The State Of The Union Address Obama Should Give

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In a culmination of his controversial first year in office, President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address this evening. Front Page magazine turned to a panel of experts for their advice on the speech that the president should give and the political priorities that he must address in 2010. — The Editors

Brian Riedl

Life After Debt

New budget estimates show that – under current policies – the national debt would triple to $22 trillion over the next decade. This additional debt, which is overwhelmingly driven by rising spending, would total $130,000 per household.

In a perfect world, President Obama would announce:

1) specific reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

2) a repeal of TARP and the stimulus

3) a plan to devolve much of the federal government to the state and local governments closer to the people they serve

4) an abandonment of his massive health care bill.

Alas, this is not going to happen.

Perhaps more realistically, the President should back up his proposed three-year freeze on some discretionary spending with statutory spending caps – and promise to veto any spending that exceeds the cap. He should follow a bipartisan recommendation to take Social Medicare, Medicare, and Medicaid spending off autopilot, and force Congress to budget for these programs. He should restore his campaign promises to reduce earmarks down to 1994 levels, scour the federal budget line-by-line for wasteful spending, and produce a health plan that truly bends the cost curve downward.

Brian Riedl is a Senior Policy Analyst and Grover Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

David Horowitz

Nowhere Left to Turn

In my view, the problem for Obama is that no matter what he says, no one’s going to believe him — not the right, not the left, not the center. In a year in office has acquired a massive credibility problem, which is not helped by the way by his overexposure. Consider his problem. To go forward with his leftist agenda is political suicide as every poll since August has shown. But what will he gain if he tacks right? He will further alienate his base but will he persuade any conservatives that he is not an incompetent menace? Or reassure the independents who have deserted him that he just made a mistake, and is not fundamentally dishonest (which even Newsweek’s Evan Thomas, who recently thought of him as a “God,” now believes) and not to be trusted? I almost think it would be better for him to skip the State of the Union, and spend the evening firing most of the people around him, which would be the first step in convincing everybody that he’s serious about changing course.

David Horowitz is editor-in-chief of Front Page magazine, the author of numerous books, and the president and founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Peter Collier

A Teachable Moment

I’d like to hear Obama say that he is going to go back to the drawing boards with health care and will work consensually to solve this complex problem incrementally rather than through some arrogant holistic solutions that will make us sicker and poorer in one gesture.

I’d like him to hear him admit that the stimulus plan was a bust and that, contrary to his mendacious spokesmen, his administration has failed utterly in the effort to create jobs.

I’d like to hear him tell the nation to read his lips on no new taxes.

I’d like to hear him acknowledge that the way voters came forth in elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia to show that while they want to be intelligently governed they refuse to be ruled represents a quintessential American moment.

I’d like to hear him tell the democracy activists in Iran that he is deeply ashamed by his failure to support their cause and that he no longer harbors fantasies that his contemptible silence will bring talks in which he will be able to use his overrated eloquence to turn their mullah tormentors away from their desire to get the Bomb.

I’d like to hear him say that he is disillusioned with the Palestinian thugocracy his policies see as morally superior to the Israelis.

I’d like to hear him say that he has rethought his negative take on American exceptionalism and now, after a regrettable apology tour, sees that the US is a shining example for the world rather than just another country.

I’d like, in other words, for an admission, however oblique, that he has learned something in his first year in office.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Peter Collier co-authored seven books with David Horowitz, including the widely read Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the ‘60s. He is also the author of many other books including, biographies on the Fords, Rockefellers, and Kennedys. He works at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Alan Dowd

The Pride Before the Fall

If someone had told President Obama that one year after his inauguration his party would lose statewide races in Virginia and New Jersey, fumble signature initiatives like health care and cap-and-trade, surrender the seat Ted Kennedy had held since 1962—to an unknown state senator—and give the once-demoralized Republican Party an opportunity to win back Congress, he would have laughed at that someone. One thing is certain: He’s not laughing right now as he prepares for his first State of the Union address.

The smartest course of action for the president may the most difficult for him to take, because it would require him to learn from, and listen to, his predecessors. That, of course, would presuppose that he believes he can learn something from his predecessors. The Clinton model of retreating from an ideological crusade and “pivoting” to practical and politically palatable policies could be helpful to Obama’s sinking administration. But don’t count on him to embrace that model. Obama seems far more ideological than President Clinton and has yet to convey the appearance of humility, which Clinton so effectively used to his advantage as a candidate and president. I actually hope Obama keeps listening to the “full speed ahead” mantra of the far left. If he does, by this time next year there will be a Republican Congress in place to check his statist agenda.

Alan Dowd writes on U.S. politics and U.S. foreign policy.

James Carafano

Time for Return of the Straight Talk Express

It used to be said “politics should stop at the water’s edge.” With the threat of global terrorism, where security is concerned politics should stop at our “doorstep.” Sadly, none of that is happening in Washington. In his first year in office, on security issues, Obama never switched from campaigning to governing. All of his initiatives were “political calculations” to try to show he was not weak on national security, but at the same time didn’t lose the “base.”

That has to stop. Obama has nothing to show for a year in the world. His foreign policies have not been shrewd and pragmatic. They have been laughable. He dithered on Afghanistan. He lost the bubble on homeland security. He caved to the Russians and Chinese.

Stop the insanity, Mr. President.

Here are five commitments he could make to turn things around.

1) State flatly terrorism is job #1.

2) Declare we are in Afghanistan to win and winning is more important than arbitrary deadlines.

3) Admit we are living in the margin of error of when Iran will detonate a nuclear weapon. We need unilateral US sanctions–now. We need robust missile defense–now. We need to highlight the regime’s horrific human rights record–now. We need to draw red lines–now.

4) Call for adding $50 billion a year to the defense budget to buy the equipment our men and women in uniform need to protect this generation of Americans and the next.

5) Forget about immigration “amnesty.” Granting amnesty would just make the challenge of securing the border worse. We need security, enforcement, and legitimate worker programs. That has to be Obama’s priority—now.

Dr. James Jay Carafano is the deputy director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Ariel Cohen

A Reset on Russia

President Barack Obama’s Russia policy is defined by the Administration’s view that America is overstretched globally, and that without assistance from a major power, such as Russia or China, Washington cannot achieve its goals. Some in the Administration believe that America is in decline and their job is to manage it. The policy of “outstretched hand” toward Russia (as well as other unfriendly powers) follows from this notion. So far, President Obama has failed to achieve any impressive results.

Russian officials say that the Obama Administration listens better [than that of George W. Bush], but “did not offer anything substantive.” Others compared Obama with Gorbachev – in terms of presiding over a great power in decline and referring to his naïveté. A senior Russian official half-jokingly said the U.S. concessions were “birthday presents for President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin.”

Sure, the Kremlin will pocket the U.S. concessions and ask for more. It was blatantly clear to this author as early as September 2009, (after spending ten days with the leading Russian foreign policy experts), that the Obama Administration did not – and will not — receive any quid-pro-quo for the significant concessions it provided to Russia as a part of its “reset button” policy.

Another systemic problem Obama faced in Russia is the duopoly of power. Obama spent many hours talking to Medvedev, whereas the real decision making lies with Putin. Talking to the wrong guy is a bad negotiating strategy.

It is too expensive to have a U.S. president learning on the job. Misreading Russia’s great power agenda, overestimation of one’s own negotiating capabilities, misplaced and idealistic faith in the merits of arms control, and dialogue at all costs all this brought Barack Obama’s Russia policy into dangerous shoals. One hopes that the President will learn his lessons and that his second year in office will benefit the United States in the Administration’s dealings with Putin & Co.

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Katherine and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Andrew Klavan

Here is my suggested text for the State of the Union in its entirety:

“My fellow citizens of the world. I come before you today to gaze into the middle distance and speak in ringing phrases.  For make no mistake:  the time for phrases that do not ring is past.  Already, in only the first year since I have fulfilled my awesome destiny, I have created millions of jobs—not just ordinary jobs that you have to work at for pay, but jobs beyond your wildest imagination, over the mountain of your deepest desires, and down the hallway of your fondest dreams.  I have sent many troops to Afghanistan—many, many troops who are running here and there with serious faces, shouting “Let’s go,” and firing their rifles so that the isolated extremists who have gathered together in great numbers to attack us will know that I am become Shiva, destroyer of worlds.

“But there is much still to do.  Even as we speak, a child is crying—a little, sad, pitiful child with big eyes, crying enormous tears that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to dry.  So let me be very clear:  the bridge from yesteryear leads to the cloudbanks of a golden perfection where the prospect of a horizon awaits a mighty century.  At this, we must not fail.  Thank you—and God bless us, every one.”

Andrew Klavan is the author of best-selling novels True Crime, Don’t Say a Word, and Empire of Lies. He blogs at AndrewKlavan.com.

  • eerie Steve

    How's this one. Show up a-la Darth Vader or Cobra Commander

    "My fellow Americans, I bring you sad news. George W. Bush has been martyred for his so called crimes against humanity.

    Oh?

    Why is that?

    Well he did murder Osama, but he did not, and I say this in my most esteem Yale accent, he did not resort to the standard skull and bones tradition and go 'cannibal'. Why? That's why we kill. To eat brains and drink kidneys, you fools!

    Then he rips off his evil mask, sprays everyone in Scorpio-esque fireball finishing move, grips his hand to the camera a la Saladin in Kingdom of Heaven and looks to the Arab world and says:

    "Mercy! Now I have none."

    He nukes everyone except America, Canada, Mexico, and South America and the world's at peace.

    End of Story!

    • davarino

      Oh my god, he thinks he is going to fix everything, from nukes to arthritis. Good luck el presidente

  • eerie Steve

    Oh yeah -PR 10-

  • BS1977

    THe fact FPM allows someone like eerie steve to post on this site says something about TOLERISM…..the man is nuts…

    • eerie Steve

      hmmmmmm. The acronyms I can spell with tolerism to insult you:

      T
      O
      L
      E
      R
      I
      S
      M

      Spells tolerism. Uhhhhhhhh. *uh* *huh*. How about I just do this:

      T is for conservativeTshirts.com – pr 10 –

      O: is for outside, ie homedepot.com because liberals costed me my house – pr 10 –

      L: is for liberal in thought not in action, aka hustler.com (larry flynt's penis) – pr 10 –

      E:E is for elvis.com friggin nuff said – pr 10 –

      R:R is for retarded, which is what I think when I saw Ted Kennedy, regardless of his murderous past -pr 10-

      I:I is for insane, which not only am I certifiable but I am under the meds to prove it. Hey free disability at socialsecurity.gov will work. – pr 10-

      S:is for sex which I don't foresee having anytime soon. Hey porn.com works – pr 10-

      M:is for masochism, which every liberal deep down has a strong itch to scratch -pr 10-

  • http://www.myspace.com/komombo Jarhead

    Good God, 50 Billion MORE for defense? Absurd!!

  • Houyhnhnm

    Prediction: Obama will liken himself to Roosevelt, and paraphrase or 'update' some of FDR's 'ringing' statements. Wasn't there one about this hasn't worked, we will try again??

  • Bill Ford

    What a state of the union message should say

    1. Close the borders and seize all illegal aliens including anchor children.
    2. Out law islam and seize alla ssets and practitioners. Take their religious leaders and try at miliatry tribunals then execute.
    3. Declare war on Islam as inimical to civilization.4, Announce America will kill 10,000 Muslims for each non Muslim murdered.
    4. Invade and annex Cuba.
    5, Seize the Panama Canal and try all Red Chinese and execute for as spies.
    6. Close all American schools to foreign students except for Constirtuion govenrment taht engeneders constituional and republican values.
    7. Hit Iran and hit them hard.
    8. Delete North Korea.
    9. Support Israel.
    10. Liberate occupied Isareli lands that include Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza, Sinai and parts of Syria and Iraq.

  • Warof2010

    Our Demand

    We, the American People
    American Patriots All
    Allegiance To Our Flag, in Accordance With Our Constitution,
    For Love Of Our Country, One Nation Under God
    are being portrayed as right-wing extremists,
    a lunatic fringe element, and astroturf
    we are everyday Americans
    We, are the American People

    In regards to this administration's lobbyist-generated
    back-room, closed-door, Healthcare Reform Bill,
    to say Americans are ANGRY is the
    "understatement of the year"

    Enough already

    Stop the insanity

    Keep your politics out of our Healthcare

    Healthcare reform done right utilizes the K.I.S.S. philosophy
    and first focuses on four primary cost factors
    Fraud, Tort, Billing, and Drug Prices

    Healthcare fraud is said to cost taxpayers
    hundreds of billions of dollars a year
    With an intelligent database
    there would not be this cost
    Only idiots would add trillions of dollars
    to a healthcare system that is leaking money like a sieve
    without fixing the system first

    Tort Insurance is quoted as between 4-6%
    of the overall Healthcare cost
    an estimated 120 Billion Dollars per year
    Seems quite logical that to reduce costs
    to take lawyers out of our healthcare

    Billing hassle is quoted as 8%
    of the overall Healthcare cost
    With an intelligent database
    there would not be this cost

    Drug Price Reform
    Americans demand the right
    to obtain our prescription drugs
    from the least expensive legitimate
    pharmaceutical source on the planet
    this is not subject to discussion

    E-Verifying recipients for unemployment benefits
    will save substantial amounts of money

    and E-Verifying Driver's License recipients
    will help secure our country

    and E-Verifying all workers will generate 8.3 million jobs
    currently held by known illegals

    all recipients, of any entitlement
    federal, or state
    must be E-Verified to eliminate most fraud
    and preferably Bio-ID'd to eliminate all fraud

    Need we remind Congress, and this administration
    that Entitlements cost taxpayers 50% of our Federal Budget

    Fraud in Entitlements alone
    costs Americans more, each year, than both wars
    and arguably, fraud costs Americans, more, in a single year
    than both wars, in total, over the last ten years

    FIX THE FRAUD FIRST before doing anything else
    and we'll save 1 Trillion Dollars a year
    actually even more

    in the meantime we will solicit
    the input of all healthcare workers,
    caring doctors, nurses, technicians,
    and maintenance workers, et al
    so they can tell us how to improve healthcare
    and reduce the cost
    in these very trying times
    that are very likely to last for far longer
    than any of us want them to.
    they will help save healthcare for us

    Do not disregard, We, the American People
    by continuing to act, deaf, dumb, and blind
    to the overwhelming consensus
    of the very people you profess to represent

    First Fix Fraud, Tort, Billing, and Drug Prices
    process the ideas of the healthcare people
    and we can have a one page bill
    for We, the American People
    sometime after we back away from the abyss
    and are back on our feet again.
    to say now is not the time
    is another of those
    "understatements of the year"

    Terrorists should always be
    the responsibility of our military
    Keep Gitmo open
    it's the perfect out of the way place
    to keep terrorists, who would do harm to our citizens,
    imprisoned by our military

    and last, but not at all least

    FREE OUR NAVY SEALS

    punishing our Seals for punching a known terrorist
    isn't any consolation for the deaths of innocent Americans
    and it doesn't at all present the image of who we Americans are
    Americans stand riveted behind our Military and our Intelligence Community
    they must be encouraged to keep us safe
    not deterred for petty offenses in the exercising of their duties
    Heaven forbid if we, Americans, ever got our hands on terrorists
    there would be no need for a trial

    A Contract Of, For, and With, Americans
    Patriots, it is our duty to educate all Americans

    http://bit.ly/5Y15h8

  • c. trace

    I think Obama should give the State of the Union in a tank helmet.

  • http://none K. Bond

    Obamma will say the same old rhetoric…I bet you. He will also say, the economy is showing signs of recovery, employment figures are stabilizing, housing is stabilizing, etc, etc, etc. He will do one helluva job making himself look good on TV…All this delivered to you via a BIG FAT TELEPROMPTER. It’s all lies really and America is starting to wake up. BTW, where are all those who just 14 months ago were chanting YES WE CAN! and CHANGE, WE WANT CHANGE…

    All propaganda. A true travesty.

  • http://none K. Bond

    State of the Union (malarkey/charades) – Is it tonight? OMG

    I don’t know about you, but I can not wait to hear the most scripted State of the Union address yet known to this country…It promises to be a truly fantasmagorical theatrical performance, the likes of which we have never seen.

    Hoo boy, the teleprompter will be going full steam, I guarantee it. And so will Os head be going…snapping & posturing from side to side, like he is Machine Gun Kelly spraying words of wisdom out onto the crowds before him.

    Oh brother, this is all too comical….please wake me up when it’s over.

    Thanks,

    • eerie Steve

      I'm eagerly awaiting to hear a "silent" shout out to google. Barak's gotsa ta be on dat wire mon!

      pr 10

      it's working my friends, it's working. We now have number 3 ranking on google for term front page pr 10. This, coupled with the default name for all Microsoft products is the same name to this site should lead to some great support off Google.

      Let's go Sergei. Ra-ra-ra tonight! pr 10

      http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&

  • Steve Chavez

    I'm watching only to see HACK IN THE BOX jump to her feet and to see her Barney Rubble eyes!

    There are actual bets on how many times Obama will say certain words and phrases: I betting on the number of times Pelosi jumps out of her seat!

    HACK IN THE BOX-23 TIMES–I bet all the "Change" that's left in my pocket: three Abe Lincoln's!

  • Capt. Spalding

    I'll watch, but I already know what I will say during the address…
    "He still doesn't get it", "He still doesn't get it"

  • thinker1

    Improving economy? It is so easy!!! Just do this:

    *start drilling in USA – it creates jobs & stops money outflow to terrorists;
    ** put a huge tax on imports – all jobs will come back quickly;
    ***check legal status of all workers – illegals will deport themselves;

    • bardefa

      Quick check of your vision, Mr. President:

      If United States becomes a socialist country like Venezuela or Cuba and has no one to look for a help, lets do this experiment:

      Stop all – I mean ALL – help (financial, food, advisory, etc.) to all other countries and all organizations, UN included.

      Then watch what’s happening. We all will be scared to death. Including you.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ElroyJetson CallaTeYa!

    Those cops didn't act stupidly, I did. Capitalism is the only moral and sustainable economic system there is and Keynes, Marx, et al are nuts, our party really does see abortion as nothing more than a merit badge of contemporaneity and a big-money parts source for genetic experimentation, here's my birth certificate, transcripts, etc. Blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum. In short, let me be perfectly clear I suck but I am going to quit sucking as soon as I resign.

  • Johncarens

    I know I am deaming, but just once, I would like to hear the President, as is required in the Constitution, give a speech giving us HIS take on the "State of the Union". It would be something like this:

    "My fellow Americans, and to the Congress: The State of our Union is rather weak.

    We are 13 Thousand Billion in debt, and have assigned to ourselves a futher 50 thousand billion in unfunded government liabilites. Not even our grandchildren will be able to pay this back, and no one here in Washington really cares.

    Many of our cities are gang-controlled war zones.

    Nearly 2 in 10 Americans cannot find any or suitable work. In many households, both parents work to afford to pay their combined tax liabilities at meaningless work that takes them away from raising their children. Here in America, we drive an awful lot, but don't really go anywhere.

    Our courts are clogged with useless bickering, much of it caused by rampant drug use and alcoholism. We spend and spend and spend on educating our children, and many of them not only can't read, they can scarcely think.

    Our boarders are porous, and we have no effective control on who comes into our country, and when. Even though we can build fences around every mile of Interstate Highway, we can't seem to build fences on our boarders. I really can't give you a good answer as to why.

    We've alienated our friends such as Israel, Georgia, Poland, and Great Britain, while we're a laughingstock now to our enemies. Most foreign leaders think I am a lightweight joke, which, I guess I am.

    Those working in government are paid more lavishly, given better benefits, afforded more vacation than their counterparts in the private sector. Only in the government sector is employment growing. In the long run, this will destroy the private sector economy, but Idon't care.

    I also don't care that we are on the verge of losing a very winable war against world-wide jihadist extremism. I would rather sound tolerant and even-handed than sound like I am a war-mongering Texas Cowboy. Also, we are about to lose a war in Afghanistan, but, because it smacks of fighting a "war on terror", I don't care about that, either.

    I really like living in the White House, having my every whim slaked, enjoying the best foods, the best travel, the best A-List parties. I also really enjoy having everyone talk about me, and it's really cool to have the taxpayers pay for me and my wife's "Date Nights".

    As for the rest of our "Union"… Well, it kinda sucks, but I really don't have any real-world experience to address any of it. Thank You..

    Suckers.

  • http://yorkstreetproperties.com Lance

    These are all interesting things to think about.

    investment property real estate Lance Puig

  • Bill Carter

    Man Obama's level of SUCK can't be measured.

  • thinker1

    Quick check of his vision:
    If United States becomes a socialist country like Venezuela or Cuba and has no one to look for a help, lets do this experiment:

    Stop all – I mean ALL – help (financial, food, advisory, etc.) to all other countries and all organizations, UN included.

    Then watch what’s happening. We all will be scared to death.

  • http://itecode.com eerie Steve

    Oh I have updated my profile to show my website, itecode.com. Frontpagemag.com is so great!

    PR 10!

    View our climb here:
    http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHNY_enUS346U

  • http://www.itecode.com eerie Steve

    Elites easily mislead the masses through statistics. What majority of your statistics involve Israel, the third rail of the UN?

  • eerie Steve

    Tomorrow the media will say Obama hit a home run and rightfully so. He's pushing all the right buttons while talking like he was acting.

    Just for that Obama gets a……

    pr 10 !

  • bardefa

    Quick check of his vision:

    If United States becomes a country like Venezuela or Cuba and has no one to look for a help, lets do this experiment:

    Stop all – I mean ALL – help (financial, food, advisory, etc.) to all other countries and all organizations, UN included.

    Then watch what’s happening. We all will be scared to death.