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Super Bowl vs. State of the Union

Two topics dominate the news this week: the Super Bowl and the president’s annual State of the Union Address.

The Super Bowl is expected to draw some 111 million viewers; the State of the Union Address was viewed by some 33 million. The Super Bowl has no real impact on our lives while the state of our union is of utmost importance to every citizen. So why the disparity?

It’s simple: The Super Bowl means something to the teams involved and to their respective fans. There will be an end result: a winner and a loser. The State of the Union Address and the response from the Republican Party, which controls the House of Representatives, is mere rhetoric, empty words. To borrow from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, they are full of “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

We’ve heard them all before from presidents, both Democrat and Republican, and from the opposition party. There are little twists and a laundry list of goodies that, for the most part, will go unfulfilled. These amount to set dressing. In Super Bowl terms, the cheerleaders and banners.

They are nice, but in the whole scheme of things, they don’t amount to much. What matters to this union is that our ship of state is about to sink in an undercurrent of debt. Our economy will never fully recover until we stop printing money and start living within our means. What also matters is that our military remains second to none. Why? There are those who are hellbent on destroying us.

The Constitution only requires that the president “shall from time to time give to Congress information on the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” When our first president, George Washington, addressed Congress he limited himself to a thousand well-chosen words. Obama used over 7,000.

There was talk about “reducing the deficit,” which is the most overused phrase in Washington. This has been a part of every State of the Union speech since we’ve had a national debt. The “deficit” is simply the amount of our overspending each and every year, our inability to live within our means.

What does it matter if we reduce the amount of our over spending a teensy-weensy little bit? It’s simply tinkering around the edges. We are still going deeper and deeper into debt!

What would happen if we actually had a president who would tell us the truth, which would take maybe five minutes? It would require drastic action!

This is not going to happen. Why? Because most of the politicians we send to Washington are only concerned about protecting the status quo and their own political hide.

So what about the Republican response? More empty words. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington who delivered it this year may have meant every word, but she knows there is nothing her party will do about this impending disaster for two important reasons: John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, the speaker of the House and the Senate minority leader. Even if Republicans were to regain control of the Senate, things are unlikely to change.

These men are whiners not leaders. McConnell may lead his party down the garden path to more spending and debt, but he doesn’t have the courage to do what is necessary to stop the red ink. As for Boehner, he sent up the white flag of surrender shortly after accepting the speaker’s gavel when he moaned, “We control only one-half of one-third of the government (boohoo, boohoo!).”

Earth to Boehner: When it comes to spending, it’s the most important one-half of one-third of the government. Nothing can be spent unless the House says it can be spent, so stop spending!

The proper response to the president’s latest scheme to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors is to cut the budget for every federal agency! Don’t hold your breath!

Boehner and McConnell are much more concerned about holding on to their power than they are about the future of the country. They are cowards – too afraid of defeat to fight the battle that must be won if our nation is to survive. They also are lazy – too lazy to make the case for this battle to the citizenry.

Yes, the Constitution requires that the president, from time to time, give Congress a report on the state of the union. It does not give him the right to bore us to death with empty rhetoric. That is why three times more people will watch the Super Bowl, than watched this pathetic exercise in political pandering.

Media wishing to interview Jane Chastain, please contact [email protected].