Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jaded: The State of the Union and the Republican Response

Will I be watching the State of the Union and the Republican response tonight?  Oh, maybe.  Or I’ll tape them and watch them tomorrow.  Or I’ll listen to them on the Internet tomorrow while doing other things.

I’m just not enthusiastic about watching these things, to tell you the truth.  President Obama will probably come across as arrogant, self-righteous, and absolutely certain that he is right, as he chastises the other side.  Sure, he’ll say some good things and offer some decent ideas—-and also some ideas that I’m not so sure about, like raising the capital gains tax (see this post here, which makes some valid points, even though I disagree with some things it says).  But will anything come of these ideas?  I tend to agree with a Republican representative who was on ABC This Week: President Obama will talk, then he won’t reach out to Congress.  And you can’t just blame the obstructionist Republicans for this: Democrats in Congress have been pretty frustrated with President Obama, too.

(UPDATE: I'd like to comment some about the capital gains tax and the Daniel Mitchell post.  First of all, my understanding is that President Obama is not proposing to raise the capital gains tax on everyone but only on high earners.  I just want to say that because I didn't say it in the above paragraph.  Second, I disagree somewhat with Mitchell's argument that productivity leads to higher wages for workers, and the reason is that, in this economy, there appears to me to be a disconnect between workers' productivity and them receiving higher wages.  A lot of the gains seems to go to people on the top.  Still, I am interested in Mitchell's claim----or the claim of the sources that he cites----that a lower capital gains tax means higher government revenues.  If that is the case, then I'd say keep the capital gains tax low!)

The Republican response will probably be a lot of fluff.  That’s just how it’s seemed to me over about the past decade.  There’s not a whole lot of substance in what’s being said.  Democratic responses to Republican Presidents usually impress me a little bit more, as when Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi responded to George W. Bush.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for participating in the political process.  I would rather have Barack Obama as President than a Republican.  Also, progressives have made gains, such as the increase in the minimum wage in certain states and localities.  I’m just a bit jaded about the national political process right now.

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