Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The State Of Obama's America

As Barack Obama prepares to deliver his sixth State of the Union address, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that the state of Obama's America is not well at all. Just consider these figures:

  • Only 28% of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction.
  • 71% are dissatisfied with the state of the economy.
  • Just 31% of Americans think the country is better off than in 2009, when Obama took office.
  • When asked how they would described the country, 60% said "divided" or "troubled," while 21% said "deteriorating" and 14% said "broken." Only 3% offered that America today is "strong."

As America begins the sixth year of Obama occupying the Oval Office, "hope and change" have given way to despair and decline.

Setting The Tone -- More Division

Historically, State of the Union addresses are presidential wish lists -- key items on the president's agenda that he wants passed by Congress. There will be some of that in Obama's remarks tonight, but this year is different.

Obama and his aides have already made it clear that they are prepared to bypass Congress. This morning the White House made good on that threat by announcing that Obama was unilaterally raising the minimum wage paid to federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour -- a 39% raise -- and indexing it for inflation.

Obama will highlight this action in his speech tonight and then call for Congress to raise the minimum wage for everyone else. Of course the left is applauding this move. But it means that taxpayers will now have to pay more for those same services. Contractors bidding on future projects will have to factor those higher costs into their bids and will raise prices as a result.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) blasted Obama's move saying, "The president just unilaterally, without Congress … made government that much more expensive. We all have to pay for it." Rep. Steve King (R-IA) labeled Obama's action "a constitutional violation," adding, "We have a minimum wage. Congress has set it. …we’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office."

As frustrating as Obama's executive orders are, they can be undone by the next president. Add this to the long list of Obama's actions that any GOP candidate worth his or her salt will promise to repeal on day one, along with all of Obama's unilateral changes to Obamacare.

By most accounts, Obama's speech tonight is intended to set the tone for the year ahead in Washington and for the 2014 elections. We are hearing that the president will once again pivot to the economy, focusing specifically on economic inequality -- a theme Democrats will try to exploit during the elections in their increasingly desperate hope to avoid the fallout from Obamacare.

Speaking Of Obamacare…

There is good reason for Obama and his Democrat allies to avoid Obamacare. Last week a Fox News poll recorded record opposition to the law. Fifty-nine percent of voters said they opposed the law, including 30% of self-identified Democrats and 64% of independents, while just 36% supported it.

And there is plenty for people not to like. Here are a few of the latest Obamacare blunders making headlines:

  • Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), who is retiring this year, suggested that Obamacare is in danger of entering the dreaded death spiral. "I don't think we're going to get enough young people signing up to make this bill work as it was intended to financially," Moran said. "I just don't know how we're going to do it frankly. If we had a solution I'd be telling the president right now."
  • As a result of Obamacare's growing problems, Moody's downgraded the health insurance sector last week.
  • One of Obamacare's major selling points was that it would to help tackle the problem of too many uninsured Americans. But it is making the problem worse in California. And the Wall Street Journal recently reported that "Only 11% of consumers who bought new coverage under the law were previously uninsured."
  • Target announced that it is cancelling health insurance plans for part-time workers, forcing them into the Obamacare exchanges to take advantage of the taxpayer-funded subsidizes. Target isn't the first company to do this and more are expected to do the same.
  • Some parents are finding that Obamacare won't cover their children.

Obamacare is not working, and Democrats have stubbornly defended it by often retorting that Republicans have no plan of their own. The fact is, Republicans have lots of ideas, which the media mostly ignore.

Working to reclaim the high ground as the party of ideas and reform, Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Burr (R-NC) unveiled a GOP healthcare reform plan that may become a blueprint for the eventual repeal and replacement of Obamacare -- if Republicans can take back the Senate this year and the White House in 2016. You can read more about it here.

By the way, Senator Coburn, who is leaving the Senate this year due in part to a recurrence of cancer, said this morning that he has lost access to his oncologist since signing up for Obamacare.

Conservative Opposition To Immigration Bill Growing

Friday I reported that Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard was advising House Republicans against taking up an immigration reform bill this year. Amid growing reports that GOP leaders are preparing to embrace amnesty, the editors of National Review are now on record urging House Republicans to avoid committing an "unforced error" by taking up the controversial issue.

A major reason cited to stay away from this trap is lack of trust in Obama, who "refuses to enforce key provisions of his own health-care law, let alone provisions of immigration law he finds uncongenial."

Hollywood Mocks Middle America

The chasm between today's pop culture and Middle America was on full display at the Grammy Awards. From same-sex weddings to semi-pornographic performances, left-wing Hollywood elites once again reveled in mocking the cherished values of millions of Americans.

My friends, let me go back to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll I wrote about at the beginning of this report. The overwhelming majority of Americans feel our country is headed in the wrong direction. They feel it is divided, troubled and deteriorating. Granted, much of that concern stems from economic issues.

But what took place at the Grammys was a perfect example of the culture war that is tearing our nation apart, as well as America's growing virtue deficit. If men and women of goodwill of all races don't step up soon, our budget deficit and growing military weakness won't matter. Our virtue deficit will destroy this great experiment in ordered liberty under God.

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