The State of King Obama’s Union

By Todd Andrew Barnett

King – I mean, President – Barack Obama’s duplicitous and bumpy four-year tyrannical rule has raised a significant number of eyebrows in the libertarian, civil libertarian, and perhaps even some progressive crowds. He has imposed a massive public-private subsidized health care edict (ObamaCare) that’s rationed federal health care and come between patients, their physicians, and their insurance carriers, imposed colossal and staggering costs, and installed a federal mandate for the “uninsured” by penalizing individuals and businesses if they don’t purchase “private” medical care insurance. (I employ the word “private,” because it’s a hodgepodge of both government and private medical care insurance.)

He’s even successfully decreed a stimulus package which bailed out massively-faltering government-subsidized enterprises (such as Solyndra) that went defunct because it defaulted on reimbursing taxpayers of their federally-guaranteed loan of $535 million. And the program went so far as subsidizing the “too-big-to-fail” giants General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, both of which collected an $80 billion bailout, or as Andrew Ross Sorkin’s 2008 book Too Big to Fail (which subsequently became a widely-hailed 2011 HBO movie of the same name) describes in politically correct terms, “a very large purchase assistance package.” Sadly and unsurprisingly enough, the U.S. federal beast dropped the ball on the “investment” of the automakers on the backs of taxpayers at a considerable expense of $14 billion. This taxpayer-funded commercial boondoggle continues to transpire, despite the Obama administration and the mainstream media’s attempt to mitigate and mollify this disdainful matter that is plaguing and haunting the political players and their cronies and doing more harm to the taxpayers by coercing them to finance these faltering enterprises that are not as profitable as they want the masses to think.

Oh, and remember the $3 billion cash for clunkers package that the administration successfully peddled to the American public by enabling them to purchase cars that they can’t afford to buy and don’t need? It was even billed as a “success,” because, as the Wall Street Journal reported on August 23, 2009, “so many Americans sought to get a $3,500 to $4,500 check financed by other taxpayers in return for trading in their old car.” And here’s the kicker: many dealers were not fully reimbursed for the deals, thus showcasing the never-ending point that taxpayers lost out on those bargains. As a result the dealers are refusing any future extensions of the program, which is proof positive that it is a massive failure across the board.

Oh, and the President has even failed to end the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (although he “ended” it in the form of scaling it back by leaving 16,000 federal contractors to work in an “embassy” [which only requires a few hundred staffers]) and has kicked off the War in Libya, even on the same day he plays soccer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And he campaigned as an “anti-war, but” president, which technically means:

“I’m opposed to the War in Iraq, but I don’t have a problem with maintaining our conflict in Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East. I’m just an anti-Republican war candidate….with some certain exceptions.”

As a purveyor of former President George W. Bush’s war policies he has no qualms in continuing and emboldening the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy which has consistently made Thomas Jefferson and the Founders turn over in their graves. After all, all of this runs in contrast with Jefferson’s infamous foreign policy axiom, “Peace, friendship, and commerce with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”

Obama’s pro-State talking points were highlighted in his State of the Union speech recently, specifically the one that he delivered on January 24. He spewed the following:

“We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world.  (Applause.)  For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.  (Applause.)  For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.  (Applause.)  Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated.  The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

“These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces.  At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations.  They’re not consumed with personal ambition.  They don’t obsess over their differences.  They focus on the mission at hand.  They work together.”

How has “this generation of heroes” made the country – meaning the United States or the State, per se – “safer and more respected around the world”? This is nothing more than presidential and military hubris disguising itself as humility and honor, thinking that the entire Arab nations have embraced Obama’s imperial and militaristic rhetoric. Yeah, right…as if many people around the globe are taking the President at his word and embracing his upstanding decency, morality, and even logic. Besides, Obama’s claims have been already debunked almost immediately after his televised speech. For instance, the Empty Wheel blog reported that the Arab American Institute Foundation issued the final results of a Zogby poll carried out on their behalf. According to the beginning of the site’s executive summary under Arabs Attitude: 2011:

“With the 2008 election of Barack Obama, favorable attitudes toward the U.S. more than doubled in many Arab countries. But in the two years since his famous “Cairo speech,” ratings for both the U.S. and the President have spiraled downwards. The President is seen overwhelmingly as failing to meet the expectations set during his speech, and the vast majority of those surveyed disagree with U.S policies.

“In five out of the six countries surveyed, the U.S. was viewed less favorably than Turkey, China, France—or Iran. Far from seeing the U.S. as a leader in the post-Arab Spring environment, the countries surveyed viewed “U.S. interference in the Arab world” as the greatest obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East, second only to the continued Palestinian occupation.”

This following bullet point demolishes the President’s blind and hollow argument, which is proof positive of how far the president’s appalling and absurd mindset has gone:

“The killing of bin Laden only worsened attitudes toward the U.S.”

This quote accurately reflects the widely-held perspectives and views of the Muslim world, considering that the American Empire’s execution of the militant jihadist/extremist by Navy SEALS and CIA operatives has sent the entire Islamist region in an ire fueled tizzy. Here’s an ironic twist to the entire affair: American attitudes towards Muslims have also worsened, deepening jingoistic, xenophobic, and paranoid American fears of the Middle East in the wake of bin Laden’s death. Erik Nisbet, an assistant professor of communications at Ohio State University and one of the leaders of a nationwide survey released last August of 2011, recently stipulated:

“The death of bin Laden was a focusing event.  There was a lot of news coverage and a lot of discussion about Islam and Muslims and Muslim Americans.”

He further noted:

“The frenzy of media coverage reminded people of terrorism and the Sept. 11 attacks and it primed them to think about Islam in terms of terrorism.”

That doesn’t end there. Only 16 percent of respondents to the survey prior to the killing were convinced that a new terrorist attack would transpire in the United States in the next few months. Now, after the Islamist leader’s death, it stands at a 40 percent, believing that an attack is more imminent than ever.

“That is going to have a negative effect on attitudes,” Nisbet said.

Bin Laden may no longer be a threat to the world, but the U.S. remains as the biggest threat to the world ever. Obama is lying when he unequivocally states that Americans “are no longer fighting in Iraq.” Point of fact, they are still fighting, and signs of slowing down are not on the table now and in the foreseeable future. As The New American journalist Jack Kenny indicated on December 15, 2011:

“The United States retains two military bases and roughly 4,000 soldiers in Iraq, a significant reduction from the 55 bases and more than 150,000 troops in the country in 2007. But after fighting two wars with Iraq in the past two decades the United States now has in Baghdad the world’s largest embassy, with more than 16,000 employees and 763 civilian contractors. No timetable has been announced for withdrawal of the troops who remain to train Iraqi forces and assist in security. American’s interest in Iraq’s oil supply and Iraq’s continued purchase of American-made weapons will continue to promote close ties between the two nations, and President Obama’s warning to other countries not to interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs suggests the United States has all but formally adopted Iraq as a protectorate. Having spent the lives of 4,487 Americans, with some 32,000 more wounded and a decade-long occupation of Iraq at a cost of a $1 trillion or more, the United States is unlikely to remain on the sidelines if another country should invade the land or otherwise engage the Iraqi forces that remain under American tutelage.”

Obama’s lies and deceptions are not only contained in the wars. He formally decrees:

“We should start with our tax code.  Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas.  Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  It makes no sense, and everyone knows it.  So let’s change it.

“First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it.  (Applause.)  That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home.  (Applause.)

“Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.  (Applause.)  From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.  And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here in America.  (Applause.)

“Third, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut.  If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making your products here.  And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.  (Applause.)

“So my message is simple.  It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.  Send me these tax reforms, and I will sign them right away.  (Applause.)

This is Obama the fascist statist at his worst. He’s the economy’s and a free market’s worst enemy, and he no doubts knows it. Yes, companies are the recipients of tax breaks and move their operations to overseas. However, there is a reason. Companies are overtaxed and overregulated to death. There’s no doubt that the elitists in the corporatist camps desire and want to hold their grips on their precious subsidies, and yes, they lobby all the senators and congressmen as well as buy off their regulators on Capitol Hill. And yes, they are the beneficiaries of privileges, guarantees, subsidies, regulations, mercantilism, protectionism, IP laws, and many autocratic-plutocratic machinations that empower the Corporate State. The entire market is heavily politicized and cartelized, thanks to the heavy hand of bureaucrats, crony capitalistic elitists, and politicians who thrive on the dole.

But not all companies are political players in the process. They do provide and sell goods and services in a competitive market, despite the fact that a freed market has not existed and does not exist to begin with. Obama, however, wants to stifle the market further by mandating – key word: MANDATING – that companies keep their operations here and subject to higher regulations and taxation levels that would make Benito Mussolini and Fidel Castro proud. If the Obama administration and its predecessors before it had not intervened in the market, companies would not be incentivized to move their operations to other countries where the tax and regulatory burdens are not cumbersome and complex. By stifling the flow of free trade of jobs and subsidizing outsourcing, the U.S. federal Leviathan has propped up a catch 22, and Obama’s anti-freed market agenda has accelerated the deterioration and hemorrhaging of the marketplace, resulting in fewer jobs, employment opportunities, and incentives for entrepreneurs to innovate and provide products and services at the lowest price. Everyone knows that protectionisms and mercantilisms, which are components of a Corporate State, inflates the costs of these goods and services, resulting in higher prices for consumers and less savings that otherwise would have been spent more efficiently had the State not interfered in the first place.

Obama arrogantly quips:

“Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trading practices in countries like China.  (Applause.)  There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders.  And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing financing or new markets like Russia.  Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you -– America will always win.  (Applause.)”

How dare the President take this tone against the Chinese? Constructing this new Trade Enforcement Unit (TEN) to “investigate unfair trading practices in countries like China” is highly jingoistic and protectionistic and highly smacks of populism endemic of the political parasites in Washington, especially in the Republican and Democratic Parties. Countries like China have every moral, ethical, and economic right to engage in whatever trading practices that can enable their workers to effectively outdo and out-compete against American workers. Obama is taking this nonsensical view that American workers are unable to find other lines of work or locate other avenues to make them more competitive in the (mostly unfree) marketplace, although there is truth in that statement. The reason for that is that the State prevents workers from maximizing their talents, abilities, and ability to collectively bargain outside of a labor union and improve their trades and become more entrepreneurial that would allow them to launch and spearhead their own businesses. The Chinese are not holding guns to the American workers’ head, preventing them from raising their standard of living and boosting their social mobility. The U.S. government is doing that to them with the help of the Corporate State with its hands in the federal beast’s back pockets.

And how will this new unit “level the playing field”? It will only hamper the market economy by keeping the field unleveled by statist edict. If we didn’t have immigration and trade controls, foreigners could come here and invest in businesses and launch them, finding and cultivating the best American talent that money can offer. Instead we find that there’s too much red tape and not enough imagination. If American workers were not forced to fund programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and offensive (not the misnamed “defensive”) programs like the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and all the current wars and foreign military bases as well as foreign aid to countries like Israel and the rest of the globe, more money would be tied up, and American workers would be able to work harder and better than they are. With taxes, regulations, out-of-control spending at a rate of over $14 billion a year going through the roof (with projections showing higher increases to likely come soon), why should Americans work harder than ever? They increasingly are showing signs of restiveness, and that’s hurting the economic conditions of the country.

The state of King Obama’s union shows that the economy is tanking faster and worse than it has under previous administrations, the wars are ravaging our own private and economic resources, and protectionism and mercantilism are doing more harm than good to the nation. Don’t be surprised if Obama (whether he gets re-elected or not) will make things even much worse than he already has in the last four years. I doubt the next four will be different.

©2011 by Todd Andrew Barnett with a Creative Commons License. Some Right Reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Jason Rink is the Editor-in-Chief of The Liberty Voice. Executive Director of the Foundation for a Free Society. He is the producer and director of Nullification: The Rightful Remedy, and the author of “Ron Paul: Father of the Tea Party” the biography of Congressman Ron Paul. See more of his work at his writing at JasonRink.com and his film production work at FoundationMedia.org.

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