Here's this year's Obama State of the Union 2012 News and Commentary roundup. If you missed Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address Tuesday night, don't worry.
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Familiar Rhetoric, Failed Record
The "dumbing down" of America-- Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address was written at an 8th grade reading level for the third straight year:
Obama's SOTU addresses have the lowest average Flesch-Kincaid score of any modern president; Obama owns three of the six lowest-scoring addresses since FDR.
For the third consecutive State of the Union Address, Barack Obama spoke in clear, plain terms. And for the third straight Address, the President's speech was written at an eighth-grade level.
In Obama's own words: "My message is simple."
But was it too simplistic?
A Smart Politics study of the 70 orally delivered State of the Union Addresses since 1934 finds the text of Obama's 2012 speech to have tallied the third lowest score on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, at an 8.4 grade level.
Obama also delivered the second lowest scoring address in 2011 (at an 8.1 grade level) and the sixth lowest in 2010 (at an 8.8 grade level).
The Flesch-Kincaid test is designed to assess the readability level of written text, with a formula that translates the score to a U.S. grade level. Longer sentences and sentences utilizing words with more syllables produce higher scores. Shorter sentences and sentences incorporating more monosyllabic words yield lower scores.
Barack Obama is betting that the American people are dumb. He's betting it and he's banking on it.
Ron Paul responds to Obama State of the Union:
2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is betting that the American people are smart. In Ron Paul's response to Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address, he says:
“Tonight, President Obama once again showed that he does not represent the fundamental change this country needs. Instead of offering solutions to the problems our country faces, the President was intent on delivering a campaign speech, further dealing in the typical Washington political gamesmanship that has gotten us exactly nowhere close to improving the lives of the American people.
“In a speech where much of the rhetoric was devoted to job creation, it was strange that President Obama would brag about his job-destroying national health care plan, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank bill, which, contrary to the President’s claims, guarantees future taxpayer bailouts of large institutions. Unfortunately, President Obama’s ‘job creation’ policies amount to little more than continuing to allow government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, which is a recipe for continued economic stagnation.
“President Obama claims to want an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. Yet he remains committed to the same old system of debt, deficits, bailouts, and cronyism that created our economic problems. The President speaks of giving us energy independence from unstable nations, yet he refuses to allow the type of development needed to achieve this goal, while at the same time his administration hands out favors to the politically connected – those given to the likes of Solyndra, who fail to produce jobs or energy but succeed in ripping off the taxpayers.
“Of course, President Obama refuses to even mention the role the Federal Reserve plays in creating an economic system where some are denied a fair shot or even to support my efforts at bringing transparency to the Federal Reserve. Also not mentioned by President Obama is the very crucial need for reining in spending and balancing the federal budget. What is called by some ‘the greatest threat to our national security’ seems not to be of great importance to this President, although I, like many Americans, believe it to be cause for immediate measures, like the $1 trillion in spending cuts that would take place in my first year as President under my Plan to Restore America.
“In the area of foreign policy and civil liberties, President Obama’s rhetoric may be different, but the substance of his polices – as shown by his administration’s defense of the TSA’s treatment of my son, Senator Rand Paul, is hardly ‘change we can believe in.’ No wonder more and more Americans, especially young people, are rejecting the phony alternatives of Obama and establishment Republicans and embracing my campaign to Restore America Now.”
Gary Johnson responds to Obama State of the Union:
“If the idea tonight was that the President would fulfill his constitutional duty to give us ‘information of the State of the Union’, we should be able to expect some truth. I didn’t hear much truth. Truth is that the real unemployment rate is probably still above 10%. Truth is that after all the hand-wringing and deals of the past couple of years, instead of cutting spending, the President and Congress are going back to the well for another $1.2 Trillion debt limit increase. And the truth is we are seeing nothing from either the President or the Republicans that will really change any of those unacceptable realities.
“Only in the twilight zone that is Washington could a President who has bailed out and stimulated our economy to death stand in the Capitol and declare there should be ‘no bailouts, no handouts, and no cop-outs’. Can anyone spell GM or TARP or Solyndra?
“The President said we deserve a government that plays by the same rules as millions of hard-working Americans. Perhaps that should begin with the government not borrowing and printing 43 cents of every dollar it spends – something hard-working Americans can’t and don’t do.
“Until we see a real plan – not a Washington smoke and mirrors plan – that puts a stop to deficit spending and really puts America back to work, all of this rhetoric is just wasted breath.”
Rand Paul responds to Obama's State of the Union
Cato responds to Obama's State of the Union
Cato Institute scholars Malou Innocent, Chris Edwards, Neal McCluskey, Ilya Shapiro, Jerry Taylor, Dan Mitchell and Dan Ikenson respond to President Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address:
Obama's redistributive "fairness"
While Obama focused on economic "fairness" in his 2012 State of the Union Address, Michael D. Tanner of the Cato Institute notes that his version of fairness is based on a false view of of economics:
The president’s vision of the state of the union is a zero-sum one in which, if some people get rich, it must make other people poor. If Warren Buffett makes money, then Peggy Joseph won’t have gas for her car. The only alternative is for the government to step in and make Mr. Buffett pay for Ms. Joseph’s gas.
Of course there is another option.
We all seek a society in which every American can reach his or her full potential, in which as few people as possible live in poverty, and in which no one must go without the basic necessities of life. More important, we want a society in which every person can live a fulfilling life. But the evidence is now inescapable that the best way to achieve that goal is not through welfare-state redistribution of wealth, but through the creation of more wealth. We should judge the success of our efforts not by how much charity we provide to the poor, but by how few people need such charity.
Full video of Obama's State of the Union:
Full video of Republican response:
Editor in Chief, THL
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