That was a long deal Wednesday night, was it not? But I have to say the president delivered the speech very well. He seemed relaxed and in charge.
Now because I am a simple man, I'm going to break the State of the Union down in a very basic way. And I'll do it in three minutes, not 70.
The big theme of the night was job creation. The president believes the government should spend a ton of money providing jobs for the folks who don't have them.
OK, I get that, but with the deficit so huge, my simple question is: Why not try private incentives first? Mr. Obama is proposing tax breaks for American businesses to create jobs. That's good. Tax cuts will stimulate spending, so we need more of those. And let's bend over backwards to help small companies hire people.
Private business is the backbone of our economy and always has been, so "Talking Points" opposes massive federal spending on the job front unless tax breaks don't work. Keep the federal money in reserve, Mr. President, because America's debt is as big a problem as unemployment.
No. 2, health care. Here's what the president said on that:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OK, I am up for the challenge. Rather than spending still more government money creating an enormous bureaucracy, why don't we allow all health insurance companies to compete in all 50 states and allow judges to punish people who sue doctors and other medical personnel for stupid reasons? That's what they do in Great Britain. If you file a nuisance lawsuit, a judge can order you to pay all the costs. That is known as tort reform.
I agree with President Obama. The government should regulate health insurance companies. They can't be throwing people off the rolls when they get sick. They can't be fighting legitimate reimbursement.
Right now, some insurance companies try to wear you down when you file a claim. That's infuriating and unfair. I'm with President Obama on that.
But again, we don't need trillions of federal dollars to solve the health care problem. We already have Medicaid that gives poor people money to pay their medical bills.
So increased insurance competition, stopping crazy lawsuits and mandating strict rules for insurance companies to follow might be a partial solution to the health care debacle. That's not going to solve everything, but it's a heck of a lot more efficient than what Mr. Obama wants, which is a fiscal nightmare.
Finally, the president did not speak about the War on Terror very much, but he must – must — stop the nonsense about giving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Al Qaeda thugs civilian trials.
On Wednesday, New York Mayor Bloomberg said he wants the Khalid trial out of New York City because it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But the president doesn't seem to get it:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I know that all of us love this country. All of us are committed to its defense. So let's put aside the school yard taunts about who's tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
No taunts here, Mr. President. Just common sense. Let the military handle these Al Qaeda killers. Attorney General Holder is not equipped to do it. I'm not taunting. I'm just reporting.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Jessica Simpson is getting involved in the Haitian situation. The singer/starlet is organizing a drive to collect shoes for the devastated Haitian people, and that's no trivial matter. Walking around barefoot over there can lead to a variety of diseases, and shoes are in very short supply, so Ms. Simpson is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, take a look at this. Our pal Larry King Twittered a picture so the whole world can see it. Apparently this is from a comedic skit on the "Letterman" program that was meant to promote a Jim Carrey movie a couple of years ago. Why Mr. King put this out now is confusing. But whether he's a pinhead or not is entirely up to you.