President Obama is about to give his annual State of the Union address. Is it really necessary? Most of us who live outside the D.C. Beltway already know the state of the union: it’s a mess.
Unemployment, if the government actually reported the real numbers, is at historic highs. Add in under-employment and the numbers become astronomical. We are in the most difficult economic times since the Great Depression. This is the reality for the majority of Americans.
Yet inside the Beltway in D.C., employment and incomes are up. Seven of the ten richest counties in the United States surround the Beltway. Lamborghini USA has put its headquarters in D.C. The construction cranes are everywhere. The restaurants are full, despite outrageously high prices. This is the reality inside the Beltway.
Inflation, if the government actually reported the real numbers, is skyrocketing. Of course, they have removed food and fuel from the calculations for inflation in order to mask reality. But we outside the Beltway are living it. Fuel prices are at all-time highs, as are basic commodity food prices. We are paying more, and getting less than ever before.
Inside the Beltway, fuel and food prices don’t really matter. Four dollars per gallon of gas: no problem. Expensive food: no problem. Skyrocketing real estate prices are the norm. Inside the Beltway, they’re getting rich while the rest of the country suffers. That’s because they pay their bills with the money extracted from the rest of us.
The state of the union, unfortunately, is now completely different than the state of the D.C. elites of both parties. While the elites in D.C. prosper and play political theatre, the people of the country live in a reality that is the result of the long-term madness they have created.
Much like the world painted by the recent literary and movie phenomenon, The Hunger Games, the Capitol City is doing fine. Out here in the provinces, things are not going so well.
Perhaps President Obama will address the real state of the union by describing the widening gulf between the Beltway elites and the rest of the nation. Perhaps he could begin his new term, and the new year, by talking about honoring the promises he made to us in 2008 to fight the influence of lobbyists and cronyism in Washington D.C.
Perhaps. But, I won’t be holding my breath waiting.