Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom

To describe his plan to revive his economy, President Obama used lofty rhetoric about opportunity during his State of the Union address last night. But Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore says the reality doesn’t match the rhetoric:

Opportunity for All is such an uplifting pro-America theme. But doesn’t this mean school choice? Doesn’t it mean cleaning up the crime and corruption in cities? Doesn’t it mean discouraging fatherless homes? Doesn’t it mean keeping tax rates low and regulations light so people can set out a shingle and start businesses?

Obama has been the anti-opportunity society president.

Heritage experts reviewed every element of the President’s speech on The Foundry. Read their full analysis of the speech.

What did you think of the State of the Union address? Tell us in the comments.

Comments (44)

Stephen H. - January 29, 2014

The SOTU address given last night was, in my opinion, a vain attempt at distorting the truth of a failed Presidency. Obama’s choice to fixate on others’ supposed failures and to use broad, vague statements when addressing his own supposed successes, was clearly just political posturing in an attempt to hide the truth of flailing administration.

Dan R Smith - January 30, 2014

Barack Obama is the Pied Piper of our age. While he makes high-sounding speeches, his ideas have been salvaged from the trash heap of history. His socialist policies have never worked, are not working now, and if fully implemented, lead to certain disaster and unimaginable suffering for our Nation. What he is good at is keeping people stirred up and divided by appealing to the worst in each of us. God preserve us from the likes of this evil man.

Ed Mangan - January 30, 2014

I spent 20 years in the USAF, starting as an Airman basic and finishing as a Captain. If I were in the military today, I would resign my commission. Mr. Obama acts like a KING and he and Queen Hillary are responsible for 4 dead Americans in Libya.

William Lokay - January 30, 2014

Obama’s speech was even worse than I expected. In domestic policy he suppresses creativity, productivity, and individual ambition. In foreign policy he is either totally incompetent or determined to destroy our country. I believe the latter is the case.

Andrew Ellis - January 30, 2014

Under this president the economy is been one that has been run by big corporations and government because the government just pumped more money into the stock market and Calls it a recovery there been so many regulations that have hurt small businesses that even importing illegal aliens would not help them a large amount of blacks and disabled and normal regular people are out of work because of this president and his policies and the rhetoric just goes on sincerely yours and Andrew Ellis

Gary D Welch - January 30, 2014

Why would I waste my time indulging a Serial Liar?

Cathy A Coleman - January 30, 2014

Refused to listen. I ‘d rather take a beating than have to listen to one more speech by this man. He is a phony, a liar and an embarrassment to America. I’d rather watch Duck Dynasty!!!

Shirley Beranek - January 30, 2014

I did not watch nor did I intend to watch the SOU. I refuse to watch or listen to him.

Jim Boatman - January 30, 2014

I don’t know how Joe Biden can put on that big smile sitting right behind The President spewing garbage. You would think he would be holding his nose.
Lots of words, no substance and no outreach for unity.

Sharilee Roper - January 30, 2014

For Obama, it is the same old rhetoric: Government has all the solutions. He is continually on the campaign to sell himself and his failing policies. His signature piece passed legislation, the Affordable Care Act, is a disaster for all Americans, if not directly, the rest will feel its expensive effects and pay a terrible price for lack of care and other inherent problems in the act. His lack of leadership is evident in everything he says and does or fails to do.

gordon - January 30, 2014

Obama is a “dreamer” more than a “doer”
His ideology is not in reality. He dose not have the ability to be in logic with the american people.
Being a “LIAR” will not give the american people confidence in what he says he will do.
The most stunning to me is that this person is still in office, and has manage to escape impeachment!

amaze - January 30, 2014

I didn’t watch.
It would have been a total waste of my time.

Bob Marshall - January 30, 2014

I have a pen and i can get things done through executive orders. Obama bypassed congress at least 16 times last year through executive orders. since we have the weakest congress our government has ever seen this is not at all surprising.

Tom Shaffrey - January 30, 2014

I have made a personal decision to boycott any and all of Obama.s speeches and media events. In fact I suggest an organized nationwide refusal to watch anything of or about Obama.

Who else will make this pledge?

Mark - January 30, 2014

Unfortunately it was the Same Old Sh*t, just a different year! Take from the rich and give to the poor. But the Democrats definition of “rich” is anyone who has more than them. Robin Hood is alive and active.

Charles S. Wertalik - January 30, 2014

Neither I nor my wife watched the SOTU speech, as we cannot stomach Obama – not his face and not his voice. He is an arrogant dictator wannabe, and the speech was the worst of the reruns on TV Tuesday evening. However, I did read some of the comments of the Heritage reviewers, which are much more worthwhile, and I heartily recommend that a video of all these comments be sent to Obama with a “fix” in the program so it cannot be turned off and he is forced to listen to ALL these fine recommendations over and over!

Roger Pazul - January 30, 2014

More snake oil from the head snake oil salesman!

Robert S. - January 30, 2014

The President continues to lie to the country and ignores the problems we have and has no solutions. He states he has reduced the deficit by half while it has grown by $7 Trillion. Raising the minimum wage will lose jobs for teenagers and allow unions to raise wage needs for their members. The “I” word is definitely applicable for a President that doesn’t knoew how to govern, and is not an American Patriot.

John Bianchi - January 30, 2014

I watched a movie rather than the pep rally with really ugly cheerleaders. I have heard his BS for six years or more (including his campaigning) and I’m tired of it.

Mary Santomauro - January 30, 2014

As expected it was a bunch of tripe!

Ronald Svik - January 30, 2014

I didn’t watch because I’m tired of all his lies. Instead I read about it on your web site. This gives me the real truth. I don’t know if I can take much more of him. I hope this mid-term election helps get us on the right track.

Author Katie Nielsen - January 31, 2014

Thanks for your comment, Mr. Svik! We’re proud to be your source for the truth.

–Katie Nielsen

joe - January 30, 2014

I had not intended to watch, but I just cannot help myself.

This was an absurd collection of outright lies, misrepresentations and fabrications unworthy of this nation.

He outright lied about the Iran and Syria deals, the issue of women’s wages and his role in making the U.S. a factor in oil production in the world. He misrepresented his position on “free trade” and the fast track treatment of trade treaties that have been sitting around waiting for the dems approval for his entire term, and fabricated the data on employment, on pre school and the “affordable care” act.

This was a parody of his previous speeches, a repetition of what has become an outright lie about his working with the republicans to consider their proposals. He has neither spoken with the Republican leadership on proposed legislation (or the dem leadership for that matter, other than for coordination of political talking points)

The only bright point was his honoring the sergeant.

The laughingly referred to as a constitutional lawyer shockingly reiterated his unconstitutional position on legislative matters leaving the only mystery of the speech being WHEN anyone will challenge this in any court.

BUT, the people get the government they deserve, and we certainly have gotten it. If we cannot take the time as a people to vet a person that becomes, in effect, the CEO of the largest enterprise ever known to man, of the institution with the most influence over our lives then we get what we deserve. After all, we hold elections in this nation, NOT coronations, and we have freely chosen this incompetent and ignorant man to be our leader. To our shame, and cost.

Carol - January 30, 2014

I chose not to watch the divider-in-chief, King Obummer. He, a non-American, would just say the same old tired things, I figured, without even really meaning them.

And he thinks he is so cute that he’ll surely win everyone’s hearts. That way they won’t notice that his ultimate goal is to destroy our country.

Ray - January 30, 2014

This ellligal alien is so far off base tht he knows not what
he is saying, except to destroy this country.

Rachel Verdon - January 30, 2014

Small businessmen, the key job creators, are really being hurt under this progressive socialism and Obamacare. They have no access to start-up capital.

The citizens of Massachusetts have invented a new currency called “Berkshares,” specifically for barter and loans amongst small businesses in small towns. How can we promote this concept of legal currency within more states to engage our veterans in opening their own business and revitalize America?

Stanford Redisch - January 31, 2014

If we could cut to two cents on the dollar withholding for people making under $10.00, would be a good consession!
We have act on cutting taxes and freezing spending! Make it easy to budget money for federal bureaucrats setting spending guidelines for their agencies!

Stanford Redisch - January 31, 2014

Federal regulations, if they were enforced life would be interesting. But there are exceptions! Title Eighteen Code enforcement might set the ground work for immigration reform! Obamacare follows guidelines set by the OPM for the FEHP! Federal Guidelines are already to be followed, Kaiser Permente Hospitals comply, they treat government workers quite well!

paul goffin - January 31, 2014

History has shown that when the nation is in trouble Presidents rise above the political fray and rally all parties and forces. He missed once more a great opportunity to be the President of the Unites States. With his artful euphemisms and short on concrete and well prepared action he will go down as the president of the left wing part of the democratic party.

Frank Leitnaker - January 31, 2014

President Obama and/or his speech writers are good at espousing lofty goads to which almost everyone would subscribe. Bt he doesn’t say a lot about the specific measures he has in mind to reach those goals which are largely socialistic. Although he has not written a lot of executive orders compared with his predacessors, it’s not the number but the content that is troubling. If one only listens to him and pays no attention to what is going on in this administration, even a conservative might think this is a great administration.

Helen Healy - January 31, 2014

Most people I spoke with did not even listen to the speech. When you heard one you heard them all. We don’t like the way he is ruining the country. He runs around all the time raising money and hanging out with celebrities. He does not run the country. Harry Reid is just a lap dog. That is why nothing changes. All both parties do is critize the tea party people. Are we inferior citizens and not allowed to speak up?

GEORGE A. WARREN - January 31, 2014

The best that I liked about President Obama’s Wednesday Night Speech (1/30/14) was keeping an eye on the person on his rear right.
Earlier that night I heard Massachusetts Governor’s speech, it was Great! George W.

GEORGE A. WARREN - January 31, 2014

The best that I liked about President Obama’s Tuesday Night Speech (1/28/14) was keeping an eye on the person on his rear right.
Earlier that night I heard Massachusetts Governor’s speech, it was Great! George W.

roger - January 31, 2014

More lies from a liar should be the reply from any one who is paying attention.This administration should be voted “no cnfidence” and removed.

Claude Milot - January 31, 2014

Sitting around a lunch table with a group of friends on January 29th, I asked if anyone had watched President Obama’s State of the Union message. Not a single one had. I suppose that says something about the enthusiasm people have for listening to someone whose word can no longer be trusted.
I hadn’t watched it either, but I did read the transcript of the speech, line by line. It was pretty much what I expected: warmed-over ideas that haven’t worked, small-ball proposals with insignificant goals, misleading statistics on inequality and unemployment, and many boasts of accomplishments the president had nothing to do with. The most dishonest among these, in my view, was taking credit for an energy policy that is creating jobs. The brazenness of this lie is stunning, considering Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone pipeline, the denial of permits to drill on public lands, the attempt by the EPA to impede exploration and drilling on private land, and the move to shut down a coal industry that employs many thousands in some of the poorest areas of the country.
The centerpiece of the president’s speech was a threat — no, a promise — to exercise unlawful executive authority to bypass Congress to achieve his progressive agenda. Like the fools they are, the Democrats in the chamber rose to their feet to applaud the consequential loss of their constitutional prerogatives.
Elsewhere, the president’s defense of ObamaCare was laughable, his solutions for creating jobs misguided, and his claim of progress in the Middle East embarrassing. On the other hand, nowhere in this speech did the president accept responsibility for his failed economic policies, for this country’s crushing debt, for the multiple scandals of his administration, or for America’s loss of prestige throughout the world.
But the president did say something I agree with. He said, “There are millions of Americans outside Washington who are tired of stale political arguments.” That was a perfect description of how the majority of Americans view his incessant speechifying, and the principal reason America has tuned him out.
President Obama deserves his miserable poll ratings. It’s a pity we didn’t turn him out when we had the chance.

C. Hoffman - January 31, 2014

Tyranny! All but a handful of the elected representatives & senators are either useful idiots, quislings or collaborators. Wake up Heritage, you can not work with this government. They have abandoned the rule of law, the Constitution and the people.

Warren Skuret - January 31, 2014

I am so outraged and sickened by the shenanigans of this president that I could not bring myself to watch the speech. However, I very much appreciate your review and analysis of it. I know I can trust your work. Many thanks, and never give up your pursuit of the truth.

Janice - January 31, 2014

First let me say, I agree with almost everyone who posted comments. They are so much more articulate than our present president.
From the start with the “down home” cosiness of all the “great” people in the country (this woman, that young person) I was ready to puke. I walked out and did laundry. I peeked in occasionally and heard his threats and bully words. At least he began with “my fellow Americans” He didn’t start with that phrase in his first year, which I noticed.
I honestly cannot stand to hear him talk or to see him on TV and he is the reason my estimation of US of A has slipped. He is such an anarchist how can we admire him much less the government he is leading.
He is doing his job well (anarchist) that he doesn’t have to be in his office, he can just go play golf or basketball. I wonder if they suspend the rules for those games as he suspends the constitution during his “work week”?
Where are the brave senators and representatives to stand against him and his minions? Our state and other states are doing a much better job of governing than the nation.
You people are right “they” keep chaos in the fore-front just to give the news? something to write about to mis-direct (not mine but) most people’s attention.
Stand firm.

Pierce Smith - January 31, 2014

Every year the bs as stated according to this President gets worse. When are he and the Democrats going to wake up that the programs they are advocating are just not working. I would not say he and they are evil, but they are misguided, and without a clue on how to straighten this economy.
One way way would be to do away with the Healthcare Act.

Richard Locke - January 31, 2014

I am happy to say I watched animal planet instead. Rather watch a female Lion take down an innocent Zebra than listen to a socialist lie to the nation. I refuse to listen or look at this person. I pray he can be stopped befor our country goes into further decline. And there are a few leaders on the republican side that need to go find another career as well. Thank God for Heritage Foundation and our members who get out the real truth to this madness.

Michael Barbuck - January 31, 2014

I didn’t listen. The man is incapable of telling the truth, Fast and Furious, Bengazi, The Affordable Care Act, etc.
He is not a dumb man, but treats the American public with disrespect, violates the US Constitution, has no respect for our sovereignty, the un gun grabbing treaty

Judy McCalla - February 1, 2014

Obama’s speech was more of the same talk, no substance or action. I t is quite apparent that Obama does not care about America, Americans, the Constitution, our Christian Heritage, etc. I am praying that his damage is minimal during the rest of his term!! I am praying that we keep the house and take the senate in 2014–and will continue calling our representatives and telling them what my husband & I feel. Our country must be conservative for our children and grandchildren. Thanks for what you do!! Judy

John Bergin - February 1, 2014

Barack Obama, is well aware of what he is doing and to assume he is naively missing the how to improve America is to the detriment of all citizens. Obama is out to destroy America, destroy its moral foundation, destroy its economy, destroy the dollar as a reserve currency, destroy our world position, destroy its military resolve and strength. He has been amazingly successful and republicans, save a few, are like deer in the headlights!.

Carrie S - February 2, 2014

If he were truly concerned about the economy, government debt, and the American Dream, he would have suggested that government step out of the way.
He would have said that he would vote to reduce redundant and expensive laws that make it difficult for people to start a small business or hire more people. He would have said that government is taking too much of taxpayers money to spend on more government programs that trap people or are more monetarily attractive than working. He would have said that our government deficit is dangerous. We are wrong to be adding more and more debt on the backs of our children.
He would have said that the healthcare system is broken and the best thing that should happen is to open a free market for healthcare.Unfortunately, he didn’t say any of those things. Instead he vowed to decree more executive orders. This is the last thing I want from this President!

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