Which President is the Most Responsible for the Current State of the Union

Tonight Joe Biden will present his State of the Union speech in which he will highlight his culpability in the current state of affairs of the United States of America. The U.S. is now 247 years old and has endured 47 presidents. The Constitution requires that every president submit a yearly "State of the Union" message.

From the paragon of truthiness:

The State of the Union Address (sometimes abbreviated to SOTU) is an annual message delivered by the president of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress near the beginning of each calendar year on the current condition of the nation. The State of the Union Address generally includes reports on the nation's budget, economy, news, agenda, progress, achievements and the president's priorities and legislative proposals.

The address fulfills the requirement in Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution for the president to periodically "give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."During most of the country's first century, the president primarily submitted only a written report to Congress. After 1913, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. president, began the regular practice of delivering the address to Congress in person as a way to rally support for the president's agenda. With the advent of radio and television, the address is now broadcast live in all United States time zones on many networks.


I doubt that few here would argue whether the U.S. is or is not an empire, at least since Manifest Destiny, the raison d'être which has, over time, enveloped the entire globe in the eyes of the imperialists. Although 247 years is a relatively short time frame for an empire to rise and fall, the pace has seemingly hastened in the last few decades. It isn't clear yet that the U.S. Empire will fall, but the trajectory certainly seems to be in that direction. All empires fall eventually.

My question to you, dear c99 constituents, is which president is the most responsible for the current downward trend of the State of the Union. It's a long list with many examples, kind of mind boggling actually, but, which president do you consider the most culpable, and why.

15 users have voted.


I know that it will be tempting to include all of the presidents as culpable in the current state of affairs and that is more than likely true. But please try to be specific in your analysis.

I have my thoughts on who that may be but I'm more interested in what you think.

7 users have voted.
Granma's picture

I think that is when some very negative changes began.

14 users have voted.

@Granma He put the icing on the cake that the owner class fought so hard for.

An article from 2016 covers it pretty well:

6 Ways You Didn't Realize Ronald Reagan Ruined The Country

Given the nature of this article, it would border on bad taste for me to mention that this past Sunday marked the 12th anniversary of the death of Conservative Republican Godhead Ronald Reagan, but alas, I just did. That said, he'd merit a mention even if I didn't still have a bunch of decorations to take down, solely on the strength of all the comparisons the Donald Trump candidacy has drawn to that of Reagan's.

I sincerely hope the comparisons end at the candidate stage for a whole bunch of reasons, but one especially: If you ask me, Ronald Reagan was the worst goddamn president this country has elected to date.

A lot of different names have been assigned to the fiscal policy that Ronald Reagan unleashed on the world. During the 1980 Republican Primaries, George H.W. Bush called it "Voodoo Economics." As awesome as that sounds, it wasn't a compliment. The most textbook-sounding name for it is "Supply-Side Economics." But the most commonly used label is "Reaganomics." Whatever you call it, the basic thinking is that wealthy people are job creators, and the best way to boost a sluggish economy is to cut taxes on those job creators so they can, you know, create more jobs. In other words, the good fortune of the nation's richest citizens would eventually trickle down to the less well-off parts of society.

Did it work? That depends on whom you ask. If you were rich at the time, it absolutely worked. Stock markets were booming, corporations were raking in windfall profits, people were doing lots of coke ... it was a great time to be alive and extremely wealthy.

Unfortunately, all that wealth never trickled down the way it was supposed to. Wages for lower- and middle-class Americans didn't rise much at all, and they haven't since. Income inequality became significantly worse during the Reaganomics years, at least partly leading to the "one percent" situation we find ourselves in now. What it amounted to was a massive transfer of wealth from one segment of society to another. I think there's a name for that kind of thing, but it's escaping me at the moment.


We can only thank the dems for making sure none of that has been lost in the following years. And still hard at it.

14 users have voted.

created the CIA, which gets us into war the world over, gets Americans slaughtered for "reasons". Clinton guaranteed the flip from a manufacturing economy to a financial economy. Bush the 2nd created the NSA to spy on us. Obama gave our health care to WHO.
They are all horrid.

12 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

TheOtherMaven's picture

@on the cusp

Jokes about "No Such Agency" etc. predate him by significant margins. But he did apparently let it off the leash.

4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

ggersh's picture

on my top 5 list. Wilson for enabling the "Federal Reserve" came in at
numero 3, Dubya at numero 4 for the war and the Patriot Act, torture.

But at the top of the list is Clinton, who did more to end the country
as we once knew it. Ending welfare as it once was, ratifying NAFTA,
Crime Bill, GATT ratified, Telecommunication Act, FDA Reform, NATO
expansion, Financial Modernization Act, all things
any good Republican right of Raygun would be proud of.

I so wanted to put empty suit in the top 5 for his betrayal
of everyone not an elite which is 99% of the country but
fuck him.

And as otc states, they are all horrid!

17 users have voted.

Why is it amerika's the only country in the world who
has a military that's based on a profit motive.

usefewersyllables's picture

to be involved in changing the oil in the cat while he's mumbling.

Idle hands, you know.

Ronzo certainly started the current climate of presidents outdoing one another to destroy the country. At this point, there's not one hell of a lot left, but I'm sure that they'll find something else to fuck up. Once again, I'm glad that I'm old and childfree.

(On edit: and yes, I did mean "cat"...).

7 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

but in my politically aware lifetime, they all seemed bad. In their own wicked ways.
Actually liked Kennedy and Carter, but the rest were unfit for office IMO. Of course, it is not a
real job to "run the country", more like a figurehead. Their chosen staff do the dirty work.
You can judge a man by the company he keeps.


10 users have voted.


whoever was POTUS when socialism movements were shut down around WWI
did a great disservice to this country. But whoever was in power when the
New Deal got started did some good.

Now the legislators are pushing to replace the New Deal with what they call
"a better deal". Gag. Better for whom exactly?

11 users have voted.

In my jaundiced view, the question is posed backwards.

Who was POTUS when the worst shit happened?

Truman was there when the WWII spooks institutionalized themselves as the CIA. JFK was there when they killed him. Dimwitted Reagan was there when the balls out imperialists and economic hacks for Big Business turned the definition of government around from being of, by and for The People to its current role of Epmerial Rule. Slick and Obama were there as the two political parties merged, and all vestiges of the New Deal were banished from polite society. Shrub was there to absorb the last bit of popular resistance to Empire as war forever became the new normal. Donnie Shrimpfingers and Sleepy Joe have been here while Joke Government and Joke News have been institutionalized and the concept of hope has become a joke.

12 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Cassiodorus's picture

Before W. there were no "no-fly" lists, no endless for-profit war on the world, no USA PATRIOT Act, no No Child Left Behind Act ruining American education, no NSA spying on your phone calls, no 2000 and 2004 rigged elections, no metastasized Guantanamo Bay torture scenes, and so on. And let's not forget the Great Recession which ensued at the end of the Bush/ Cheney presidency (as long as "the economy" remains as always the #1 issue for presidential candidates).

Remembering why Americans loathe Dick Cheney

No matter the liberal metric, the Bush/ Cheney administration was far worse than Trump

Much as Reagan might have personified the neoliberal Presidency, his accomplishments in achieving ruination were significantly smaller than the younger Bush's. And as for Obama, Trump, and Biden, they will all be seen as Presidents who completed the Bush/ Cheney dirty deed.

Back in 2020 it was made a big deal among the liberals to call Trump a "fascist." The one President who came closest to actually being a fascist was W.

12 users have voted.

"you can say what you want about this country and I love this place. I love the freedoms we used to have..." -- George Carlin

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cassiodorus I wish I could "Favorite" that comment harder somehow.

4 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

He said Trump (short attention span x 10) and I said if you count usurpers Shrub, if you only count people actually elected Reagan. I'll stand with that. Trump is grossly overrated. ( there's a limit to how much damage you can do electing a used car salesman) How much of Obama was intentional we really don't know. Clinton really was a lot worse than people - even I - think, but really, all the evil he did was started by Reagan. Biden is trying hard; it all depends on whether America steps back from WW3 or not. (if depleted uranium doesn't provoke enough Chernobyl lets the Ukranians make a dirty bomb whenever they want it)

5 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973

@doh1304 A CNN headline says Chinese spy balloons during Trump's tenure went undetected. (How did CNN verify this, I ask myself...)
We will be hearing more about his awfulness, since some poll showed he would get more votes than Biden if the election were held now.
I also wish to add James Monroe with his Monroe Doctrine, creating the mythical and empirical US "sphere of influence". That sphere is everywhere.

7 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp
Trump wasn't told because the Pentagon was afraid he would "overreact". But regardless of his many faults WW3 would not only be bad for business, there would be no one left to brag to. Trump would have "underreacted". CNN could not have allowed that story. Can you imagine the headline? "Trump does the right thing, does not start World War 3". Neither can I.

4 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973

was pivotal, not for anything he did or did not accomplish in his brief tenure in the Oval Office, but in the complete neutering of the office of the President and the tacit understanding, going forward, that the permanent government (aka the deep state) would tell the President what he could and couldn’t do. Obama joked about it openly on late night television, only he wasn't actually joking.

Let me explain, by going back to the presidency of JFK and his assassination, and the strange sequence of events that made Gerald Ford President of the United States.

-JFK was both moving towards a precipitous extraction of US troops from ‘Nam and secretly working to break up the CIA, the domain of Allen Dulles after the disastrous Bay of Pigs fiasco.
-JFK is assassinated and VP LBJ becomes President
-LBJ escalates the war in ‘Nam and subsequently announces he will not run for re-election.
-Nixon is elected President, with Spiro Agnew (who?) in the VP slot.
-Nixon, beset by anti-war hordes and a war that drags on, finds a Watergate scandal and a VP involved in a criminal investigation.
-Spiro resigns and Gerald Ford (who?) becomes VP under Nixon
-Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford becomes President

Keep in mind:
*Allen Dulles (Mr CIA) and Gerald Ford both served on the Warren Comission, investigating the death of JFK. Remember the “Magic Bullet” and Lee Harvey Oswald, who declared he was the ‘patsy’ and was soon after publicly assassinated himself? Having Ford assume the Presidency, the CIA now had ‘their man’ in the Oval Office and could rest easy. Mission accomplished.

9 users have voted.

“ I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime." Albert Einstein

of the same sort on the horizon. Biden looks unelectable to me. Dems wouldn’t want to risk running Biden at the top of the ticket, and losing. Perhaps it would be better to have an early retirement (for health reasons would be totally plausible) and make Kamala President.

First woman President!!! Ye-haw, that should energize the base! Perhaps Michelle could be her VP running mate. Barack would like that a lot, I should think. Back in the saddle again…..

God help us.

6 users have voted.

“ I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime." Albert Einstein


Biden is toast, in more ways than one.
Kamala doesn't have a chance in hell
DNC back benchers do not look too
promising either. Only way the dems are
not thrown out is some kinda junta with
the DHS declaring elections invalid.

8 users have voted.


the CIA puppets are the most harmful objects in the WH
met Ford once in Grand Rapids, pretty much brain injured
during his football career, goofy as hell
always wondered what strings he pulled to get that far

7 users have voted.
Socialprogressive's picture

Reminds me of an old Lays potato chip ad, "Nobody can eat just one".
For economic policy and how it has adversely effected the working class it's a tie between Ronny Raygun and Slick Willy. For foreign policy you can't get any worse than Truman unleashing the CIA and the havoc they have created around the globe.

10 users have voted.

The fact there's a Highway to Hell and only a Stairway to Heaven should tell you something about anticipated traffic.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

You all know that "The Professor", in addition to epitomizing progressivism's worst foibles (i.e. viewing government as not just a force for good, but a virtually-infallible panacea) without the mitigating attributes FDR did more to embrace, campaigned on his keeping America out of WWI, only to shove it in, and in the process of doing, unleashed the lasting damnation of Bernaysian consumerism upon the world, so I shall otherwise approach my case from an odd direction - one of my own family's most important stories:

Before he moved to America, my great-grandfather fought in WWI - under the fading banner of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I remember when I first learned about that when I was only about 4 or 5, and how struck I was by the idea that "the side that lost", and indeed, "the side AGAINST your country" is not necessarily "The Bad Guys" (he was very brave, my father explained to me, he was a short man and fought enemies much larger than himself). It scares me to think about all those American "military families" whose generations of uninterrupted service under The Star-Spangled Banner go back at least as far as WWI, and features no such story as my great-grandfather's to inform their formative years and shape their worldview - but I digress:

A few years before my grandpa died, I called him up on a lark and asked if his father had left us any medals or other rare relics of a fallen empire - but no, my grandpa informed me; he'd left that all behind, and that's when he told me the rest (that even my father'd never heard!):

My great-grandpa was convinced that the United States should never have gotten involved in WWI. It might be worth knowing that he was a quartermaster during the war (since, as a Jew, he was literate and numerate, and armies in 1910's Eastern Europe had a harder time finding that), and he later spent some time as POW behind enemy lines - all things considered, he'd have had an uncommonly-good view of the war's economic trajectory, especially for somebody who was in the trenches and not, you know, Adolphe Menjou's character in Paths of Glory, and that lends credibility to his alternate-history forecast that, had America NOT joined the war - which was kind of like two kids on a teeter-totter suddenly being joined on one end by a sumo-wrestler - it would've ended in a stupid, graceless, glamorless stalemate, with no obvious victor at the treaty-table.

No obvious victor? No Versailles Treaty (not as history knows it, at any rate).
No Versailles Treaty? No Hitler.
No Holocaust.
No Cold War.
No Balfour Declaration.

...everything would've been different - and despite some curious other questions (would that also mean no computers? No space travel? Heck, no zippers!??), probably for the better.

7 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

Doesn't assign blame, it only asks for a report.

Funny to read about the constitution here. There's that idea of allowing ideas you disagree with to be spoken and even written down.

1 user has voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@ban nock

Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 Doesn't assign blame, it only asks for a report.

And there's no requirement for that report to be annual, either. Constitutionally speaking, the President can deliver a SOTU report as often as he sees fit and proper:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; [.....]



4 users have voted.

"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

snoopydawg's picture

@ban nock

There's that idea of allowing ideas you disagree with to be spoken and even written down.

You seem to be allowed to post the information that is fed you by the mainstream media that has a history of lying to their viewers. But that right also gives people the idea that if they don’t agree with you they can explain why even if it’s over and over…. and you have the right to continue to ignore them.

3 users have voted.

I feel like I’m riding in the backseat of a '66 Thunderbird with Thelma at the wheel and Louise riding shotgun