CEI Today: SOTU reaction & analysis


State of the Union Live Blog 2013


On Tuesday evening, Competitive Enterprise Institute staff live-blogged President Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union address. Experts on immigration, communications, banking and finance, energy and the environment, labor, consumer issues and more reacted in real time to the president’s remarks.



John Berlau: John F Kennedy cut personal and corporate tax rates to fuel the 60s boom. Mr. President, you're no Jack Kennedy!

John Berlau: Obama is right to praise Congress for passing "part of" his American Jobs Act, because Congress passed the right part. The modest but significant deregulatory provisions for startup and emerging growth companies. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that Obama signed in April exempts newly listed companies from some onerous Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank provisions for five years. We've seen a slight uptick in initial public offerings as a result. May we build on this bipartisan deregulation.

May Obama also prod the SEC to stop delaying provisions of that bill that would lift barriers to crowdfunding, allowing sites like Kickstarter to allow equity shares in projects as well as trinkets.

CEI: On refinancing, once again Mr. President, it's not the sequester that scares wise investors. It's the schemes from you and other politicians (including Republicans) that treat investors as "the forgotten man." Losses to investors, including 401(k)s from similar refinancing proposals have been estimated to be $13 billion to $15 billion. This could eat away any stimulus from the extra money borrowers have due to lower interest payments, the stimulus that Obama and supporters of his plan are banking on.

And the borrowers who benefit most may not necessarily be poor struggling homeowners on the brink of foreclosure. http://www.openmarket.org/2011/10/24/obama-fannie-regressive-refinance-ripoff-for-taxpayers-and-middle-class-investors/y

Berlau: What scares off investors are not sequesters, but government takeovers of auto companies that shaft bondholders to favor the UAW.. http://spectator.org/archives/2010/11/18/whats-good-for-gm-is-now-terri

>> View the live blog on Openmarket.org.


RJ Smith, specialist in land management: Hope he doesn't buy into push by Greens and Progressives to lock up millions of acres of public lands rich in petroleum, natural gas, uranium and strategic minerals as wildlands. And they are urging him to do this by Executive Orders under the 1906 Antiquities Act, designating all these lands as National Monuments.

This not only destroys jobs, economic growth and national energy security, but it does so by bypassing the U.S. Congress and representative government.



CEI: Stuff president took credit for that he didn't do:

--Oil and gas production
--Illegal immigration decreased ... because economy collapsed.
--Reduced energy use.

Brian McNicoll: If president is serious about across-the-board energy, why won't he approve the Keystone pipeline? More than 1,200 pipelines traverse more or less the same route.

William Yeatman reacts to Obama on climate change:

Obama: “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. “We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years”:

Yeatman: Obama emitted this same canard last SOTU see: http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/01/25/sotu-obama%E2%80%99s-sleight-of-hand-on-oil-production-data/

Obama: “We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas,”:

Yeatman: At a price—CAFÉ kills, see: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/220306/milestone-mistake/sam-kazman

Obama: “and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it”:

Yeatman: In 2008, candidate Obama promised 5,000,000 green jobs. $90 billion stimulus later, he’s talking about “tens of thousands of jobs”?

Obama: “We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.”

Yeatman: He’s 25% truthful. We produce more gas than ever before, but in spite of, not because of, Obama administration. Energy bills are NOT lower, thanks to President’s war on coal. See: http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/09/23/yes-america-there-is-a-war-on-coal/

Obama: "And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen. But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change."

Yeatman: Not so—-warmer but richer (i.e., no economy crushing climate policies) is better for humans than poorer but cooler. Global warming policies are worse than global warming! For the sake of our children, we must do nothing on climate change. See: http://townhall.com/columnists/williamyeatman/2009/07/16/a_real_choice_on_climate_change_do_nothing/page/full/

Uggh: We are NOT in a Great Green Race with China. So silly. See: http://www.globalwarming.org/search/?cx=010335643000068458611%3Akyawbn2iti8&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=UTF-8&q=green+race+china&sa=Search&siteurl=www.globalwarming.org%2F&ref=&ss=1992j310720j16




David Bier: Based on the number of words, the president is twice as committed to gun control as immigration reform. Might be good prediction of his efforts for the next term.

Ivan Osorio: No mention of guest worker programs re: immigration.


David Bier: President Obama talks a lot about reducing regulations on immigration and attracting highly-skilled immigrants, but he’s done a lot to obstruct that over his first few years:

David Bier, immigration analyst: The president should focus less on trying to dump billions of federal dollars into high tech jobs and more on trying to allow immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators create them for free.

See also:

Immigration Reform’s Economic Benefits


Ivan Osorio: Is the minimum wage the first of many bad ideas Dems will justify by citing Romney's support for it?

Ivan Osorio: "Ask any CEO where they'd rather locate and hire." Answer: Right to work states.

Ivan Osorio: Is the minimum wage the first of many bad ideas Dems will justify by citing Romney's support for it?

Ryan Young: As predicted, he is not acknowledging that while a higher minimum wage would give raises to some workers, there is a tradeoff. Other workers will be fired, or will not be hired at all. It's perfectly fine to argue that the increase is worth that tradeoff. But one must acknowledge that the tradeoff exists. If it didn't, I'd propose a $1,000/hour minimum wage.

David Bier: Real reform for legal immigration means making it easier particularly for short-term workers, and the only way that will happen is if Obama stands up to unions. But is he really willing to do that? Not so far. Unions want regulated immigration, not free market immigration.



Matt Melchiorre: A US-EU trade deal, if done correctly, could raise transatlantic trade by $200bn. I hope you can get it done, Mr. President. But as I’ve explained, there are a few snags: http://www.openmarket.org/2012/12/28/europe-2013-a-primer/

Iain Murray:
The President's pushing of trade agreements is in many ways welcome, as protectionism now would be a disaster for America. However, it is telling that he calls neither of the transoceanic agreements a Free Trade agreement. That's because they won't be. They will be so weighed down with agreed restrictions and regulations designed to protect special interests and national champions that the vast and undoubted benefits of genuine free trade will not accrue to all Americans and other trading partners. That is a hugely wasted opportunity.

Matt Melchiorre: But what the Germans don’t have are rigid teachers' unions that prevent good teachers from being rewarded and bad teachers from getting fired. The Germans also don’t rely on organized labor in education to support their government, as Mr. Obama does. This line must have been a joke. Mr. Obama will never bite the hand that feeds.


Matt Melchiorre, Warren Brookes Fellow: Balanced approach? Your budget shows tax revenue increasing even faster than spending, following in Europe’s failed path: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338630/not-all-austerity-equal-matthew-melchiorre You don’t favor any austerity for the government, only the private sector. That is not balance.



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