What the State of the Union should have said

By Gautham Rao

It was a happy morning after for Peggy Noonan. With a radiant glow, the Reaganite “journalist” gleefully declared that the State of the Union to which she contributed was “fact-filled, dense, and not airy.” Indeed it was “dense,” and I think it is safe to say that the speech was about as “not airy” as Noonan’s own drivel. Neither by her standards nor anybody else’s, however, was the speech “fact-filled.” So I thought I’d fashion a few paragraphs—in the President’s style, of course—to fill in some of the blanks.

One of the things the President could have talked about is fiscal reality: “My fellow Americans, as I speak, the federal debt is increasing by $1.58 billion. All the great men and women watching at home and abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq own a $23,920 share of the debt. Three years ago we promised to unite this great country and everyday we’re coming closer and closer together.”

He could also have said a word or two about the numbers of his job-creation program: “In the last three years, adversity has also revealed the fundamental strengths of the American economy. Under my administration, we have set a record high for bankruptcies in a single year. We have lost more than two million jobs. As of last September, nine million people were out of jobs. So tonight I propose a series of measures called the Jobs for the 21st Century. This will teach children that Americans can be hardworking even if they aren’t at work. I also propose a temporary worker program that will bring hardworking men and women out from the shadows of American life so that our economy can exploit their cheap labor without any legal obstacles. That way employers can find needed workers in an honest and orderly system.”

The President did spend some time on taxes, but again, many of the key figures somehow did not come to light. Here is what we should have heard. “The tax cuts are working for me and my friends. Although more than 80 percent of Americans won’t get relief from the capital gains and dividend tax cuts, my cabinet will save an average of $42,000 this year alone. Vice President Cheney will save more than $100,000 on his taxes.”

And of course, there is Iraq. Here is what was not mentioned: “Some in this chamber, and in our country, did not support the liberation of Iraq. We’re seeking all the facts. Already the Kay report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related activities concealed from the U.N. Unfortunately, we will be announcing shortly that David Kay has offered me his resignation because he knows we made up the whole weapons of mass destruction-related activities business. Many of our troops are listening tonight and I want you to know in your heart that my administration will treat you even worse than before. We will supply polygraphs to make sure rape victims aren’t making things up, and make sure that female soldiers who report rapes are disciplined. We will continue to chip away at your health care and slash the V.A. budget so that the 28,000 sick, wounded, or injured troops that have already left Iraq cannot receive proper medical care after they are discharged.”

We all know how this one ends, right? “May God continue to bless America.”