Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Brief Remark about the State of the Union Address

This is a small point, but one thing I noticed about the State of the Union address  which has not seemed to have received much, if any comment, is President Obama's statement: “Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger." Usually, presidents say that the state of the union is strong.
I am sure that President Obama and his speechwriters and advisors chose this phrasing deliberately. There is a difference between saying that the state of the union is strong and saying that it is stronger than it was.

The most pessimistic assessment of the state of the union by a president that I can recall is in President Ford's 1975 State of the Union address. He said then:

“Today, that freshman Member from Michigan stands where Mr. Truman stood, and I must say to you that the state of the Union is not good: Millions of Americans are out of work. Recession and inflation are eroding the money of millions more. Prices are too high, and sales are too slow. This year's Federal deficit will be about $30 billion; next year's probably $45 billion. The national debt will rise to over $500 billion. Our plant capacity and productivity are not increasing fast enough. We depend on others for essential energy. Some people question their Government's ability to make hard decisions and stick with them; they expect Washington politics as usual.”

He was being honest.

No comments:

Post a Comment