SOTU review: Nothing but a lot of ‘retreads’

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Russ Jones,Chris Woodward (

A policy expert with Americans for Limited Government says President Obama, who Tuesday night delivered his first State of the Union address since being re-elected to a second term, doubled down on big government and more spending.

AP video image 1-15-13The one-hour speech before a joint session of Congress addressed a wide range of issues including unemployment, the economy, and gun control. (Read transcript) ( FACT CHECK from Associated Press)

While President Obama said "it isn't bigger government the nation needs, but a smarter one," Rick Manning, vice president of communications and public policy of Americans for Limited Government, said the president laid out a laundry list of traditional liberal programs.


"I heard a lot of retreads from previous State of the Union messages and from previous speeches," Manning tells OneNewsNow. "I didn't hear a lot of things that were actually going to help America's job creators; I didn't hear anything that was going to cause private citizens to create jobs.

"I heard only about how government was going to go around and muck around in things -- and we know for a fact that that never works."

Obama devoted significant time in his speech discussing environmental issues, presenting what he called an "Energy Security Trust" as a way to reduce household gasoline expenses. Manning offered this reaction:

"The truth is we have a natural gas boom in this country and an oil boom in this country, and it's directly resulted from fracking," he explains. "[That's] a procedure that this administration has done everything they can to try to prevent -- and that is the actual shame of this State of the Union address because he's lying to the American public and taking credit for something he's actively tried to stop."

Obama noted that that natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence, so it needs to be encouraged. "That's why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits," he stated.

Financial expert Dan Celia of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministry offers this perspective on that remark. "Eighty-five percent of the oil and gas wells drilled and working and operating before the BP spill still remain offline," he noted Wednesday on American Family Radio. "Mr. President, we don't need to speed up the permitting process and eliminate red tape -- all we need to do is say, Go ahead folks -- start pumping again."


Like ALG's Manning, Celia responded to the president's proposal to use some of the nation's oil and gas revenues to fund the "Energy Security Trust" that will guide new research and technology to shift Americans' cars and trucks off oil for good.

"That's just what we need -- a new government bureaucracy that gas companies and oil companies are going to have pay for," comments the financial expert. "In other words, there is going to be another tax on them that they're going to pass along to us in order to support this."

AP video image 2-13-13a

Celia contends another government bureaucracy will only add to the red tape that the president said his administration will be cutting in order to speed up new oil and gas permits.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) provided the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address, in what many commentators considered to be the highlight of the evening. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) delivered a response from the tea party movement.

More reaction

Conservative political scientist and analyst Dr. Charles Dunn, Regent University

Dunn, Charles (Regent Univ.)Obama has sequestered himself: "The word ['sequestered'] means isolated or quarantined. He sequestered himself with his ideology. All the solutions to problems were centered in big government, and more taxes. That's where he weighed in - unlike, for example, Bill Clinton, who moved to the center [in his second term]. So if we look at Obama from an ideological standpoint, he took positions last night that confirmed - if confirmation is needed in anyone's mind - that he is a far-left liberal."

Political consequences of not compromising: "If history is the best predictor in this situation, Mr. Obama's party is going to lose seats in 2014. So while critics of Republicans, and Republicans themselves, are saying Oh, this is a very bad situation for the Republican Party, if we look at this [we will see] he has sequestered himself with history that is not favorable to him nor to his party."

Derryck Green with the black conservative organization Project 21

Green, Derryck (Project 21)"He talked about 'green energy,' which has been proven time and time again to fail. He's talking about closing tax loopholes, which is nothing more than raising taxes on American families at a time that they can least afford having less disposable income. He's talking universal pre-school. He said in one part of his speech that every proposal that he's laying out would not increase the size of the debt or the deficit, but he wants universal pre-school. You know, it's just more and more and more of him trying to engineer a utopia based on egalitarianism."

Anna Higgins, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity, responds to the president's statement that his proposals "matter little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource: our children."


"Which is precisely why we're working to put an end to the destruction of children in the womb. The reality is that this president and this administration promote and fund the destruction of innocent lives. There are 3,300 children who die at the hands of abortion every day in this country."

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