Editorial Analysis by The Free Choice E-zine's Editor-In-Chief Lee Houston, Junior
Last night on a nationwide broadcast, United States President Barack Obama gave the annual State of the Union address, outlining America's current status, along with his hopes and plans for at least the coming year, if not more long term goals as well.
As with the previous State of the Union addresses President Obama has delivered, no one can deny his skills as a public speaker.
Yet when push comes to shove, actions speak louder than words.
What Congress does, either independently between its two chambers (Representatives and Senators) or as one august body, is fully dependent upon COMPLETE bi-partisan cooperation between the Democrats and the Republicans.
While the two parties made a good show of it last night by sitting together as one Congress instead of divided amongst the parties, especially in light of recent events in Arizona, the REAL work begins in earnest today.
While the Democrats are not totally blameless of the goals incomplete in the last two years, the Republican Party has more than their fair share of responsibility too.
I do have to give them credit for actually keeping a campaign promise. Yet House Republicans uniting to pass a repeal of the Health Care Reform Act was just a waste of time and tax payer dollars.
The rebuttal to the State of the Union address, delivered by Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, does not show much promise for cooperation in the coming months, given all the party rhetoric as to what is allegedly wrong with this country and the reasons why. It just seemed to me like a chance to stir fears and doubts in the American public once again.
I truly and most sincerely hope I am wrong about my suspicion that the coming months will be nothing but more party rivalries.
For when that happens, it's this country and its citizens that suffer, and both have endured enough.
Amongst the topics discussed by President Obama last night were:
*Bi-partisanship sorely needed to steer this country towards the future.
*He will be presenting the annual budget within the next few weeks, including a freeze on spending over the next five years as long as it does not hurt existing programs. "Americans find ways to live within their means, and there is no reason why their government shouldn't." Federal employees are already in the midst of a two year pay freeze, and the military has promised to start looking into budget cuts within the various branches.
*End tax breaks to oil companies to hopefully develop alternate fuel sources and means of transportation, like electric cars.
*Improve the education system by stopping the current practice of "teaching to pass tests" and end 'No Child Left Behind', which created the current practice of teaching to past tests.
*Address the issue of illegal aliens.
*Improve the intra-structure of this country.
*American troops in Iran and Afghanistan will start coming home this July.
*Close the tax breaks and loopholes, especially for the rich, and restructure the tax code so it's easier/fairer to every tax payer.
*Reduce the deficit.
*"Wire this country", by improving the existing technology and access to it, allowing everyone on the information superhighway, aka the Internet.
Although there was not a whole lot of detail in regards to exactly how all of the above will be accomplished, especially making sure both the Democrats AND the Republicans cooperate with each other, that is not a new thing. Many a past State of the Union address has discussed ideas and goals, but not actual plan details that specific night.
Yet one thing notably absent Tuesday night, besides Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, was any mention of gun control. While there are a whole lot of nervous elected officials in the wake of recent events, I guess we will just have to wait and see what develops on that front.