The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Reaction to SOTU 2015: The President Is in an Alternate Universe

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


The President’s State of the Union Address would have made a good episode of “The Twilight Zone.” In "The Obama Zone," the following is true, because he either never mentioned the subject matter or failed to properly state the facts: ∙ There is no national debt. President Obama never mentioned "national debt" throughout his entire speech. ∙ There is no government waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement. President Obama never mentioned "government waste” or “wasteful spending" throughout his entire speech. In fact, he has only mentioned wasteful spending twice in his last seven SOTU addresses, and has proposed increased government oversight efforts once. ∙ There are no duplicative or overlapping federal programs; every one of them is in perfect working order. President Obama failed to address the hundreds of billions of dollars in overlapping and duplicative federal programs identified in four previous Government Accountability Office reports published in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Former Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) claimed the amount of overlap and duplication revealed in the reports could have covered the cost of the sequester. ∙ Islamic terrorism does not exist and Al Qaeda has been defeated. President Obama said "terrorism" and "terrorist" once each during his State of the Union address. He stated that America's mission in Afghanistan is "over." He mentioned ISIL once, and never spoke of Al Qaeda, which is the first time the group has not been mentioned in a SOTU speech since 9/11. ∙ High school is not paid for by property taxes. President Obama failed to recognize the taxpayers that would be footing the bill for his "free" community college plan - and even failed to mention how the proposal would be paid for at all: "America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of GIs to college, and trained the best workforce in the world. But in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to do more. That’s why I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero. Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt." ∙ Social Security and Medicare are not going broke. President Obama never made reference to the worsening financial woes of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, the two largest and most popular government entitlement programs. Instead, he only mentioned Social Security and Medicare once each, stating, "...at every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances, and to make sure everyone gets a fair shot. We set up worker protections, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to protect ourselves from the harshest adversity." There is not much more to say about a speech that was really about nothing, since virtually none of the President’s ideas stand a chance of being enacted into law. It was a waste of time and money for taxpayers. This may have been the most irrelevant State of the Union Address in many years.

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