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. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we're in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren't so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.”


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


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


Similarly, in manufacturing and energy the answer is not more government spending, but instead, finding clearing the way for private sector investment.


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