according to USA Today, he is also expected to discuss gun control, climate change, and immigration.President Barack Obama will present the first State of the Union address of his second term this evening. He has already told House Democrats that the focus of the speech will be on jobs and the economy, but
In other words, the State of the Union address will probably sound a lot like every other speech the president has given. If your State of the Union drinking game doesn’t include the phrase “common-sense solutions,” you’re probably some sort of teetotaler.
If you’re among the 88 percent of Americans who won’t bother to tune in (according to Nielsen ratings of last year’s audience), don't worry: It’s not like the president will actually discuss the real state of the country. Rather it’s yet another chance for Obama to promote his own policies and ignore their many flaws. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), on behalf of the GOP, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), on behalf of the Tea Party, will provide responses that will hopefully point out the president’s attempts to dodge reality. But if not, we’ve got a handy list of issues the president is likely to avoid in the State of the Union address.
1. About that Fiscal Cliff
The president is likely to call for broadening the tax base and “closing loopholes,” and to criticize Republicans for trying to throw Grandma out into the cold rather than get more tax money from the rich. In his weekend radio address, Obama said the Republican plan to avoid automatic spending cuts “puts the burdens on seniors and middle class families." He also claims that we have made “good progress” in reducing the deficit for the last two years.
No, actually, there have been no spending cuts and there has been no deficit reduction. As Reason.com columnist A. Barton Hinkle has explained, what the government defines as cuts is often reducing the amount of growth of future spending, eliminating proposed parts of future budgets. It’s not spending less money from year to year, as you and I would describe a spending cut. Rather it’s eliminating theoretical future spending. Federal spending has jumped from $1.77 trillion in fiscal year 2000 to $3.72 trillion in fiscal year 2010. And while Obama says the Republicans have refused to accept closing any tax loopholes for the rich, Republicans have shot back that the president actually refuses to accept any spending cuts as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations.