The star of the show in last night’s State of the Union festivities was certainly not President Biden, who gave a third-rate huckster speech — cherry-picking phony numbers and quoting meaningless GOP backbencher statements about Social Security and Medicare.
Mostly, he was going through the usual big-government socialism left-wing Democratic wish list of wild spending plans, government mandates and controls, taxing entrepreneurial success, taxing business, taxing the stock market.
He wants a regulatory assault on pharmaceuticals, tech companies, and banks. He was dictating resort fees that even he admitted aren’t really for resorts — I think he meant Motel 6. Also targeted were cable, internet, and cell phone companies, tickets to sporting events, and airline baggage. He was dissing non-compete employment contracts and is in favor of giving the teachers union another pay raise, restoring the full child tax credit with no work requirements, and on and on and on.
Mr. Biden scratched every radical left-wing itch for the Democratic Party. Fortunately, none of the new proposals are going to go through with a Republican House.
Really, though, if somebody took an adding machine and added all this stuff up, who knows? Could’ve put another $5 trillion in debt on the federal books, on top of the $5 trillion he’s already enacted.
I mean, the whole theatrical bit about not touching Social Security and Medicare — which GOP leaders have said many times are off the table now — was really a smoke screen, because Mr. Biden essentially said, “I want an unconditional clean debt increase with no spending cuts or reforms.”
He never mentioned his visit with Speaker McCarthy, or whether there’s going to be any follow-up. I mean, the Social Security-Medicare bit was pure hucksterism. Democratic pap.
Mr. Biden’s spending frenzy has increased the cost of living by 14 percent over the past two years. That’s the biggest two-year jump since President Carter.
Blue-collar working people have suffered the most, with a huge decline in living standards coming to roughly $15 a week, or $60 a month, adjusted for rising inflation. Real wages fell 1.4 percent last year — the biggest drop since 2011.
Take-home pay for working people has been falling steadily for two years — that’s why Mr. Biden’s poll numbers are so low, and that continues as the soft underbelly of his failing economy.
Even his own Federal Reserve chairman said this week that inflation continues and will require higher interest rates that will do even more damage to the middle class.
The overall U.S. economy grew by a meager 1 percent last year, with a 6.5 percent inflation rate. That was actually lower than the 9 percent-plus inflation earlier in the year.
Of course, Mr. Biden blames President Trump, who handed him a 1.4 percent inflation rate with a 6.5 percent GDP growth rate. He also blames President Putin, pandemics, Big Oil, rich people, large corporations ... I mean, the list is endless.
Just two quick thoughts here.
Mr. Biden can blame Big Oil and its profits, but it was the president’s own policies — his war against fossil fuels — that choked off oil and gas production. That itself was a primary cause of the spike in prices, which, yes, led to higher profits.
The dirty little secret, of course, is that Mr. Biden’s EPA, his interior department, and his energy department won’t allow permitting for drilling, pipelining, refining, or new LNG terminals.
Mr. Biden is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on electric cars, but just the other day his interior department stopped a permit for mineral drilling and mining in Minnesota’s Iron Range near Lake Superior.
This is potentially the biggest source of copper, nickel, and lithium that go into batteries for electric vehicles. So, the Biden administration stopped it, handing a gift to China and penalizing American companies once again.
It’s a perfect example of left-wing policies that defeat the purpose of legislation.
Mr. Biden claims he’s the manufacturing president, and then phonies up a number of 800,000 new jobs that doesn’t include the 2020 COVID shutdowns. Actually, in his two years, manufacturing jobs have increased by 200,000. The index of manufacturing production fell in last year’s fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s pre-Covid two-year manufacturing record was an increase of 467,000 jobs.
So, more huckstering blarney from Mr. Biden.
No, the star of the show was not President Biden — it was the Arkansas governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
She gave a remarkable, riveting, high-content speech that was extraordinarily well-delivered.
Ms. Sanders said: “I’m for freedom, he’s for government control. At 40, I’m the youngest governor in the country. At 80, he’s the oldest president in American history. I’m the first woman to lead my state. He’s the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is.”
She went on to say this: “In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country. Whether Joe Biden believes this madness or is simply too weak to resist it, his administration has been completely hijacked by the radical left. The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.”
Ms. Sanders put straight the president’s untruths with this: “President Biden inherited the fastest economic recovery on record. The most secure border in history. Cheap, abundant, home-grown energy. Fast-rising wages. A rebuilt military. And a world that was stable and at peace. But over the last two years, Democrats destroyed it all. Despite Democrats’ trillions in reckless spending and mountains of debt, we now have the worst border crisis in American history.”
She also told a riveting story about a surprise Christmas trip to visit troops in Iraq.
As I say, it was riveting. Ms. Sanders is a great storyteller. In fact, effective speeches are really about credible storytelling. President Biden couldn’t do it. Governor Sanders did.
That by itself is the big story from the State of the Union evening.
Save America. Restore freedom. Stop big-government socialism.
From Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox Business News.
Larry Kudlow was the Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump from 2018-2021. His Fox Business show "Kudlow" airs at 4 p.m &. and his radio show airs on 770 ABC from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.