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The sorry state of the union

Published January 30. 2012 05:03PM

Earlier this week, the President painted a rosy picture in his State Of The Union address. I believe that he does not recognize the reality of our current situation. Listening to his speech, I would think that America is well on the road to recovery with a vibrant economy. But when I look at the facts, our nation is still in recession. There is a ray of economic sunshine, but we have to ensure that the President and the congress do not stamp out the light before it grows into a full economic recovery.

Thanks to our Senate, our country has operated over 1,000 days without a budget. Government funding is tucked away in ongoing resolutions as part of individual bills. I can't run my house without a budget and the government cannot run the people's house without a budget. Is it any wonder that the deficit continues to grow? Our national debt is crippling the nation, stifling business growth and impeding job creation. We need a budget and we need it now! To the President and our representatives in Washington I say, "get to work". Sit down, determine what our nation needs to accomplish, find ways to fund it, put it into a balanced budget and pass it.

The President talked about job creation yet real unemployment remains at 15.2 percent. I use the U6 definition of unemployment that includes all people who are unemployed, even those who have dropped out of the workforce. I know several people who have given up looking for full time work in this economy. They ran out of unemployment insurance benefits and are taking day jobs when they can find them. They don't want unemployment insurance; they want a real job.

The never-ending attacks on those who achieve the American dream must stop. No one should be ashamed of legally making money in this country. People who create wealth for themselves also create jobs for others. Demonizing successful entrepreneurs will only force them to invest overseas. Chastising them for paying the correct amount of tax is folly. Those who earn their living from investments often pay a lower capital gains tax rate of 15 percent. The government created this rate to create a business environment that encourages job growth and economic stability. I cannot chastise Mitt Romney, Donald Trump or Warren Buffett for their tax rate. I want them to continue investing money, building companies and infrastructure, and employing Americans. If our President is so concerned about the lower tax rate that wealthy Americans pay, then change the law so that all Americans pay the same low tax rate.

Lowering taxes for every American will expand the economy. With more money in our pockets, we will purchase more goods and services. Demand will increase, businesses will expand and unemployment will decrease. This expansion is funded in large part by bank loans as companies borrow to fund inventory and buy machinery. The President's relentless attacks on the banks and legislation that hobbles their lending practices will only result in less money available to companies and individuals. We need a healthy banking community that extends credit to worthy borrowers. We should also encourage Americans to continue saving. The money we save provides the money our financial institutions need to fund our nation's growth.

Americans should not be pitted against each other. We should not despise the rich nor should we chastise the poor. We must all pull together to ensure our nation remains great, our economy remains vibrant and our people are prosperous. Let's not demonize those who are successful. Instead let's give them a pat on the back and ask them to share their secrets with others so that we can offer those who are less fortunate a hand up not a handout. A strong middle and upper class ensures our country has the resources we need to remain strong and free.

Our government needs to stop supporting illegal immigration. Recently, a judge ordered a Haitian national to prison for various crimes that he committed. On completion of his sentence the judge ordered that this man be sent back to his country of origin. Instead, he was released from prison and permitted to remain in the United States. Within two months, he brutally murdered three Americans in Miami. If someone is ordered deported then they should be deported not set free to rob and murder our citizens. I place the death of these people on the heads of the U.S. Immigration Service. Had they done their jobs properly, a 15-year-old girl and her two friends would still be alive. We need to stop illegal immigrants at the border and seek out and deport all people who are illegally in this country.

We can no longer afford to be the world's policeman. We continue to fight in undeclared wars in nations where there is little or no American interest. Each casualty, whether killed or wounded, is an American tragedy. We should not be involved in civil wars such as Afghanistan. Bring our troops home! Close our overseas bases and let countries defend themselves. We should build up our own homeland defenses to ensure our nation is secure. Any nation that attacks us should expect an immediate and devastating response from our military. Any nation that supports terrorism against us should also expect an immediate and devastating response. Closing our bases overseas and bringing our troops home will also free up almost $1 trillion each and every year.

In the President's State Of The Union address he pontificated that he is firmly behind our quest for energy. The facts do not bear him out. He ordered drilling stopped in the Gulf of Mexico. He prevented additional drilling in Alaska. Last week, he vetoed the Keystone pipeline, which would bring 800,000 barrels of oil per day to American refineries. This pipeline would greatly reduce our dependence on terrorist supporting Saudi Arabian oil. The President states he is for energy out of one side of his mouth while vetoing it out of the other side. I am a believer in renewable energy. But solar panels will not power my car. I need gasoline to fuel it and oil to lubricate it. The President should stop deceiving the American people on energy. He clearly is against American energy independence.

When I do my State Of The Union analysis, I see a country that is restrained by the government. I see people who want to work but are prevented from doing so. We are a great country, with plentiful natural resources and diligent citizens. We know what needs to be done; we know how to do it. We just need the government to get out of the way! Americans are the most resourceful people in the world. Stop burdening us with excessive regulation and taxation. Free us from foolish politicians. It is the American people that make this country great not a gaggle of self-serving politicians. It is the American people who keep this nation free. Let us build on our strengths and buttress our weaknesses so that our country can continue to aspire to greatness and achieve prosperity for all.

© 2012 Gordon Smith - All Rights Reserved

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