We’ve heard it all before. A recording of last year’s State of the Union address could have been replayed, saving President Biden a trip to Capitol Hill.
Numbers can be selectively used to hide reality and advance one’s political agenda. Both parties do this, but Democrats and their media allies do it better. It’s important to go beyond the claims of success. For example, at the time of Mr. Biden’s State of the Union address last year, the president claimed to have added millions of “new” jobs. There has been a large growth in government jobs but a decline in private sector employment. It also depends on how one counts. Does a person coming back to the same job after the pandemic count as newly employed? Do people who work two or more jobs get counted more than once? What about part-time jobs?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of open positions in the private sector decreased to 9.501 million in November, down from 9.528 million in October. November was the sixth decline in the last eight months since hitting a record high last March. Meanwhile, government jobs at all levels grew.
President Biden can take credit for the numbers, but the public isn’t buying it. They see prices at the supermarket much higher than when Mr. Biden took office. Gas prices remain at least $1 a gallon higher than 2½ years ago and are rising again. Only 37% of Democrats want Mr. Biden to seek a second term, and 41% say they are worse off financially since Mr. Biden became president, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
There was more baloney about taxing “the rich” in Mr. Biden’s speech when the real problem is not revenue. It’s spending. Mr. Biden’s laundry list of proposals would add trillions to the debt. Once again, the federal government is taking in record amounts of revenue. It’s their undisciplined spending that has produced a debt of $31 trillion and counting, exceeding our gross domestic product by more than 100%. Massive national debt has been a contributor to the decline of great nations of the past, along with uncontrolled immigration and the spread of secularism. All three now confront the country.
Mr. Biden had nothing to say about individual responsibility. He presented our government as the only power that can save us.
In the Republican reply, Arkansas’ newly installed governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, spent 11 minutes deconstructing Mr. Biden’s hour and 12-minute speech with lines such as this: “Being a mom to three young children taught me not to believe every story I hear. So forgive me for not believing much of anything I heard tonight from President Biden. … Democrats have failed you. They know it. And you know it.”
Sounding Reaganesque, she said that “government exists not to rule the people, but to serve the people. Democrats want to rule us with more government control.”
Then she brought up the age issue, which is bound to be a factor in the 2024 campaign, and delivered this zinger: “At 40, I’m the youngest governor to head my state. 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.”
Mrs. Sanders said more in her short speech than Mr. Biden said in his long one. One more thing: If the government was the solution to all our problems, why hasn’t it solved the problems Mr. Biden again mentioned — from poverty to crime? Why does nothing ever seem to get better, especially when Democrats are running the government?
The Republican majority in the House will — and should — stop much of this spending nonsense.
• Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book, “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan).