Last Thursday President Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress about  package he would like to see the U.S. Congress pass into law.  As with most speech by the President this article will focus on “The Good (Items I agree with),” “The Bad (Items I disagree with),” and “The Ugly (Items where the President is just wrong.).”  I hope you enjoy and welcome your comments.

The Good

Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns.  But here’s the truth:  Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement.  And millions more will do so in the future.  They pay for this benefit during their working years.  They earn it.  But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program.  And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it.  We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.

Mr. President I glad you agree we need to reform our entitlement systems.  Paul Ryan was saying the same thing at the start of this year.  His reforms would only touch those who are not in the system yet.  His plan will save trillions over the years.  If you could give your support to Representative Paul Ryan’s plan you will have my vote.

I’ll also offer ideas to reform a corporate tax code that stands as a monument to special interest influence in Washington.  By eliminating pages of loopholes and deductions, we can lower one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.  Our tax code should not give an advantage to companies that can afford the best-connected lobbyists.  It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs right here in the United States of America.

I am always for simplifying the tax code to get rid of all deductions and credits that encourage behavior, because that is not the job of government.  But in practice these reforms in the tax code I am sure will hit self-employed citizens more than real corporations.  This will hit the professionals who operated businesses like private practice doctors and lawyers.

We’re also planning to cut away the red tape that prevents too many rapidly growing startup companies from raising capital and going public.

Cutting regulations is always a good idea, especially since the power to make regulations should not belong in the executive branch.  Law and regulations should be made by the legislative branch as the law makers.  The Executive branch is to enforce laws, not create regulations  (i.e laws).

That’s why I ordered a review of all government regulations.  So far, we’ve identified over 500 reforms, which will save billions of dollars over the next few years.  (Applause.)  We should have no more regulation than the health, safety and security of the American people require.  Every rule should meet that common-sense test.

Again getting rid of regulations will spur economic growth and that power should be taken away from the executive branch anyway since it more accurately belongs with the legislative branch.

The Bad

As I’ve argued since I ran for this office, we have to look beyond the immediate crisis and start building an economy that lasts into the future — an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer security.

Call me crazy but this sounds a bit like the President is touting a government economic plan.  That sounds like the Five Year Plans put in place by the Soviets in Russia that never worked.

Some of you sincerely believe that the only solution to our economic challenges is to simply cut most government spending and eliminate most government regulations.

If you study history you will find almost every single time economic recovery in our history was because government cut taxes and spending.  You can’t have a recovery without both.  Bush failed at it because of his and Republican’s deficit spending.  Reagan tried it but the Democrats in congress refused to cut spending when they raised taxes.  It worked under President Truman after World War II and under Kennedy.

It’s been a commitment to stay at it — to be persistent — to keep trying every new idea that works, and listen to every good proposal, no matter which party comes up with it.

Mr. President we have tried your ideas of funding infrastructure, teachers, temporary tax breaks, and tax credits for hiring, but the record of the last two years shows that your ideas do not work.  Also if you look at other countries you can find examples of how your ideas have not worked EVER.  It didn’t work in Japan, it didn’t work during the Great Depression.  It will not work now.

The Ugly

Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary – an outrage he has asked us to fix.

This is a fallacy of the worst kind because it ignores how Warren Buffet and other wealth make their income and ignorance of American tax law. Warren Buffet does not pay income tax because most of his income comes from investments in the form of passive sources, such as ownership in a business and real estate, and portfolio income, from ownership in of stocks and payments of dividends. These are not taxable under the U.S. Tax Code as income. These investments which provide him and other wealthy individual with income are only taxed when sold, at a profit. And also, they can delay those taxes if they reinvest that money into something else almost immediately. So I guess in a sense Warren Buffet does pay less income taxes than his secretary, but it’s because they make money in different ways that addressed in different parts of the tax code.

We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future – a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges. And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.

Another historical fallacy pokes its head. The Transcontinental Railroad was not built or funded by the government. It received funding by private individuals through government bonds offered to the companies building the railroad. The government did not just give the money away to the companies they had to raise the capital to build it.  The government backed the bonds so investors would not lose their money in the venture.  Also, Lincoln was not a founder of the Republican party, nor even its first Presidential candidate.  He was just the first Republican to hold the office of President.

What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?

You mean that rigid idea of a limited constitutional government? The Constitution is a rigid document that list specifically what the government can and cannot do. It’s designed that way. Mr. President if you can find for me the specific Article, Section and clause that gives the Congress the authority to set up a massive entitlement program I would support you, but it just does not exist.

No single individual built America on their own. We built it together. We have been, and always will be, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all; a nation with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another. Members of Congress, it is time for us to meet our responsibilities.

I think you are wrong again here too Mr. President.  This nation was created on the idea of individual rights, not the collectivism that you tout here.

I am sure their are points that I missed from the speech on all three levels.  I welcome your comments, questions and the areas in which you the readers agree, disagree on as well as what you think the President got wrong.  Enter your comments below.

Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  Class dismissed.

Advertisements