Politics

Lies to the Union


President Obama’s State of the Union address left much to be desired. In fact, it left a lot of truth to be desired. I did not watch nor listen to it for I anticipated doing so would incite violent frustration and anger at the man who sits in an oval office filled with fantastically deceitful ideals and continues to blatantly tear apart our nation’s foundation and guiding torch, the Constitution of the United States of America. Instead, due to a wise suggestion by my wife, I simply read the transcript. It is available here among other places.

Presented in written form — under the light of day, so to speak — President Obama’s address is almost laughable if it were not such a perverse and destructive lie. He made many claims and clearly took the position that he and his “middle-class economics” work.1 In fact, he affirmed these things and hardly even demonstrated proof for them. The proofs he did offer were, as I mentioned earlier, laughable. I have done a simple scan of his address and a number of issues jump out immediately; I intend to shed some light on them. My list is cursorily at best and extremely short. For those who are so inclined, more detailed research will likely demonstrate many more errors that he so arrogantly propagated. And, as I am gravely subject to error, I especially welcome those who disagree with my points. Refute me and defend President Obama should you feel he is indeed defensible.

Energy

President Obama stated, “We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas… thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.”2 If America is number one in oil and gas production, I would be surprised. Even if it is the case, the savings Obama takes as his personal accomplishment comes at the expense of our oil and gas industry. According to the Associated Press (which is hardly a conservative source), “Oil drillers that fueled a boom in U.S. production will suffer, along with states such as Texas and North Dakota that rely heavily on drilling activity. Oil service companies have announced layoffs of thousands of workers just in the past week, and the analysis firm Wood Mackenzie expects drilling investment in North America to fall by $50 billion, or nearly 40 percent, over the next year.”3

So, if Obama actually is responsible for lower gas prices than he is also responsible for making us more dependent on foreign oil which is contrary to what he supposedly intended to do. In addition, oil prices are not a result of the true market for oil, but as a result of the purposeful manipulation of these markets geared to the destruction of competition like that of the Bakken oil fields. (I’ll try to fully research this concept and write an article as I have time.) These low prices won’t last and will likely lead to higher prices long term if competition in oil production is further restricted.

His other energy claims I will leave for this time, but not without one comment. He said, “Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008.”4 Okay, but at what cost? Is that energy an efficient use of our resources? Or are we going to have a massive quantity of toxic waste left that barely produced enough energy to replace the coal and oil it took to make the solar panels themselves?

Minimum Wage

“Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages… to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”5

Couple things here… minimum wage workers generally are not supporting families. Let’s get our facts straight. I’m not saying that none do, but by and large minimum wage is for low education, entry level positions. For example, the most likely people to get paid minimum wage are high school students, college students working part-time, etc. Though the data presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is extremely difficult to decipher, the “never married” category makes up 66.8% of those making minimum wage or below in 2013.6 Forty seven point two percent of the entire minimum wage earning demographic is between 16 and 24 years old.7 The next breakdown is 25 to 54 years old… comparing 25 year olds to 54 year olds is clearly flawed as everyone can admit a drastic difference between a 25 year old graduate student and a 54 year old father of four. Yet, the Bureau of Labor Statistics somehow didn’t.

Only 20.7 percent of minimum wage earners are “married, spouse present.”8 Of these, 2.1 percent are 16 to 24 years old.9 Of the other 18.7 percent — I know the numbers don’t add up properly. Don’t blame me, blame BLS — 4.0 percent are above the age of 54 which likely indicates that they are seniors (past retirement age) who have largely exited the workforce but either need to supplement their social security/retirement or are working nominally for something to do.10

That leaves 14.7 percent of minimum wage earners that are married. Again, this grouping is 25 to 54 years old which is a very diverse grouping. It is almost pointless to group them in such a manner as the purpose of these statistics should be to understand demographics (particular groups that fit together) not massive chunks of unrelated individuals. This 14.7 percent still does not even include all those married couples with children and if we were to do so, the percentage of married persons with children (families claimed by Obama) would be even lower. And, final note, Obama already acknowledged that both parents “must” work11 and, as a result, they would be living off two minimum wage salaries which exceeds his $15,000 threshold by $14,000 per year if they are indeed working full time jobs at minimum wage (est. at 2000 hours) and their state doesn’t have a higher minimum wage than that of the federal minimum wage. (“As of January 1, 2015, 29 states and D.C. will have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.”12)

I would like to go on, but since I get paid a whopping zero cents for every word I write, I’ll do us all a favor and stop. Suffice it to say, President Obama’s State of the Union address sorely needs a fact check. I am sure that others have already done it better than I, but hopefully we can get the facts rolling here at Freedom’s Discourse. If you have an area in which you’d like to contribute —either by defending Obama or refuting his claims — send us an email at submissions@freedomsdiscourse.com and we’ll keep kicking the can further down the road just as President Obama does so well.

1 Obama, Barrack. “State of the Union.” NPR.org. 2015.
2 Ibid.
3 Associated Press. “Gas.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle. January 24, 2015.
4 Obama, Barrack. “State of the Union.” NPR.org. 2015.
5 Ibid.
6 “Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013.” BLS.gov.
7 Ibid.
8 Ibid.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Obama, Barrack. “State of the Union.” NPR.org. 2015.
12 “State Minimum Wages: 2014-2015.” http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx

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