FROM: RNC Press Secretary Kirsten Kukowski (@kakukowski)
TO: Interested Parties
RE: SOTU Expectations
Next week, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union. Every year, he seems to recycle the same discredited ideas and empty rhetoric. We doubt this year will be much different, but here are three things we expect to see from the President:
1. He will praise bipartisanship in theory, while rejecting it in practice.
We’ve all heard the heady rhetoric before—starting with the President’s 2008 campaign. Unfortunately, he has run a highly partisan administration.
The latest example: on the week the new Congress was sworn in, the first thing the president did was issue veto threats for bipartisan legislation that would create jobs and increase take-home pay. One bill is to build the Keystone Pipeline. The other is to restore the 40-hour workweek. (Thanks to ObamaCare, many Americans have seen their hours—and thus their paychecks—slashed.)
The President’s calls for bipartisanship would be believable if he would seize at least one of the two actual opportunities for bipartisanship right in front him.
2. He will tell struggling Americans that the economy is great.
Democrats are falling over themselves to say the economy is great. The DNC has gone so far as to say Americans who are concerned about persistent unemployment are “delusional.”
We’re glad to see modest job creation, but the truth is 17 million Americans are unemployed, are underemployed, or have given up on looking for work.
The percentage of Americans in the labor force—those who have jobs or want jobs—is at the lowest level since the middle of Jimmy Carter’s presidency. That’s alarming. On top of that, the latest jobs report shows earnings are stagnant.
Democrats are happy to tell the media that the economy’s doing well. But what do they say to moms and dads who have been out of work for months—especially those who lost their jobs in ObamaCare-related layoffs or those who could go back to work if the Keystone pipeline were built?
3. He will play small ball.
Because the President refuses to work with Congress and insists on doing unpopular things, he will tout executive actions—even those of dubious constitutionality. Instead of laying out big ideas for eliminating the deficit or preserving Medicare or expanding school choice—as Republicans have done year after year—he’ll talk about things that make for good photo-ops and not much else.
Consider his latest proposal about “free” college. He simply wants to federalize a state program started in Tennessee, which will make the program more inefficient, more bureaucratic, and inevitably more expensive to taxpayers—to the tune of at least $60 billion in just one decade. If Tennessee has a good thing going on, other states are free to follow suit. That’s the beauty of our system! Why would we want the federal government to come in and mess it all up?
In short, we don’t have high expectations for the State of the Union—just another laundry list of empty promises. But regardless, Republicans in Congress will continue to legislate on the issues that the American people care about.
Government Accountability Barack Obama