President Obama’s State of the Union address was billed as an economic call to arms, but the economic portion was curiously flat, lacking inspiration. Only when he addressed social issues – immigration, women in the military, gun control – did his voice gain feeling.
True to his activist roots, this is a president passionate about social justice – and cold to job growth.
Though America is in pain, suffering the worst recovery since WW2, stubbornly high unemployment, and record gas prices, Obama’s economic solutions lacked conviction – they felt rote, a re-warmed serving of four years of leftovers. He talked about more green money for his crony capitalist friends, about the upper class religion of global warming. Nowhere in his speech did he talk of the unemployed coal miner, or the Teamster driver who would benefit from the Keystone pipeline, or the small businessman crushed by Obamacare regulations (indeed, GOP Senator Marco Rubio did a much better job at connecting to the working man and the immigrant laborer who comes to America to escape big government).
Obama saved that compassion for the grieving family of a Chicago teen, killed in a drive-by gang shooting. That passion is important, as is his call for inner city fathers to step up to parenthood, and for better education.
But those are issues best addressed locally. Before all else, America needs Washington leadership on job-killing regulations and debt issues that are hurting the middle class to the tune of $4000 in lost wages since Obama became president.