In this episode, I spend time reacting to President Joe Biden’s 2022 State of the Union. Overall, the speech was disjointed, lacked transitions or moments of uplifting inspiration. It became a laundry list of wants, needs and desires with no plan on how to accomplish it. He did have a fairly strong opening and closing with only one solid point on which I agreed wholeheartedly, which was his statement to fund the police, not defund them.
I could not address every single point or comment he made, but I do include many sound bites from the 2022 State of the Union to help bolster my thoughts. He had to open with the events of the last few weeks, putting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine front and center. He addressed President Vladimir Putin as a dictator who needs to be punished. With several word bobbles, stutters and mistakes, he spelled out the coalition countries pulling together to impose sanctions. What was missing from the list of sanctions was the energy sector. It makes no sense to not hit Russia where it hurts.
As soon as he finished the Russia/Ukraine section, he moved on to his laundry list of domestic wants. His first egregious error was in repeating the lie that has been fact-checked false by multiple organizations and news entities. He stated the last tax cut only benefited the top 1% of the country. The only reason he repeated that lie is it panders to the economic illiterates in his party.
He then went on to say he created more “new” jobs in one year than in the history of the United States. This is another lie. When you tell people they cannot work or go to their jobs for over a year and then they are allowed to go back, you have not created anything. Getting back to pre-pandemic employment levels is not the same as creating new jobs. Once again, he is pandering and trying to take credit for a non-accomplishment. After that, he tried to go off-script for a moment to explain how the Rust Belt could be a shining example of innovation and industry, but totally got lost in his own head.
As President Biden moved to wanting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, he made the mistake of using insulin as an example. Here he commits a lie of omission when he says he wants to make it more affordable. President Donald Trump had already done that. However, when Biden took office, he reversed all of Trump’s orders, which returned the price of insulin to where it was. So, yes, we would like to see the price lowered, but he was actually responsible for allowing it to return to it’s current price.
Next he did the usual attack on the tax code, saying Americans are not paying their “fair share.” Once again, he panders to the economically challenged members of his party. To an extent the tax code is unfair, but not in how he alleges. The tax code is setup to punish success. Right now the top 10% of wage earners pay 50% of the income tax. To claim otherwise is an outright lie. Plus, the bottom 50% of wage earners effectively pay nothing into Federal income tax.
He made a demand for employers to do more business in America, to pay employees more and then made the comment that if they would just cut their costs, they could cut inflation. It makes no logical sense at all. If you are going to say you cannot do business in countries where it is cheaper, how are you going to cut your costs? And, you want to impose the illogical mandate of a $15/hr minimum wage? Based on that, the cost of goods are going to rise astronomically.
He did seem to want to the country to stop using Covid as a partisan tool of division, but let’s remember he was a big part of that division all last year. It’s nice to hear him encouraging a position where many of us were 18 months ago, we just wish he had done it sooner.
All in all, the speech would rate a D or maybe a C-. It was poorly put together, lacked inspiration or accomplishments and had far too many outright lies embedded. I applaud him for wanting to fund the police and his closing was actually delivered quite well, even if I’m not sure Democrats really buy his closing comments. Actions speak much louder than words, so we’ll have to see. In the end, he did nothing to advance his polling or aid Democrats heading into the midterms.