Now that you, like the vast majority of Americans, have ignored President Bush's State of the Union address, let me tell you everything you need to know about how we're really doing.
Last year, we spent a record amount of money on tranquilizers and mood-altering medications -- for our dogs.
When you're a nation prosperous and pampered enough to give Puppy Uppers and Doggy Downers to the family pets, the state of your union is ridiculously good.
But a new poll says that more than two-thirds of Americans think the opposite, that America is a screwed-up mess and getting worse. There are many possible reasons for this, but serious-minded people have to admit that the most likely explanation is that two-thirds of Americans are morons.
Sen. Rodham (née Clinton), announcing her plans to run for the presidency ("I'm in, and I'm in to win"), assured us that she's going to undo the "damage" President Bush has done to the United States. In her honor, here is a brief damage assessment of America, 2007:
• Unemployment: 4.5 percent, lower than the average during the "amazing-incredible-best-economy-in-the-history-of-the-world" Clinton presidency.
• Inflation: Almost nonexistent. And the drop in the consumer price index last month was the biggest one-month decline since 1949.
• Taxes: Lower than they ever were under Bill "Middle-Class Tax Cut" Clinton. "But what about the deficit," Sen. Rodham will certainly ask? It's true, President Bush did not meet his goal of cutting the deficit in half in five years -- he beat it. Three years ahead of schedule, and without raising taxes.
• Wages: Up across the board. Total income and spending for all income groups have steadily increased for nearly 30 years. According to economist Alan Reynolds, more than half of American households earned less than $35,000 in (inflation-adjusted) dollars in 1967. Today, about 60 percent earn more -- and that money buys more stuff than ever before.
• Minimum Wage: The angry Left loves to talk about it, but almost nobody actually works for it. Only 0.6 percent of workers earn minimum wage, and about 80 percent of them are kids, retirees, etc., who live in households above the poverty line.
• Welfare: The number of welfare cases dropped more than 50 percent over the past 10 years, and that number would be larger still if we'd enforce immigration laws. When the feds rounded up the illegals at a poultry plant in south Georgia late last year, the company ended up hiring 200 locals off the county welfare rolls and then raised wages for everyone.
• Crime: Crime inched up a bit in 2006 compared to 2005, but the crime rate hovers at record lows. Parents panic over every news story that hints at Columbine, but Justice Department statistics show school is the safest place most kids ever go. About half as many violent crimes occur at schools today compared to 1992. Illegal drug use by teens is down, too.
• The Oil "Crisis": As evidenced by the $1.95 gas you're buying, the price of oil is dropping fast -- due in part to a decline in oil demand in the U.S. in 2006. That's right -- our demand for oil actually went down last year, and without any expensive "Global Warming" legislation. Meanwhile, energy analysts warn of a possible short-term oil glut, and new research into fuel cells may make the entire oil industry obsolete -- research paid for by evil oilman George W. Bush.
Lots of jobs, lots of cash, low taxes, safe streets, cheap gas -- the state of the Union sounds pretty good, no?
No. Americans overwhelmingly tell pollsters we're miserable. To people around the world, we must sound like Paris Hilton whining about room service improperly chilling her mineral water, but there it is.
We're rich, we're safe, and we're not gonna take it anymore, dammit!
The Chris Matthews of the world blame it on Iraq, and that is certainly part of the story. But I think we have a forest vs. trees problem here.
If an alien beamed down to Planet Earth during the president's speech, what would he find? A nation that suffered a decade of terrorism spawned by the current state of the Middle East, responding not with irrational anger but with the worthy goal of spending lives and treasure to change the region for the better.
Sure, he would also observe repeated boneheaded mistakes by the political leaders overseeing the mission, but even on Planet Vulcan they'd give the state of our union an intergalactic gentleman's C -- not the angry F we're giving ourselves.
The misery we're indulging amidst our prosperity is entirely psychosomatic. Simply put, we've forgotten how bad the state of the union can get. Our lives are so good today that, no matter who we elect, change is likely to make things worse tomorrow.
If you're still unhappy, my only advice is for you to steal your puppy's stash. Because, like they say in the beer commercials, it don't get no better than this.