Last week the president of the United States addressed “we the people” through the State of the Union address. These annual speeches are telling, often as much for what they do not cover, as for what they do. This year Hoosiers took special interest in viewing, since our own Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels delivered the Republican response. While the president made some good points, he could not resist bashing bankers. His perpetual, unfair characterization of bankers frustrates me. It is past time for him to acknowledge and extol the good deeds that bankers do.
Gov. Daniels’ response was excellent. He began by listing points in the speech he agreed with, and that he felt Republicans would help the president to accomplish. Then Daniels focused on the economy, which the president had covered only lightly. In the spirit of conciliation, Daniels encouraged both Democrats and Republicans to seek out areas of mutual agreement.
As for criticism, Gov. Daniels had plenty to mete out regarding the president’s performance during the past three years. Many of us in the business community likely would concur with the governor. The Obama administration continues to default to the idea of a larger federal government as the answer to our economic malaise and high unemployment rate.
Stacking regulation atop regulation will only serve to deprive entrepreneurs of incentive. Instead we need to encourage and motivate entrepreneurs, who can create the jobs we so desperately need to begin the long climb up the mountain of prosperity. Certainly President Obama did not create the economic problems we now share, but he was elected on the premise of change. The goal of that change was to get the economy going again. He has clearly failed.
Even Obama must recognize his failure, as evidenced by the lack of meaningful economic coverage in last week’s State of the Union address.