The one thing that united Democrats and Republicans, Barack Obama said last night, was that “we all hated the bank bailout.” If so, then why is Obama demanding financial reform that would create a perpetual authority to create more bailouts? That’s one of the questions Cato Institute asks in this video fisking of the State of the Union speech, and it’s by far not the only issue Cato found with Obama’s laundry-list agenda:
- Education – Obama talked about the reform he funded in Porkulus, but as Neal McClusky points out, only a tiny fraction went to any kind of reform program at all, Race to the Top. The massive subsidies to the states ensured that they put off reforms in education by papering over the budget gaps that might have finally pushed states to start.
- Student aid – McClusky reminds people that higher education is supposed to make people more competitive in job markets — so why should taxpayers subsidize student-loan defaults?
- Health-insurance premiums, deficits – Michael Tanner reminds everyone that the bill Obama praised as a way to lower premiums will have the opposite effect. The CBO has already announced that it will increase premiums faster than if Congress passes no bill at all. As for trillions of dollars in deficit savings, that’s “smoke and mirrors” accounting, relying on a shell game with the “doctor fix.”
Any good news? Well, yes, on earmark reform. It may not be as sexy as a spending freeze, but if one eliminated all earmarks (and then didn’t subsequently appropriate the money from them), we’d save more on that than on Obama’s freeze.
It seems that both the media and the advocates have exposed most of Obama’s rhetorical exaggerations and flights of fancy already. The most memorable line from the SOTU speech may be two words that didn’t come out of Obama’s mouth: “Not true!” And Cato doesn’t miss the opportunity to underscore that specific issue, either. Watch it all.
Update: Darn it, Glenn also called it a video fisking before I had a chance to get the post published. Well, great minds, etc etc.