Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The State of the Union is Simply and Utterly Depressing

I am not watching President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight.

According to Barack Obama all is well but it could be a whole lot better if 1) Congress would just leave all the decisions to him, 2) have the rich give all their money to him so he can redistribute it and 3) people just need to get with the program and just love Obamacare even if they lost the plan they liked and the doctor they loved.

I thought I would invest the time saved in not watching that fairy tale and present a more realistic (and factual) view of the State of the Union in January, 2014.

  • The labor participation rate is the lowest it has been in 35 years at 62.8%.  

  • There are currently 92 million Americans of working age who are not working.  To put this in perspective, there are just 145 million Americans working in the civilian labor force.

  • Despite the fact that the population of working age Americans has increased by 15 million since 2007, 2 million fewer people are working today than 6 years ago.

  • The unemployment rate for those age 16-24 (of those not in school) is over 16%. 

  • The unemployment rate for black teenagers 16-19 (who are not in school) is 36%.

  • The unemployment rate for black Americans (11.9%) is more than double the white unemployment rate (5.9%) and it is almost triple the Asian rate (4.1%). 

  • Over 3 million students dropped out of high school last year. 

  • An average of only 59% of students in the 50 largest U.S. cities graduate from high school.  

  • There are more than 47 million people on food stamps.  There were 27 million on food stamps in 2008.

  • The hospital and doctor bills of almost 50% of all babies born in the United States last year were paid for by Medicaid.

  • 41% of all babies born in the United States are born out of wedlock.  73% of black children are born out of wedlock.

  • Obamacare was enacted based on the statement that there were 47 million people living in the United States with no health insurance coverage.  The best estimate today is that less than 1/3 of the 2 million (as of 12/31/13) who have enrolled for health coverage on the public exchanges were previously uninsured.  In the meantime, almost 5 million people lost previous private coverage they had in the individual market.  

  • The current U.S federal debt is $17.3 trillion.  This equals over $54,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.  It is about $120,000 for every working man and woman in the country.

  • Federal debt as a percent of GDP has grown from around 60% of GDP when President Obama took office to 100% of GDP today.

  • A great deal of the debt that has been taken on has been through actions of the Federal Reserve where it has essentially "printed the money".  The Federal Reserve now over $2 trillion of federal debt.  To put this in perspective, all U.S. Savings Bonds only amount to less than $200 billion. Private pension plans hold less than $500 billion.  All mutual funds hold less than $1 trillion.

  • The United States is more unpopular in the Muslim world today than under President Bush according to numerous polls.  For example, 54% of Pakistanis disapproved of U.S. leadership in 2008.  Today that number is 92%.

  • Only 14% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.

  • 53% of Americans say that the Obama administration is not competent running the government.

How can I not end my State of the Union blog without a laugh?

This is one of my favorites from Gary Larson's The Far Side.

Any resemblance to events occurring last night is purely coincidental.

Credit: Gary Larson, The Far Side

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