"Unabashed liberalism." Those were the words used by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to describe President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.
Cruz's take on the president's address was that he doesn't know how to grow the economy and only knows how to grow government. Cruz said that what the president wants is more and more spending, more and more debt, higher and higher taxes and more control of the economy.
Having listened to and watched the entire address myself, I came away with the same analysis. Much of the speech last night harped on old ideas from his first term. How many times can you talk about building bridges, education, rebuilding the middle-class and global warming?
And when the president wasn't harping on old stale ideas, he ballyhooed the need for Congress to act to pass new legislation in order to avoid the dreadful sequester, or fiscal cliff, that will trigger large automatic cuts in federal spending. Some to programs that he does not want to touch, such as Social Security and Medicare.
But what the president did not tell you last night was that the sequester was his idea and that he insisted that it be included as part of the August 2011 debt limit deal.
Since that time, there has been very little effort by the Senate to work with House Republicans to offer alternative solutions to the arbitrary cuts that would slash defense spending and entitlement spending to the tune of $1.2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.
Congress has put forward two different plans that would replace the current sequestration process with a more balanced and pointed approach that would not harm our national security. Already, the Defense Department has absorbed close to $500 billion under this president, and if sequestration takes place, there will be another $500 billion cut. What have the president or Senate offered in meaningful spending cuts to entitlements or domestic spending?
Now that the president's agenda has been set, it is obvious that he wants to go on another spending binge. The problem here is that he has no leverage. According to his own standards, the automatic spending cuts were to be made equally across the board over the next 10 years. The president now wants to change course and pressure Congress into passing new legislation that would repeal the Budget Act of 2011 in order to reduce the size of the cuts to the "non-defense" portion of the budget.
He warned Americans that as long as there aren't any more "self-inflicted" wounds coming out of Washington, our economy would continue to head in the right direction. In other words, if Congress does not act to repeal the Budget Act of 2011, if he does not get an open checkbook to spend as he wishes, and if more taxes aren't levied on the rich, the jobs of thousands of Americans working in the education, national security and clean energy fields will be put in jeopardy.