Feel Free To Skip The State Of The Union Address

There's really no point in watching tonight's speech.

sotu-14-02

Based on past experience President Obama’s State Of The Union Address will last roughly over an hour, during which he is expected to unveil a host of program proposals, including another pitch for tax increases on the wealthy that area allegedly designed to address the issue of income inequality. If you’re a true masochist, you will have tuned in hours earlier as either CNN, MSNBC or Fox News Channel, depending on your network of choice, offer hours upon endless hours of “previews” of what the President is expected to say. After the speech ends, there will be endless hours of analysis of what the President just said, not to mention “spin” from representatives of the White House, Republicans in the House and the Senate, as well as the various talking heads that the networks draft to come in and talk about what we all just heard on  television for ourselves. Then, the process will continue tomorrow as the various morning shows pick up the coverage and, absent some other breaking news event that pushes it out of the way, that “analysis” will continue for most of the rest of the day tomorrow.

Here’s some advice; skip all of it.

I’ve written several times here at OTB about how the State of the Union Address has become a needless and rather silly example of pageantry that seems inappropriate for a democratic republic, but this year we’re dealing with something else.. More than any other such address since President Obama took office, this year’s State Of The Union Address will, by and large, be completely irrelevant to what’s going to happen to this year or next year. Given the new Republican majority in the Senate and the expanded Republican majority in the House, there’s no chance at all that either the tax increases the President will be proposing nor his plan for “free” Community College have any real chance of being anything other than bullet points in a stump speech. Additionally, the results of the 2014 election pretty much cemented the President’s status as a lame duck going forward. Yes, he can move the agenda to some extent on issues such as immigration via executive action, but by and large we have now reached the point where Barack Obama is becoming less and less relevant in American politics. By this time next year, we’ll be well into the 2016 Presidential race and, barring an international crisis, the conversation will be about what happens after President Obama leaves office rather than what he does with the time he still has left.

So, regardless of what Wolf Bliter, or Rachel Maddow, or whomever tells you, tonight’s speech not only isn’t very important, but it will be perhaps the most irrelevant of all of the President’s State Of The Union Addresses so far (only next year’s address is likely to be less relevant). Feel free to find something else to do tonight. Go to bed early. Watch something on Netflix, House of Cards or The West Wing would certainly be appropriate, or just enjoy a fine adult beverage. Trust me, you won’t be missing anything.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Oh I don’t know, there’s always the possibility that half the Republican legislators, like the NYPD, will turn their backs on the president, or that the conservative wing of the Supreme Court (if the choose to show up at all) will shake their heads disapprovingly when the president refers to a court decision such as ‘Citizens United.’

    It’s the NASCAR Effect – many will watch to see if there are any wrecks.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Dayum Doug, and I was going to tune in tonite for the first time ever in my 56 years. Now what am I going to do for entertainment? Guess I’ll just trim my toenails.

    PS: now if Bobby Jindal was going to give the GOP rebuttal this year, I’d tune in for some of that “Islamofascists are coming to get us all !!!!!!!!!” craziness.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    This is such a tired wheeze. And if you care about politics it’s just wrong. Politics is a game, and events like this are the equivalent of spring training or the NFL draft – they provide underlying performance data, they provide atmosphere, they give you a sense of mood and momentum, they give you a sense of the discipline in place, or the lack of discipline. It reveals character and believe it or not, my lawyer friend, not everything in Washington comes down to a policy paper.

  4. Will Taylor says:

    I’m watching the season premiere of Justified. I haven’t watched the State of the Union since Bush defined who the evil doers were. I’m sure they’ll be a lengthy recap on here.

  5. Michael says:

    There is a new episode of Fixer Upper on HGTV at 9 PM. Let’s see what Chip and Joanna have up their sleeves this week!

  6. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I’ve written several times here at OTB about how the State of the Union Address has become a needless and rather silly example of pageantry that seems inappropriate for a democratic republic, but this year we’re dealing with something else..

    Funny, I was planning to watch the SOTU address for its uplifting message. I guess we get what we expect, eh Doug?

    Since POTUS seems to have a 50% approval, a review of the continued wins for the American people will likely drive that up further. Of course, this bodes poorly for the dark side…

    As you seem to still be a cheerleader for the other team (while wearing the cloak of libertarian invisibility), I can see why you would want to skip all that that stuff that benefits the whole… It must grate on the individual autonomy and bootstrappy ego stuff.

    .

    Still, for the “rather silly example of pageantry” I’m planning on watching all of the 9 planned GOP debates.

    As a fan of Sci-Fi, I love it when people postulate on fiction and alternate reality stories. They’re a hoot!

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: After last time, the idea that either the RNC or Jindal would allow Jindal to do the response is beyond my imagining.

  8. LaMont says:

    Well guess what Doug? These SOTU speeches aren’t meant for political junkies like you and I. They are an opportunity to reach the common person that wouldn’t know where to find their respective Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN channels. It is an opportunity to frame the discussion moving forward and as michael reynolds mentioned – give them a sense of mood and momentum. So in that sense, this is arguably President Obama’s most important SOTU speech as this is the first time he is giving it under economic conditions that likely holds him at a higher esteem. Therefore, President Obama’s speech tonight will be given more credit than at any other time in his presidency.

    Something tells me you do not look forward to that part Doug – not so much that it is meaningless from a policy outlook perspective. This is no different than the average political gamesmanship you and I love to follow. And lately, President Obama has taken the challenge to an entirely different level. In my estimation, this speech could cement what we will talk about for the better part of the next two years. The GOP could be playing the defensive for the first extended period of time in Obama’s Presidency. If you don’t believe that is important you are kidding yourself.

  9. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There’s really no point in watching tonight’s speech.

    “YOU LIE!”

  10. Pinky says:

    It may be more tedious than any other speech of the year, but it’s only the second most pointless. The reply speech is always more pointless, because it’s a content-free rebuttal to a content-free speech that the speaker hasn’t heard. As for the NASCAR element, there are hardly ever any crashes in the SOTU. Dennis Miller once said that there’s nothing worse than mediocre TV – it should either be great or a complete f—— disaster. Tonight’s TV is guaranteed to be mediocre.

  11. C. Clavin says:

    Kind of a tired saw…
    With his tax proposal Obama is really kicking off the ’16 campaign.
    With his tax proposal Obama is going to force Republicans to defend the 1% over the middle-class.
    Worth watching? Who knows. But remember…Doug wrote off Occupy as nothing but Drum Circles…yet the inequality discussion is ongoing…and will likely define the 2016 race. Consider the source.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @LaMont:

    The people I see who deride the importance of the SOTU are generally speaking people who do not really understand politics. Politics is far more about emotion and poetry and the characters of the individuals involved than it is about policy papers. Character forms policy, not the other way around. Emotion drives votes as much as rational self-interest.

    Had you done nothing but read policy papers in the years before WW2 you’d have been convinced that FDR meant to keep us out of the war. Had you paid the slightest attention to FDR as a character you’d have known he was going in by hook or by crook. Understanding character is essential to understanding any story, including the story of politics.

    To this day Republicans have not gotten it through their dense little brain bones that Mr. Obama is playing a long game that almost entirely discounts the ups and downs. He’s playing the game for control of the 2050 version of standard high school history books. That’s his metric. That’s his core character. He doesn’t need approval, he’s a loner, chilly, independent, controlling and very confident. He thinks he’s the smartest player in the game and his motto could be, “Whatever. . . they’ll figure out eventually that I’m right.” That’s why he seldom explains, seldom justifies, does not have a circle of surrogates, does not schmooze. His vacation spot is an island as far from middle America as you can get. Obama is not a people person. He’s not Kirk, he’s Spock, which is often frustrating.

    Here’s a preview of that future textbook: After a period of foreign policy adventurism and economic radicalism that led to economic collapse, Obama reined in the foreign overreach, saved the economy and moved healthcare decisively from a sort of patchwork quilt of non-responsibility, firmly into the federal government’s sphere. Sidebars will include his role in fully integrating the armed forces, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and of course being the first black president. The GOP will be seen as unrepentant racist revanchists, and even a decade from now Republicans will be doing the same awkward apology dance they’re already learning on gay marriage.

    Obama won’t be FDR or Lincoln or Washington, but he’ll most likely fit into that second tier of consequential and capable presidents along with people like Eisenhower and Truman, both viciously derided in their own time but later elevated in status. I doubt he’ll ever be loved or idolized in the way say Reagan has been. He’s just not a character you love.

  13. Tillman says:

    @Will Taylor: I’ve been told that’s a really good show but I can’t seem to get around to it. Is it a buddy-cop scenario? Only reason I’d been interested before is because I like Timothy Olyphant.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Indeed. Tonight Mr. Obama lays the table for 2016. But that conversation began with Occupy and went to Thomas Piketty and now to Obama’s tax and education proposals. The Tea Party movement was much better organized but in the end will be far less consequential than Occupy.

    The GOP will of course block Obama’s proposals, as they must, and in doing so will kill Mitt Romney’s sad notion of doing something about poverty, place the Wall Street monkey squarely on the GOP’s back and thereby help Hillary define herself as more populist than she is.

    Millions of people tonight will watch Republicans sit on their hands or even boo when Obama proposes helping out the working man at the expense of the rich. That’s why the event is interesting to anyone who wants to understand politics. You need to see what the people are seeing in order to understand what the people will do.

  15. John425 says:

    I can save you guys the time wasted on watching the SOTU.
    It begins with Obama saying: “I have a dream…” and ends with, “I want to spend more of your tax dollars.”

  16. Will Taylor says:

    @Tillman:

    It’s my favorite show these days. If you like Elmore Leonard especially a film like Get Shorty, you will really enjoy the series. I don’t know if you watched Deadwood, but they have a number of Deadwood actors appear through out the series. Olyphant is pretty similar to his Deadwood character Bullock, but just a more modern version. The real star is Walter Goggins who played Shane on the Shield. He and Olyphant are the main good and bad guy, pretty much foils for each other. Overall, it was great for the first 4 seasons but slipped a little last season with the miscast Michael Rapport. I’m still optimistic and excited about this season which will be the last. Watch the pilot, Fire in the Hole which is awesome!

  17. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds: Wow, I’m impressed with your flowery articulation…. maybe you should take up writing…. wait a minute…

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Tillman:
    Will’s synopsis is spot-on. Great show. Have not missed an episode from the beginning.

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @rodney dill:
    Probably 90% of the time when I comment here I’m actively writing something else. At the moment I’m rewriting a 600 page manuscript which I hate doing. So I grind through 20 pages where I have to be nitpickily precise, then I write something more “first draft.” My version of getting up to stretch.*

    *The actual stretching occurs when I run downstairs to refill my coffee.

  20. C. Clavin says:

    @John425:
    You do realize, of course, that the deficit is dropping rapidly from where Republicans left it? Which renders your comment as nonsensical?

  21. Pinky says:

    @Tillman: Yeah, it’s kind of a mismatched buddy-cop show. There are these two unlikely partners, a young black guy from Hawaii and an older white guy from Delaware, and…oh, I’m sorry, you were asking about Justified.

  22. Will Taylor says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Wow, we agree on something. Maybe there’s hope in DC….

  23. Anjin-San says:

    @Pinky:

    Of course there’s something worse than mediocre TV – a comedian who’s not funny.

  24. Tyrell says:

    @LaMont: Basically the speech is used as an attention diverter, classic magicians trick. It has been like that for a long time. A warm fuzzy, feel good speech that gives a few generic proposals. It is leading the people down the primrose path. A lesson in hypnotic effects.

  25. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: NASCAR and wrecks: I used to go to NASCAR races a lot, back when a high school and college student could pay $5 to get in. I saw plenty of wrecks. My mother said the same thing – the only reason we went to those races was to see a bunch of wrecks. A friend said that he could sit beside the interstate highway and see a better race, for free. My race viewing these days is from the living room, a lot cheaper. My favorite part is watching the pit stops.

  26. anjin-san says:

    @John425:

    “I want to spend more of your tax dollars.”

    Why waste money on infrastructure and health care when you can simply funnel it into corporate welfare?

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    But…last week you wanted speeches instead of debates.

  28. John425 says:

    @anjin-san: Or leave it at home with the taxpayer (owner). You got something against that?

  29. John425 says:

    @C. Clavin: Cliffie! Did someone let you off your gerbil exercise wheel again? I’ll donate $25 to your favorite charity if Obama does not ask for more tax money to spend.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: somewhat equivalent to watching the answer to the SOTU speech….

    Do we know who is going to give it? That’s always good for a tussle among the opposing team.

  31. Deserttrek says:

    @C. Clavin: while the debt has increased .. .. still spending more than comes in .. that’s stupid regardless

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John425: What if he asks for the rich to give more so that the middle class can give less? Will that count?

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Deserttrek: Yeah… and the GOP is going to fix that. If you are interested, I have some beach front property for sale in Florida.

  34. Tyrell says:

    @grumpy realist: I think it is going to be that Joni Ernst lady from Congress.

  35. anjin-san says:

    @John425:

    You do realize that by the standards of advanced countries, the US is a low tax nation – don’t you?

  36. anjin-san says:

    @John425:

    I’m curious, do you actually see taking capital gains taxes back to where they were under Reagan as being horribly unfair?

  37. Just Me says:

    I love following politics but I pretty much loath political speeches and TV News talking heads talking about political speeches. I haven’t tuned into a SOTU speech in years (probably 10 at least). Anything important I can read about tomorrow.

    Tonight I’m watching hockey (often what I’ve done during every SOTU over the years). Given how poorly my favorite team is doing this season the SOTU might end up being the better option.

  38. Tyrell says:

    @Just Me: This speech always brings up melancholic memories of the Johnson era. Johnson gave speeches that were much better than most presidents. And back then the state of the union speech did not drone on and on like what we have seen for the last several years. There was more substance and more at stake: the Soviet Union was on the move. The speech was not some entertainment, public relations show. Johnson’s cabinet was one of the best, probably the best since Lincoln’s.
    We had statesmen back then.

  39. C. Clavin says:

    @John425:
    Are you able to type a comment without a childish insult.
    Grow up a bit and get back to us.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    Is the Ernst comment going to be broadcast in Spanish? Because that would make Ernst a major hypocrit…even by Republican standards for major hypocrisy.

  41. Guarneri says:

    I think we all know what it’s going to be like: like a guy doing an end zone dance just after he gave up a pick six.

    It will work with his sycophants here.

  42. An Interested Party says:

    I think we all know what it’s going to be like: like a guy doing an end zone dance just after he gave up a pick six.

    Well hell, that’s nothing compared to landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier while causing a foreign policy disaster…

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    Poor, Drew. It must be so hard to have been so publicly, consistently wrong about the one thing you’re actually supposed to understand. Unemployment where it was when Reagan left office. Deficits falling. Uninsured rate falling. Medical inflation rate falling. Car manufacturing strong and healthy.

    Poor baby. It’s your one thing, Drew. You’re one thing. And you suck at it.

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    By the way, in the most genteel and poetic way possible, Mr. Obama just bent your party over and had his way with them.

  45. Guarneri says:

    Back to your liquor, Michael. I’m sorry your guy got drubbed.

    Second period update: Blackhawks 5. Arizona. 1.

  46. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Funny, I was planning to watch the SOTU address for its uplifting message. I guess we get what we expect, eh Doug?

    I can see why this was not a speech for conservatives to watch.

    D A M N !!! What an ass-kicking!

    Like Daily Kos said:

    6:55 PM PT: He’s pretty good at trolling these guys. He’s making a case to the entire nation, a nation that’s on his side of pretty much every issue. Watching Republicans refuse to acknowledge that, refuse to even give him the respect of applauding him, well, that helps his case.

    Face it: The GOP has found itself resolutely on the wrong side of most everything in America today. so stubbornly stuck that digging out from their positions is beyond them.

    2016. Fun times!

  47. Tillman says:

    Strong finish.

  48. Gustopher says:

    Wow, Jodi Ernst was weirdly wooden, and that smile… Is there some kind of prosthesis in her mouth holding her cheeks out like that?

    And the actual response… Keystone, tax cuts, hard work and bread bags on your feet.

    I assume the bread bags are to protect you from the spilled oil from the Keystone pipeline.

  49. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    How amazingly sad that all the GOP had — all it had — was a f-cking pipeline.

    The party of Lincoln, ladies and gentlemen. They really want a pipe.

  50. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    How about you, Drew? Do you want a pipeline? Do you want a pipeline so bad?

  51. Tillman says:

    I wonder how much this SOTU was a product of, and plays into, internecine conflicts in the Democratic Party. Like, Obama isn’t a stranger to the news, so he hears the political horse-race coverage like we do, all the talk of Clinton’s inevitability and the resulting kind of Democratic Party agenda you’d get with the Clintons back in official power. I’m not saying Obama’s a progressive, but he’s certainly further to the left than the Clintons and it doesn’t seem like Hillary being a Secretary of State for a term built many bridges between those two camps.

  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:
    He did Hillary a huge favor by putting childcare on the agenda. He served up softballs for Hillary to knock out of the park, if she has the sense to do it.

  53. Just Me says:

    Well my team came through-Bruins beat the Stars 3-1.

    Will see what Obama and Ernst had to say tomorrow. My prediction is a bunch of empty words mostly meant to tickle the ears.

  54. Just 'nutha says:

    @C. Clavin: Yeah, but it doesn’t need to be true to resonate with the audience that he belongs to. They KNOW all they need to about that “furriner” who stole the Presidency.

  55. Just 'nutha says:

    @Tyrell: You don’t get out much, do you?

  56. Just 'nutha says:

    @John425: Nobody needs to ask for money to spend, any one in charge can do what Dick Cheney did, say that deficts don’t matter, and fire up the AmEx card.

    And thank you for demonstrating my point about the audience you belong to.

  57. Just 'nutha says:

    @anjin-san: You need to tell that to James. Two days ago he was decrying the fact that no one in DC wants to cut taxes or make the government smaller.

    (By the way, am I the only person who thinks that James–a DOD civilian employee–believing that the government is too big is ironic?)

  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Is it just me, or does Joni Ernst look just like the Church Lady from SNL?

  59. John425 says:

    @C. Clavin: I need to talk baby-talk to you because your level of comprehension is that low. Back on the wheel, gerbil.

  60. John425 says:

    @anjin-san: You do realize that the 1% pay more than 40+ percent of the income tax, don’t you?

  61. David M says:

    @John425:

    You do realize that the 1% pay more than 40+ percent of the income tax, don’t you?

    You do realize that your statement contains no useful information, don’t you?

  62. anjin-san says:

    @John425:

    You do realize that the 1% pay more than 40+ percent of the income tax, don’t you?

    I do. Do you have a point?

  63. Paul Hooson says:

    With the economy starting on the right path with cheap gas acting like a $115 billion tax cut shot in the arm for the economy, this is no time to be raising taxes on business and the wealthy. – And the Republican response was equally clueless. I support the Keystone Pipeline, but what wasn’t mentioned in this Republican response was that Senate Republicans voted down a bill to build the pipeline with American steel, so the project is likely to be built with Chinese import steel. And another proposal was voted down by the Republican controlled Senate which will now allow the oil to be exported to China and not stay in the U.S. – Republicans are claiming the pipeline must be built for American jobs, yet are voting for proposals to use Chinese import steel to build the project and then export the pipeline oil to China. Where’s the gain to American workers or American consumers for more domestic oil independence here? – At the end of the Republican response was a fresh call to outlaw abortion. In El Salvador, the legislature outlawed abortion by one vote, and a woman who had a miscarriage may now go to prison for 30 years. Isn’t this what the antiabortion folks want here as well?

  64. C. Clavin says:

    @John425:
    You do realize that’s a meaningless statement, right?

  65. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    A pipeline that requires the Government to force US Citizens to give their land to a Foreign Corporation.
    That’s all they have.
    C’est tout.

  66. Rick DeMent says:

    “Look you all know it’s a hypocrisy, and I know it’s a hypocrisy, but by golly it’s a useful hypocrisy.” – In The Loop.

  67. Rick DeMent says:

    I’ll tell you what though, if the SOTU address is eminently skipable, that kind of renders the opposition response an exercise that should be actively attacked as a crime against intelligence.

  68. anjin-san says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    Where’s the gain to American workers or American consumers for more domestic oil independence here?

    Good question. The answer is there never was one. Which raises the next question – why is the GOP so hot for this?

  69. Rick DeMent says:

    Damn I just finished reading the transcript of Joni Ernst’s GOP response. Obama’s SOTU address was positively an encyclopedia of soundly reasoned, well annotated, and thoughtful proposals compared that that steaming pile of fact free rubbish.

  70. wr says:

    @Paul Hooson: “With the economy starting on the right path with cheap gas acting like a $115 billion tax cut shot in the arm for the economy, this is no time to be raising taxes on business and the wealthy.”

    What an astonishing coincidence! Just a couple of years ago, the economy was in terrible trouble, so that was no time to be raising taxes on business and the wealthy! It’s almost as if no matter what is happening in the economy, the only thing that matters is that the wealthy pay less in taxes.

  71. dmhlt says:

    Worth it just for Pres. Obama’s totally adlibbed and quick-witted response to petulant Republicans’ applause of, “I have no more campaigns to run” with

    “I know, because I won both of them.”

    (And it was definitely adlibbed, because the White House released his prepared remarks before the SOTU:)

    https://medium.com/@WhiteHouse/president-obamas-state-of-the-union-address-remarks-as-prepared-for-delivery-55f9825449b2

  72. Rafer Janders says:

    @Just ‘nutha:

    (By the way, am I the only person who thinks that James–a DOD civilian employee–believing that the government is too big is ironic?)

    I would have used the word “hypocritical”, but sure.

  73. jukeboxgrad says:

    bread bags on your feet

    This strikes me as a complete lie. Has anyone seen any actual evidence that actual people actually did this?

  74. TJ says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I did this as a kid. No money for snow boots. Didn’t have to do it often, though, cause it didn’t often snow.

  75. TJ says:

    Hm. Stuck in spam.

  76. Blue Galangal says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I grew up in upstate NY and we occasionally would put breadbags on our feet before we put our snow boots on to help keep our socks dry if we were shoveling the walk. But not to walk to school or anything. And not all the time; it was more of a “Huh, wonder if this works?”

  77. John425 says:

    @anjin-san: So then. When is enough, enough? Obama doesn’t have a tax problem, he has a spending problem. Send him to Spendthrift Anonymous.

  78. jukeboxgrad says:

    Obama doesn’t have a tax problem, he has a spending problem.

    FY14 spending was 20.3% of GDP. Average for the 20 years of Reagan-Bush-Bush: 20.8%. Reagan’s average: 21.6%. The 40-year average is 20.5%. GOP hypocrisy is adorable.

  79. michael reynolds says:

    @John425:

    Ooooh, did that spanking hurt?

    When are you going to learn to fact-check the crapola you hear on talk radio and Fox News? You just keep walking into a plate glass window. First time, okay, I can see where maybe you were surprised. But just time after time, never learning? Smash! Smash! Smash! Smash! It’s the soundtrack of your intellectual life. Smash! Honest to God, a cocker spaniel would have learned by now.

  80. John425 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: @michael reynolds:

    Sorry, not a schooling. jukebox is recycling his blather from a Dec. thread. It does not account for the huge rise in the GDP. Now, under Obama, our GDP has fallen and taxes as a percentage, have skyrocketed.

    Michael is now on the gerbil exercise wheel with Clavin.

  81. jukeboxgrad says:

    Now, under Obama, our GDP has fallen

    Real GDP, 2008: $14.58T.
    Real GDP, 2014: $16.16T.

    and taxes as a percentage, have skyrocketed.

    FY14 revenue as a % of GDP: 17.5%. Reagan’s average: 18%, which also happens to be the 40-year average.

    Consider a visit to planet Earth.

  82. michael reynolds says:

    @John425:

    Riiiiight. The drop from 14 to 16 trillion. Because that’s math in your universe.

    Like I said: cocker spaniel.

  83. John425 says:
  84. jukeboxgrad says:

    Look at expenses vs revenue

    Your graph assigns FY09 to Obama, which is wrong. If you need to see proof, just ask.

    Your graph also assigns FY01 to Bush instead of Clinton. This is also wrong, and it falsely improves Bush’s numbers.

    The same problem applies to every president on the graph. Your graph was created by someone who doesn’t understand the concept of the federal fiscal year.

    Your graph also fails to include actual data for FY12, FY13 and FY14. It has actual data for only the first two of Obama’s five fiscal years. This means it’s quite outdated and incomplete.

    Other than that, you aced the course.

  85. dmhlt says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Yep, I did – and lots did back when I was a kid (DOB – 1948)

    BUT it only was to make sliding our rubber boots on over our rubber-soled shoes easier.

    We didn’t wear them on the outside – only to help slide the boots on.