Government Bytes


Laudable Goals but Lack of Facts Hamper Obama's State of the Union

by Brandon Greife / /

“A country that leads the world in educating its people. AnAmerica that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing andhigh-paying jobs. A future where we're in control of our own energy, and oursecurity and prosperity aren't so tied to unstable parts of the world. Aneconomy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility isrewarded.”


That’s the vision that President Obama laid out in his Stateof the Union speech. What he didn’t was any path to achieve those goals.


When it comes to education, the Department of Education’sspending is at an all-time high. Since fiscal year 2000 it has grown from $29.4billion to $64.1 billion in 2010. But our enormous investment has seenlittle return. Academic achievement levels have stayed flat. What we need isnot more spending, not more programs, but smarter spending and careful reforms.


Similarly, in manufacturing and energy the answer is notmore government spending, but instead, finding clearing the way for privatesector investment.


We’ve already seen that Washington makes a terribleinvestor. Projects like Solyndra, Fisker Automotive, and countless other greeninitiatives were taxpayer-funded gambles that came up snake eyes. Rather thanthrow good money after bad chasing some campaign promise, Washington shouldlower corporate tax rates (which will soon become the highest in the world),pass legislation to remove the red-tape preventing entrepreneurs from accessingthe capital necessary to get their ideas off the ground, and clear out theunderbrush of regulations that is stifling private sector growth.