A banal failure of a State of the Union

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Washington Examiner

February 08, 2023

The best thing that can be said about President Joe Biden’s second State of the Union address last night is that a record-low number of people wasted their time watching it. It was a laundry list of nanny statism, promising that not even the tiniest detail of people’s lives will be free from federal interference — not “resort fees” nor “targeted advertising” on social media.

Biden talked of big-ticket items as well. He rehashed every element of his dreadful “Build Back Better » agenda, from new spending on government-run daycare to higher taxes on the “wealthy,” except now he’s pitching the same stale agenda under the banner “Let’s finish the job.” No thanks.


Biden insisted that a good chunk of the government spending he got through Congress in his first two years will “create jobs in communities too often left behind.” This, he claimed, is part of his “blue-collar blueprint” for the economy. This was, however, not an expression of confidence and strength but an unconvincing effort to repair his party’s credibility.

Biden knows Democrats are hemorrhaging support from non-college-educated voters of all demographics. The Democratic Party isn’t becoming, it already is, a hollowed-out party made up of wealthy and entitled groups who have become favored castes. Just as the middle class has already fled Democratic-run states such as California, Illinois, and New York, these same middle-class voters are abandoning the Democratic Party, and a couple of hundred billion dollars in government industrial planning isn’t going to change that.

Instead of working hard to raise taxes, Biden could win middle-class votes by keeping Chinese surveillance balloons out of the country.

The economic story Biden spun on prime-time TV has no basis in reality. Yes, “COVID no longer controls our lives,” as Biden noted, but that is not thanks to anything he did. Vaccines were already created and being distributed when Biden took office. All he had to do was get out of the way. Instead, he borrowed trillions of dollars for unnecessary bailouts and subsidies that fueled inflation and vaporized workers’ real pay gains.

The worst part of Biden’s speech, however, other than the banal policy laundry list and rerun government spending plans, was the sanctimony. “Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere,” Biden said, “and that’s always been my vision for our country: to restore the soul of the nation.”

No one elected Biden to “restore the soul of the nation.” Those who did vote for him voted for competent governance and a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, he has delivered neither, and his efforts to become « pastor in chief » don’t make up for that.

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