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2014 State of the Union Address: review

There is so much that can be said of the 2014 State of the Union Address, but highlights will have to suffice. Of the major themes covered in the speech there were some glaring statements and omissions, obvious pivots to promote Dems in the 2014 mid-term elections, promises of overreach of power by the Executive Branch, and suppression of debate and disagreement on critical issues.

Of the things omitted, or largely glossed over, was the repeated insistence on Government driven infrastructure jobs. This was the first Address to not feature – in one catchphrase format or another – a push on the “shovel-ready jobs” that never materialized. At the same time, there was a muted and glancing look at renewable energy – with a focus only on solar energy and a noted absence of Ethanol, wind power, and green companies that have repeatedly filed for bankruptcy on the public tab.

Returning to the spotlight, for only the 2nd time since 2012, there was a renewed push to target the tax code reform. On a more muted level there was a suggestion of cutting corporate tax rates. Once again this bipartisan issue only appears as votes are needed in an election year. Once again, no directive or leadership was offered on an issue that is directly impacting the economy.

Yet again immigration reform was suggested. A comprehensive legislation that failed to draw attention from Dems when they controlled a super-majority and could have passed any legislation they wanted. A reform offered by Dems that negates the concerns and proposals from Republicans. A legislation that failed to gain ground in 2013, and has poor prospects for 2014.

President Obama tried to take credit for a lower unemployment rate, while ignoring the fact that millions remain consistently un- or under-employed. He negated the fact that one of the factors reducing the unemployment rate is not job creation, but the increase in the number of people the Government no longer counts (such as the most recent December 2013 failure to count 400,000 that do not have jobs).

Of course President Obama focused on issues that are focused in rallying Dems to vote in the mid-term election – to balance off the failure of Obamacare, and the scandals that has plagued his Administration.

President Obama demanded that Congress not debate the size of Government. To paraphrase ‘Don’t argue the size of Government, it is a distraction to the job of Congress.’ Yet this is one of the major ideological issues that defines the distinction between modern Dems and Republicans. To stifle debate is to hinder the 1st Amendment rights of the constituents Republicans reflect.

President Obama pushed minimum wage increases. An issue that affects only 2% of the workforce, and has been shown in various studies to do as much damage as help for the very people it targets. A poor deflection of the lack of jobs throughout the nation, 3 years well into the economic recovery.

In another play towards the troubled base of Democrats, women were the target of preference. Once again the difference in pay was used to gain support. Once again women were used as a crutch to justify Obamacare – while negating the far reaching problems of imposing maternity care on men and the elderly that will never have a need for the coverage and will bear the burden of the higher costs of healthcare.

President Obama even glossed over a key problem with Obamacare – the “just in time” effect where those who have not paid into health insurance, who will not share a fair burden of healthcare costs, will overnight gain healthcare just to take care of costly procedures. It’s this “just in time” impact that has caused fear among insurance companies, and caused speculation of widespread damage to the American economy as a result.

Most of all, it must be noted that the President focused repeatedly on the overreach of Executive Orders to circumvent Congress and to restrict debate on issues that Democrats has failed to sell the American people on. Action that Senator Obama opposed, and are strictly prohibited from the power of the Executive Branch.

President Obama brushed aside the concern over the size, and therefore the power of Government – even as the abuses of the IRS and NSA still impact the daily lives of Americans.

President Obama unilaterally shut the debate on “climate change.” Stating that it is a fact, without addressing the on-going debate among scientists, President Obama noted how America lead the world in reduction in carbon emissions. He failed to connect the dots to the fact that by his own admission, with global leadership, the impact as he views it was legible – if in fact it is possible to alter the trends our planet has cycled through for millions of years.

President Obama negated as non-existent all ideas from Republicans that do not match his own political agenda – even where they are actually the most effective ideas to achieve the goals he has promised the public were critical to success.

The president was cheered for implementing the very outcome described by Senator McCain in 2008 on troops in Afghanistan. He tried to create a moral imperative to blindly follow his political views by demonizing anyone who opposes his views on what citizenship should entail and require.

All of this, to the tune of 30 rounds of applause – the greatest of which went an Army Corporal who served his nation in a war that President Obama wanted to fight – while Democrats have sought (in a bad deal with some Republicans) to increase debt spending and cut military pensions.

Overall, the 2014 State of the Union Address was a muted, humbled, expression of the result of years of failure. Jobs remain a critical problem without solution. Obamacare has created more uninsured Americans than it has insured while destabilizing the health care markets and increased costs. American foreign policy has been shown to be fractured, ineffective, and a source of embarrassment for the nation. Relations with our allies have been weakened by the very NSA that the President continues to defend as he ignores the recommendations of yet another commission he had created.

2014 is the first year of the lame duck presidency, fueled by a near inevitable wave of losses in congressional seats by Democrats in the mid-term elections. The State of the Union was less a rally call to America, but a feeble defense of the failure of a President that asked for more time, got it, and still has nothing positive to show for it.

Is your Representative prepared to help you in 2014?

The political landscape for 2014 is beginning to take shape, and much like the reality of the biggest lie of 2013 you can keep your doctor it is not what many are expecting. As is being reported, and discussed, at Politico and Wall Street Journal (among other news sources) President Obama and the far-left (Progressives) of the Democrat Party are preparing to push the nation to the left. This is an effort to prepare for 2016, while the general public is not paying attention to politics even for 2014 yet. Is your Representative in Congress ready? Will they do anything to protect your interests?

Politico reports that,

“He’s [President Obama] connecting to progressive populism with an aggressive, spending-oriented, activist government approach to the economy personified by Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio.”

Before I go further, what does that mean? In real world terms, the President is going to promote increased spending on entitlements and issues that are backed by the far-left (like abortion, amnesty for illegal aliens, gun restrictions, ect). Spending that will exceed the current budget deal passed in the House of Representatives (Rep. Richard Hanna voted for this) that removes the cap on spending imposed by the Sequester – which was enacted because Congress spends money like a crack addict smokes crack.

The justification for taking the stereotype of Democrat deficit spending and pushing it to warp drive is the election of Bill De Blasio in NYC and Sen Elizabeth Warren in MA. Which the Wall Street Journal points out,

“While New Yorkers think of their city as the center of the universe, the last time its mayor won a race for governor or senator—let alone president—was 1869. For the past 144 years, what has happened in the Big Apple stayed in the Big Apple. Some liberals believe Sen. Warren would be the Democratic Party’s strongest presidential candidate in 2016. But what works in midnight-blue Massachusetts—a state that has had a Republican senator for a total of 152 weeks since 1979—hasn’t sold on a national level since 1960.”

Still, the spending will be framed in the most eloquent and popular way possible. We are already seeing it. Democrats have won a major hurdle in having the restrictions of the Sequester lifted off their backs – with a 2 year increase in the budget (and deficit) to go with it. The rally cry for an increase in the minimum wage – which does not create jobs but creates pressure against new jobs – is already being heard. But expect the 2014 State of the Union to really set the tone of spending without limits, or money.

Why is this going to be done? To maintain the vital block of votes that brought victory to President Obama 2x – young people, African-Americans, Latinos, single women and immigrants – so that Democrats can maintain (or they hope to grow) their political power. This isn’t about helping the public as much as it is about a powerbase for 2016.

The sweetner will be Social Security. The plan is to propose an increase in benefits – though how to pay for it is vague. The closest thing to a plan is from Sen. Warren who wants to increase taxes on the youth and businesses – but that isn’t being discussed in the rally speeches. Kind of like how the millions of cancellations that Dems knew about (as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand casually noted on ABC News) for years and failed to explain to constituents.

But as the President prepares to launch his spending spree with a credit card paid for by our grandchildren, really keep in mind his justification (the one he will give the public, not the preparation for 2014 and 2016 elections),

“I am convinced that the decisions we make on these issues over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in an America where opportunity is real.”

I do believe that these decision will affect us, our kids, and our grandchildren – just for starters. Depending on interest rates, and how long we can kick the national debt down the road (at least until another downgrade of our national credit rating), the impact only gets worse given time.

But as to my original question, do you have a Representative that will ride the far-left wave, or sit on a fence waiting to see what way will lead to re-election, or someone that will vocally stand up and fight for the common sense the public has but Congress and the White House lost decades ago?

For the NY-22, that is a real question. Our current Representative, Richard Hanna, has a history of flip-flops going back to at least 2010 according to Time Magazine. His penchant for symbolic votes does not help raise assurance of where he stands. His drive to increase H1B Visas, and give 160,000 jobs to immigrants in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields is also a problem. Don’t take my word for it, you can review his voting record (the parts he has not tried to removed from being seen by the public) and what little he has publicly said, for yourself.

What America, and the New York 22nd Congressional District, needs are people that understand that the consequences of what Congress and the White House does or does not do has a real and direct impact on constituents. We need someone that is accountable, and reliable. Someone that we clearly know where they stand and what they will do for us.

The other option, is what we have seen so far. We can watch as the approval rate for Congress goes even lower than 9%. We can watch as the next scandal becomes the White House and Dems admitting they knew taxes would go higher to cover entitlement spending with money from the deficit. We can watch as the promise of jobs being priority #1 is once again stated, only to be ignored and ineffective.

I offer myself as that Representative for the NY-22. My positions are clear, and have been for the years that I have written political commentary and paid attention to what Congress and the White house has been doing. Like the constituents of the 22nd Congressional District, I know what it is like to work hard, pay bills, have a mortgage, and have to pay ever higher taxes and not see any results for the money that has been taken.

Visit www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com. Come out and hear me speak. Ask me questions. Look at the voting record of the incumbent. Then do what you think is best. But don’t forget, the plan for 2014 and 2016 is already being made. Your vote matters.

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