After working as a reporter-turned commentator for nearly four decades not much would shock me coming out at a State of the Union address.
In fact in the past 20 years or so enough information has been leaked that reporters can write their reaction columns and the opposition party can prepare its counter remarks to the speech well in advance of its delivery.
This year’s SOTU actually was no exception and surprisingly marked with no conciliatory approaches to dealing with the nation’s problems but rather more threats of what will happen if we don’t all play along with the 44th President of the United States.
While issues of Immigration reform, another “share the wealth” message, attempts to close the gap between the so-called haves and have-nots in this country were addressed those were not the most frightening of revelations.
That class battle theme has been played out over the past five years and caused creativity and productivity to slow dramatically so it was nothing new or surprising to hear it suggested again.
Also the President claimed, using a made-up numbers, that women make seventy cents for every dollar a man makes doing the same jobs in America. His blatant effort to secure the female vote for democrats was illogical in addition to being false. Think about it. A businessman can have a worker do the exact same job with the exact same skills for thirty cents less per dollar; why would any men have jobs?
There were, however, two huge issues that should signal alarm for all Americans; again nothing new, but increasingly scary.
The first of those issues is the push for an increased minimum wage to just over $10 an hour. Obama’s argument claims there are too many minimum wage workers trying to support families on too little income. The belief is that increasing that figure would put more money in their pockets.
There are several points to make on that front. The minimum wage (which really shouldn’t exist at all in a truly free-market system) is designed as an entry-level compensation. It was never intended to be a family-supporting income. You enter the work force, get your experience and climb the ladder.
Those who stay at that entry-level pay grade are not productive individuals and laws raising that artificial income level will only tend to keep those recipients from having any chance at advancing. Of course those making minimum wage will jump at the chance at a couple of extra bucks an hour, never really looking at the bigger picture.
Employers who have to increase that hourly outlay, in a recovering business environment, aren’t going to bring on new hires to help relieve unemployment. Quite the contrary, they’ll hire fewer workers and likely release some current workers. It will also mean those up the pay ladder won’t see as many pay incentives (or raises) encouraging greater productivity. That higher minimum wage has to come from somewhere.
The truly frightening and arrogant threat is that if Congress chooses not to pass legislation and programs Obama wants in place, he’ll use (or abuse) his Executive Order pen to sign them into law, side-stepping lawmakers; and the American people. Is that REALLY who you want in the presidency?
Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, if we allow this contempt for the American people, and the checks and balances of the three branches of government, are we anything more than a third world dictatorship? No, that threat should be a wake-up call for all freedom-loving citizens.
While the empty promises articulated by an educated, experienced con-man sound great to some, once the well is dry and the system destroyed, it may be too late for a fix. The state of our union; under this President is potentially disastrous! And that’s the truth.
Mike Scinto is a 37 year veteran talk show host serving locally, statewide and nationally behind the microphone. For the past dozen years he has authored this award-winning column. “Friend” Mike at www.facebook.com/mikescintoshow or visit http://mikescintocolumns.blogspot.com.