In his annual State of the Union address Tuesday President Obama will lay out what he calls “practical” proposals to advance the country in 2014, including ones to address “income inequality” and the nation’s immigration system.
However, President Obama will also make concerning statements, announcing his intentions to use his executive powers to achieve his liberal goals without Congress or legislation.
Obama made waves before his first cabinet meeting of 2014 when he said, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” going on to say that he would not be waiting on Congress to use them. Though he drew harsh criticism from both the left and right, it would appear the White House is now planning to announce their intention in front of Congress.
“The Republican Congress is not going to rubber-stamp the president’s agenda,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “And the president is not going to sign the Republican Congress’ agenda,” added Pfeiffer.
Obama is also expected in his State of the Union address to press Congress to extend long-term unemployment benefits and to assure Americans that they are better off with ObamaCare, despite a rocky start to the ObamaCare website rollout and disapproval of the law being at an all-time high.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told ABC’s “This Week” that 2014 will be an “action year” and that the president’s signature health care law is a success — “expanding access to quality and affordable health insurance to millions of Americans and reducing the growth in health care costs.”
But it isn’t a success, at all, both publicly or policy-wise, which is why the White House and Hollywood are partnering together to use television and cinema to try to change public opinion, a move many are calling straight-up propaganda.
And they will have their work cut out for them, as a recent ABC poll shows that 59 percent of them disapprove of how ObamaCare has been implemented, and a new Fox News poll last week also showed a record high 59 percent of voters surveyed oppose the law itself (view more ObamaCare approval polling).
Republicans fired back at the law itself, and the president’s assumption that he has the authority to work around Congress simply because he doesn’t seem to possess the negotiation skills seen in other presidents, both Democratic and Republican.
“If all [Obama] has to offer is more of the same, or if he refuses to acknowledge that his own policies have failed to work, the president is simply doing what many failed leaders have done before him: trying to set one group of Americans against another group of Americans,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), said Saturday.
Blunt added that the 2014 Republican agenda and messaging campaign will include efforts to replace ObamaCare, calling it “a law that’s fundamentally flawed.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union” the White House’s vow to use executive power “sounds vaguely like a threat,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). “And I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance,” he added.
The annual State of the Union address is expected to garner an estimated 30 million TV viewers, roughly the same as last year. It is possible that the viewership will be lower, a reaction to a president suffering not only from falling approval number, but seemingly one who has lost the trust and confidence of the American people.
What is certain, is that President Obama does not have a lot of time left jn his presidency to reach his liberal goals, because members of Congress will soon focus on their campaigns outside of Washington, and Republicans are gearing up to expand the map in their efforts to retake control of the Senate and keep their majority in the House.
Obama is also expected to once again push for an increase in the federal minimum wage, part of his stale plan to exploit the country’s income inequality gap, which he called “the defining issue of our time.” However, income inequality will be replaced with “ladders of opportunity,” because the White House is well-aware that the American public has become wise to the issue.
A recent poll found that the vast majority of Americans view income inequality as a natural condition of the economy, and believe the government would do more harm than good in an attempt to address it.
The White House is backing a Democratic congressional proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years and index it to inflation, in the years that follow, a proposal that does have the support of the majority. Over the weekend, Bill Gates, the Microsoft tycoon, told MSNBC that raising the minimum wage would destroy jobs.
It is also likely that Obama will address his reforms to the government’s surveillance efforts, which earlier this month he proposed new measures to overhaul following increased pressure by his own base. Criticism was widely received from the right and left, which some on the right have provided an unlikely alliance for the president.
He is also expected to try again to get free pre kindergarten for all 4-year-olds and call attention to bipartisan legislation that would reduce criminal penalties for some drug offenders.