THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 2/14/2023
Will normal or crazy prevail in America?
Also worth asking, “Will good or evil win?” even as our two sides have polar opposite versions of what constitutes “normal/good” or “crazy/evil.” This column has called out the “crazy” and “evil” without hesitation or doubt for 18 years.
Recent defining events: The State of the Union (SOTU) address by President-In-Name-Only, Joe Biden; and the kickoff, not of the fifty-something Superbowl, but the long-promised, and longer-needed, House hearings on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government.” Democrats immediately chose heads-in-sand and hysterical, unhinged, fact-avoiding rants from the likes of Rep. A.O. Cortez (D-Lunacy).
Witness the now-exposed collaboration—of FBI, DOJ and national security agencies—with social media, for unconstitutional and diabolical government purposes: Censorship and economic retribution against citizens, suppressing disfavored opinions, and interfering in elections on behalf of a political party. More on that to come.
Biden’s SOTU speech follows a long, even laudatory, tradition that began as a nonpartisan way to boost awareness and morale of Americans over economic, military, or loftier topics. Presidents sought to unify citizens’ minds and hearts, even for politically crass goals of pressuring Congress to accede to the president’s proposals.
This tradition has become more partisan with programs appealing to the president’s side, while opponents are challenged to support them or risk castigation. The charade was established. If the president’s party controlled Congress, his ideas stood a chance of enactment; if the opposing party controlled Congress, they’re dead on arrival.
At any rate, the SOTU spectacle usually reflected the fate of 3-day-old fish, ignored until time to dispose of a mess that outlived its usefulness. More recently, presidents have begun using that speech to poke at opponents, adding ideological barbs to proposals, or chiding their critics. One such nadir was when Barack Obama literally, intentionally misstated a Supreme Court opinion he disagreed with, to the seated Justices, one of whom simply mouthed “Not true.”
Presidents’ opponents have routinely showed their disapproval through attire, murmured objections, and sitting on their hands after supporter-rousing-but-objectionable statements; facial expressions of displeasure emanated from those seated behind him. Speaker Pelosi, driven by anathema at President Trump, disrespectfully and illegally tore up her copy of the speech in a clearly planned spectacle.
Post-speech analyses followed the pattern: Biden supporters defended his “passion” and forcefulness; opponents “doubled down” on criticisms, defending Republicans’ boisterous reactions. You could say that “both sides” shattered the norms outlined above as Joe Biden shamelessly lied through his teeth about every issue and topic; Republicans responded in the only intellectually honest way available by booing and shouting “Liar!” at the liar-in-chief.
Normal presidents don’t yell and scream at, and lie about, their opponents in the State of the Union; crazy ones, like Joe Biden, do.
The biggest whopper from Biden—which prompted Rep. M.T. Greene’s standing, shouted “Liar!”—was that Republicans want to end Social Security and Medicare. Knowing his veracity “as a Biden” was marginal, he allowed that it wasn’t a majority, only some individuals.
No Congressional Republican has called for ending those two programs for seniors. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) proposed—without one fellow party member joining him—that Congress consider “sunsetting” ALL federal programs every 5 years and reauthorizing those they can still support and fund. No bills or amendments followed.
There’ve been serious proposals (not in Congress) to allow younger workers to opt for their Social Security contributions, plus whatever they can afford, to be put in dedicated retirement accounts—that they own—growing as interest accrues. It’s a fabrication that anyone has any money in their own S.S. account—current workers pay current retirees with only a fictitious “lockbox” or federal IOUs from which to withdraw funds. 16 past workers supported each retiree; that has dwindled to about 3 current workers. For the “sustainability”-obsessed crowd, that’s not sustainable.
Medicare has always been a taxed transfer of money from workers to retirees for health care. Its financial solvency was predicted indefinitely, but it’s drawing more money than put into it by workers, and has been for decades. Tax-free Medical Savings Accounts, for worker and employer Medicare contributions plus additional worker funds, would allow true independence and ownership of savings.
Democrats have adamantly, perpetually opposed such “privatization” simply because they worship government redistribution, and dependence on “other people’s money,” a.k.a socialism. More on that to come.
The hypocritical “cherry on top,” for his disingenuous attacks on Republicans, is (darn the internet) recordings of Senator Joe Biden bombastically calling for what Sen. Rick Scott proposed:
“While still a senator for Delaware, [Biden] introduced legislation to sunset all federal programs, including Social Security and Medicare.... Biden doubled down on his legislation in the '90s, saying on the Senate floor that his bill would affect Social Security.... ‘When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security, as well,’ Biden said. ‘I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the federal government.... And I tried it once…twice…a third time, and a fourth time.’” (Yahoo news)
Of Biden’s economic pronouncements, I’ve refuted them all. See also: “15 Whoppers Joe Biden told during the State of the Union address” (Thefederalist.com)
Correction: Full-time workers declined by 10,000, from 132.587 million to 132.577 million from March 2022 to January.