SOTU, So So 2


Well, I have been watching the State of the Union Address.  Most of the discussion about economics was not bad.  Of course claiming that negotiating a trade agreement that the Congress is not allowed to see, but big corporations are writing for us is NOT a way to benefit middle-class wage earners in our country or any other country.

Raising taxes by eliminating unfair loopholes for the oligarchs is a great idea.  It takes from their grasp the money they are storing up to destabilize our economy.  However, balancing the budget with this money is an extremely bad idea. (See my previous post Replacing the Budget Constraint with an Inflation Constraint.)  Perhaps Bernie Sanders and his new chief economist on the Senate Budget Committee can finally knock some sense into the President’s head and into the heads of all Democratic candidates who might run for President in 2016. (See my previous post Is It Time for MMT To Become Mainstream to Save Us from the Second Global Financial Crisis of the Millennium? which links to the article Bernie Sanders opens a new front in the battle for the future of the Democratic Party.)

When the President got to foreign policy, he talked about using diplomacy as well as military power, but every initiative he wanted Congress to pass was an authorization to use the military.  He talked about opposing Russia in the Ukraine even though that problem was fomented by our giant corporations trying to gain unfair economic advantage.  I don’t see how applying our military might to aid the profits of our oligarchs helps the middle-class in this country or any other country.

Perhaps the President would have gotten around to talking about non-military efforts such as reaching agreements with Iran and easing pressure on the Cuban people.  But my BS limit had been exceeded, and I just had to turn it off.

The unfortunate upshot of this speech is that everything that the President proposed and I support will not make it through Congress.  Everything that the President proposed that I vehemently oppose will sail through the Congress, and be approved by the President.  So maybe calling this so-so was far too high praise to give this speech.

The rest of you can comment, and tell me what, if anything, I missed.


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2 thoughts on “SOTU, So So

  • SteveG Post author

    All those things you mentioned for Obama are good. How’s he going to get them through the Republican Congress? It is great that he is introducing those ideas into the public conversation. Certainly better than not introducing those ideas.

    Here are some things you left out:

    Obama
    1. Miss characterizing the trade agreement to the point of lying about it, and then pushing for its passage. This will probably succeed as it benefits the owners of the Republicans and some Democrats.
    2. Touting his tough stance on Russia in the Ukraine even though the USA went back on its promises to Russia by trying to pull the Ukraine into NATO (a military alliance, not diplomatic). It was our oligarchs trying to force their bad for the middle-class deals on the Ukraine that is a big part of the problem. So he was lying about Russia/Ukraine.
    3. Diplomatically asking for the blank check to bomb ISIL
    4. Touting bad economic policy by trying to target the budget deficit instead of targeting a desired level of inflation.
    5. Refusing to prosecute the robber barons of Wall Street.
    6. Considering compromises on Social Security to balance a budget that does not need to be balanced and is not unbalanced by Social Security.
    7. Blaming China’s economic policy for not favoring our oligarchs enough.

    Do the above policies sound progressive to you? Are we going to be better off given which of Obama’s initiatives are likely to become law and which are not likely?

    The break I will give Obama is in agreeing that the items on your list are good, and would have been even better had they been introduced 6 years ago.

  • Marden Seavey

    Impossible for you to give the president a break. How about this for an overview of his SOTU speech:
    OBAMA:
    1 Middle Class Tax Cuts
    2 Raise Minimum Wage
    3 Better Internet
    4 Affordable College
    5 Healthcare
    6 Sick & Maternity Leave
    GOP:
    1 A Pipeline