed big gains ahead as collateral for his 2012 re-election.

On the other side, the republicans are bound to tear his passed reforms, and scrap or stall any future plan that may help him re-elected. It is a tag-of-war, and the average Americans are the rope that is stretched to the limits of tolerance, a.ka. unemployment, foreclosures, a catatonic market economy, and promises made by Obama two years ago that they still don’t see in the horizon. And I am sure, as they watched more of the same promises by Obama last night, and all those standing ovations for his “empty rhetoric,” they all probably wondered: I have heard that before -quite a few times, Haven’t I?

Yes America, you have. And you will hear it again, and again. And you should expect your suffering to continue, while those politicos { I use the Greek word here} who are responsible for your misery will keep receiving “standing ovations!” And they will continue to do that because “State of the Union For Dummies” addresses have proved to be an effective hypnotic for the population that works for them, not for you! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

carlosgvv

January 26th, 2011
11:55 am

That “idiot” is a Nobel Prize winner. What have YOU done lately?

Normal

January 26th, 2011
12:12 pm

Mr. Barr,
Are you really working as an image polisher for Baby Doc of Haiti?

A message to Obama

January 26th, 2011
1:07 pm

“That “idiot” is a Nobel Prize winner. What have YOU done lately?”

So was Arafat.

A message to Obama

January 26th, 2011
1:07 pm

“What have YOU done lately?”

Well for one, I pay my taxes, feed my family etc……

jconservative

January 26th, 2011
1:08 pm

From Politico:

“…Republican freshman Sen. Rand Paul introduced legislation Tuesday that seeks to cut $500 billion from government spending in one year alone, wiping out three cabinet departments and the entire foreign aid budget while sparing neither the Pentagon nor 2011 war-related funding for overseas military operations.”

“Most controversial could be a proposed $16 billion reduction from the overseas contingency funds provided for the military for the current fiscal year.”

““War funding from 2001 to 2010 has cost the taxpayer $1.109 trillion,” reads Paul’s materials. “That amount doesn’t include the $159 billion that will likely be spent funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for FY2011. The proposal seeks to reduce war funding for FY2011 by $16 billion, in other words to provide $144 billion.””

Now we will find out if Republicans are serious about reducing spending or are just playing a make believe game.

My money is on make believe games. This bill will die in committee.

bob

January 26th, 2011
1:10 pm

A Yawn???? I was laughing though the entire speech! The looks on Boehler’s and Biden’s face was comedy enough. Also listening to President’s speech I think it is the most centralist speech he has given so far because he was forced to do by the last election. Where is your fearless leader now, leftists? And the part about freezing spending and the Congress being too shocked to applaud on queue? Priceless! It was a great illustration of what is wrong in DC and why it will be a major fight to fix some of it.

Mass Dawg

January 26th, 2011
2:11 pm

How about the Republicans start by repealing the Senior Prescription Drug Plan, passed by the so-called Republican George W. Bush. Look the Republicans had their chance to tackle deficits when they controlled all 3 brances of government and they blew it. Remember, it was Dick Cheney who stated budget deficits didn’t matter.

Now, all of a sudden we’re supposed to believe that the Republicans have found fiscal responsibility. When W took office there was a surplus. Sure enough once the Republicans owned the governement they couldn’t wait to spend, reduce taxes, start wars, and plunge us into a deep deficit spiral. If they truly want us to get behind them, then start with a plan that reduces Medicare, Social Security, and all of the special interest tax breaks. If you want us to believe you are serious then, go after the real budget busters.

A message to Obama

January 26th, 2011
2:25 pm

Mass Dawg

UGA sucks.

[...] Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr called the speech a “yawn” A little bit of something for everybody; but a really big something for government. This was the [...]

Covers Dixie like the Dew

January 26th, 2011
3:51 pm

George W. Bush left the President with a huge great recession after the corporate public bail-out for the greedy & crooked bankrupt companies.
REPUBLICANS are PUNKS.

Martin Williams

January 26th, 2011
4:14 pm

Thanks for educating us about the President’s speech. Mr. Barr you currently supporting a former DICTATOR of Haiti and talk about change. You just like the rest of them GOPers. All you care about is your dip pockets. I am sure you vote a million times for funds to go and kill kids in Iraq. Ten plus years of tax breaks for you millionaires and we all see millions of jobs created. We as Americans continue to be stupid.

Daniel Boone

January 26th, 2011
5:17 pm

Why is it that in every President’s speech they want to “spend more on education”…yay…Loud Applause!!! Whoo Hoo. You’re the greatest President EVER. All hot air. How about something new and innovative from the annointed one??? I thought he was suppoosed to be so great. Two years of failed economic policy has lead to continuing record unemployment and deficit spending. Obozo will say anything to keep his butt in the White House for another 4 years until he can go out and become a real millionaire making speeches. Oh…I almost forgot…he won the Nobel Peace Prize for…come to think of it… I don’t know what he did to win that prize since he hadn’t been sworn into office when it fell into his lap.

Chuck

January 26th, 2011
5:19 pm

“A message to Obama”,

Your middle finger blog was bad enought but after your UGA sucks comment, I hope you get hit by a bus.

Real American

January 26th, 2011
5:49 pm

Bob Bar is one reason why georgia is screwed up, another old white conservatives who cares less about moving this country to the 21st century.
The Rep party is the reason Georgia is last in eveything, yet these idiots continue to support people like Barr and most Rep living in 1959, while the world is passing by.

Real American

January 26th, 2011
5:55 pm

Daniel Boon: The reason you can not understand why the President is concern about education because you live in Georgia and thats how stupid hicks are.
People like you is why this country can not move forward to the21st century.
Name me anyone who has passed health care in the United States? thats why he won the Nobel, please come out of your trailer time to time.

Yackety

January 26th, 2011
6:04 pm

I don’t care who was president, the last two years would have been horrible. And, even many conservative economists tell us the bail-outs meant we had less unemployment and less of a drop in the economy than we would have had without them. So, everybody – get over yourselves. What would the state of GA have done without the federal bail-out it got? Cut spending on schools more? Well, maybe we would not have spent that $25 million on the land deal that bailed out ol’ Sonny’s friends from that financial boondoogle they were facing.

And, maybe if that money hadn’t been squandered and we could find a few more millions here and there, we could actually pay for dredging the Savannah harbor instead of trying to get the federal government to do it. You know, the federal government that we all say should not be spending money on boondoogles and anything except national defense, that over-spending, gluttonous, bureaucratic, deficit ridden, ineffecient and ineffective government that we want to bail us out of having to spend our own money on our own harbor. Yep. I guess deficits don’t matter (as ol’ Cheney said) when it is for something you want – it is just all those other yahoos are misspending. You know, the Dimocrats.

As for Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize. He got it for not being Dubya, and the mistaken idea of the rest of the world that the U.S. had finally come back from the brink of insanity. We hadn’t. We just took a short break.

Only stupid people vote for democrats

January 26th, 2011
6:28 pm

“Your middle finger blog was bad enought but after your UGA sucks comment, I hope you get hit by a bus.”

Gotta love intolerant loser left wingers who resort to wishing death upon other bloggers who don’t like bad SEC football teams.

WAR EAGLE, loser!

Fhuck Chuck

January 26th, 2011
6:30 pm

Hey loser, UGA only excels in one sport. Women’s gymnastics.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And a….

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…/’/…/…./……./¨¯\
.(’(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
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to you!!!

khc

January 26th, 2011
6:35 pm

love all these folks flashing their iqs by hand

The Gipper

January 26th, 2011
8:58 pm

SO why is this blowhard Barr fronting for Baby Doc Duvalier — a tyrant (who hates Freedom and stole from his people like a common thief) who was tossed out of Haiti on his fat butt by GOP Icon Ronald Reagan, no less!

Rev Trask (ret)

January 26th, 2011
9:12 pm

Hey Michelle Bachmann — what a BIG pair of …. eyes you have!

John Golden

January 26th, 2011
9:52 pm

Bob is as solid as ever. I worked with him years ago. He was something else. One alsways knew where he stood. Never one to mince words. Thank God.

Tracy

January 27th, 2011
3:24 am

Obama vs. Palin.

Doesn’t having to pick between those two really give you a warm sense of optimism ?

The left will say only an idiot could vote for Palin. The right will say only an idiot could vote for Obama.

Guess what ?

They’re both correct.