[Editor’s note: This is Simon’s take on what POTUS should have said at last night’s State of the Union address.]
My fellow Americans. It has become somewhat of a tradition for Presidents to stand in front of you during this annual address and claim that “the state of our union is strong”.
And there have been times in our nation’s history when that statement was true.
But tonight it is not true. Tonight the state of our union is atrocious, and it’s getting worse. In fact, we, all of us politicians, seem to be putting our foot on the gas pedal with each passing day.
Domestically, American society has not been this polarized since at least the 1960s, and quite possibly the 1860s. Americans are at each other’s throats. And from the halls of Congress to the toxic waste dumps of social media, we have all lost the ability to engage in civil debate.
For a society that claims to care so much about diversity, we remain highly intolerant of ideological diversity, and we greet it with threats, condemnation, and censorship.
This intolerance has led to extreme polarization… and a deep crisis of trust among major institutions.
No one trusts the government anymore, and rightfully so. The propaganda we put out is so outrageous it borders on the absurd… like when I claimed that my multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better legislation would cost “zero dollars”.
Or when I actually had the gumption to look the American people in the eye and claim that our humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan was an “extraordinary success”.
I don’t understand how anyone takes us seriously anymore.
And yet our allies in the media always stand ready to repeat our ridiculous lies, silencing anyone who opposes us, or calling them things like “science deniers”.
Bear in mind, this is the same media that whipped the nation into an emotional frenzy in 2020 and made everyone terrified to go outside. It’s the same media that conspired to make me President. And it’s the same media that, two years into my administration, is still obsessed with my predecessor.
It’s no surprise that nobody trusts them either.
On top of this social discord and lack of trust, we can see a number of other major problems unfolding, like soaring crime rates. An entire generation of children has fallen behind in terms of educational development.
Gun violence, suicide, and drug addiction all continue to rise at alarming rates– which is a major indication of a severe mental health pandemic.
Could any of this have been related to our lockdown policies and COVID response? We’ll never know, because no one will ever be allowed to investigate or discuss the question.
Economically our nation also receives very poor marks.
The national debt keeps growing at an appalling pace, and the idea of having a balanced budget and living within our means is now viewed as “irresponsible”.
Your federal government is completely addicted to spending. We simply cannot stop.
And even though I was the one who said last year that the pandemic was finally over, we still managed to rack up a $1.4 trillion deficit… one of the largest in US history.
As the national debt keeps growing, and interest rates keep rising, your government will soon spend more than $1 trillion each year just to pay interest. Reversing this trend should be one of our top priorities, yet your elected officials continue to bury our collective heads in the sand and ignore one of the greatest problems of our time.
And lest I forget, Social Security’s trust funds will be fully depleted within the next decade. Naturally we ignore this challenge as well, even though it will disrupt the lives of more than 50 million Americans.
But that doesn’t matter to us, because as politicians, we have our own separate retirement system that has zero long-term funding issues. Plus our benefits are way better than what you peasants receive from Social Security, including the fact that we politicians can start enjoying a generous, taxpayer-funded retirement in our 50s.
Not that anyone in politics actually wants to retire. Just look at all the money you can make!
We love to pretend that no one is making unethical stock or real estate purchases. But has anyone even bothered to ask how a ‘Big Guy’ like me, who has been in politics since 1970, can afford multiple multi-million dollar homes? Especially when, as recently as 2007, my net worth was negative?
But I digress. Let’s get back to the economy–
In addition to our horrendous public finances, it’s worth noting that the US trade deficit continues to grow, reaching a record high last year.
We also managed to break the supply chain and engineer the worst bout of inflation in 40 years. All of the experts in government and at the Federal Reserve failed to anticipate inflation. We failed to recognize it. We failed to understand it.
I myself blamed inflation on ‘corporate greed’ rather than profligate spending and destructive monetary policy. We continually failed to acknowledge that our actions had any consequences… that prioritizing a virus over everything else– financial stability, the national debt, the supply chain– would have any consequences.
Even when it became painfully obvious that inflation was a major problem, and I insisted it was our #1 priority, I fired ZERO people who were responsible for it. All of the key officials who got us into this mess still have their jobs. In fact I personally re-appointed the Fed Chairman for a second term.
One key driver of inflation has been rising energy prices. But rather than do the sensible thing and encourage America’s enterprising businesses to produce more energy, I constantly attack, demean, discourage, and threaten the energy sector.
In short, I do literally the opposite of what I should be doing… which is pretty much par for the course with me.
Believe it or not, many of my key appointees are even worse. My choice to head the Federal Trade Commission– an agency charged with regulating big business– is a known activist who famously hates big business.
Unsurprisingly my administration continually puts out anti-competitive, anti-capitalist policies which hamstring the economy even more.
Many of these policies are enacted by my team taking unpopular, undemocratic, unconstitutional executive action… like when my CDC tried to put the entire $10+ trillion US housing market under its jurisdiction because of the pandemic.
(As an aside, the CDC has made a complete joke of itself… as has the Food & Drug Administration, which might as well rename itself the Fauci & Pfizer Administration.)
Our illegal executive actions are routinely smacked down by the Supreme Court. Yet we never learn our lesson and continue to cause economic chaos through fanatical, unconstitutional executive action.
The end result is that our economy is going nowhere. Growth is down. Consumer spending is down. Business sentiment is pitiful. Investment is nonexistent.
I continue to insist that everything in the economy is still great because the unemployment rate is so low. But if you read the fine print in our monthly labor report, you’ll see that most of the ‘job growth’ we love to talk about is for waiters and bartenders.
Our only answer to these economic challenges is more regulations, more laws, and more taxes.
We already passed a stock buyback tax, which I am now asking to be QUADRUPLED. We want wealth taxes, financial transaction taxes, national sales taxes, plus much higher rates on capital gains, income, business, and estate taxes.
We keep telling you the lie that these taxes will only be for the wealthy. Shockingly, many of you are dumb enough to believe us. If nothing else, tens of millions of Americans will be lifted into these higher tax brackets simply because we have been incompetent at dealing with inflation.
Lastly is the assessment of our foreign affairs. And once again, we are incredibly weak.
We have done practically nothing about repeated incursions by the Chinese. Our military grows weaker by the year, and we’ve been working hard to make the situation even worse.
Our military leadership now prioritizes social issues like diversity and inclusion over mission readiness. Rather than ensure that our military men and women are ready for war, we instead train them how to shower with transgender soldiers.
America no longer has the advantage in weapons technology. Military recruiting is at historic lows. And countless young people aren’t even eligible for service anymore due to America’s obesity problem. (But at least everyone is vaccinated, so I guess that means they’re healthy!)
The whole world watched, aghast, at the shameful way we retreated from Afghanistan, and handed our mortal enemy more than $100 billion of military equipment– weapons, attack helicopters, armored vehicles– courtesy of the American taxpayer.
America no longer has the same reputation abroad that it once did. We can’t even prevent Iran– which is dealing with revolution, hyperinflation, and more– from engaging in a nuclear weapons program. It’s pitiful.
So in summary, my fellow Americans, the state of our union is not strong. It’s actually a complete shit show.
But it is fixable.
We will have to make severe cuts to our government spending. And I’m talking cuts that are unimaginable to most politicians and citizens, like slashing entire departments of government.
Americans will have to become more self-reliant and disabuse themselves of the notion that the government should be solving their problems. You are much more capable of sorting out your own life than I am.
We are going to have to default on certain promises we’ve made to you. Social Security will need to be adjusted immediately, and the retirement age raised significantly.
Military spending will need to be cut. Though if we’re honest, the Defense Department wastes an enormous amount of money, so there’s plenty of fat to trim.
The whole government will need to be restructured into something MUCH leaner. Many career bureaucrats will need to be fired and replaced with responsible, ethical individuals who know how to efficiently manage complex organizations.
But this is going to require bold, courageous leadership. And don’t look at me for any of that.
During my election campaign in 2020, the media continued to insist that I had a reputation as a tough, respected leader.
But in reality I am a total embarrassment. I shake hands with thin air, wander around stage aimlessly, and say the most face-palming, cringe-worthy things. No one respects me. Even my inner circle has no confidence in me. My opinion polls are terrible and the majority of my own party wants me gone.
Any decent, honorable person in my position would have resigned by now.
But I screwed up so badly in picking a running mate that, if I resign, my Vice President will most likely lead our country down an even worse path. She’s so terrible that everyone is praying for my health for the next 24 months.
That’s what I get for choosing my team based on irrelevant ‘identity’ characteristics, instead of judging people based content of their character and the depth of their talent.
At a minimum I should have announced by now that I will not seek re-election. But sadly I am an arrogant status whore who craves the spotlight. I’m so full of myself, in fact, that despite my horrendous track record spanning six decades, I continue to believe that I and I alone am capable of leading this nation.
So don’t hold your breath for any real change to the state of our union. See you on the campaign trail!