Tuesday, January 24, 2012


President Obama
United States President Barack Obama fulfilled one of his commitments as President and delivered the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, January 24, 2012
Below is our coverage of the event, with editorial commentary afterwards between the bold, italicized headers.
(Official White House photo courtesy of Google Images)

In a year when the incumbent is running for reelection, each President starts off by listing the current and past achievements of their administration, and President Obama was no exception.
Then he went on to discuss his hopes and goals not only for the remainder of 2012, but beyond.

President Obama wants to continue (re)building the economy and the infrastructure of America, citing that Congress could take the money no longer being used for war and put half of it towards the national debt and the rest towards improving roads, etc.

To continue working upon the economy, the President went on to propose:
*No tax breaks for companies who outsource jobs.
*Overseas divisions of American based companies should be taxed fairly.
*Financial help for companies that are working in and for America.
*Start improving fair trade practices to "level the playing field".

President Obama then went on to discuss the possibility of establishing a national jobs training program, which led into his discussion of improving education.
*"Stop teaching to the tests!"
*Establishing an initiative for students to stay in high school until they graduate, or at least turn 18.
*Reorganize the student loan and fiance programs so attending college did not immediately result in assuming a mountain of debt upon receiving a diploma.

This led into a brief discussion as to college students who are technically not American citizens at risk of deportation and a desire to address that situation to prevent losing a valuable commodity in this country: our future.

The President then went on to discuss the job market, citing that there had been some improvement, but not as much as he wanted or there should be. "There should be equal pay for equal work", and vowed to support small businesses and start up companies, while saying that big companies should shoulder their responsibilities. "No bailouts, hand outs, or cop outs," and a desire to improve the tax codes and delete obsolete and outdated legislation from the books, like "farmers had to once prove they could contain a milk spill."

Barack Obama expressed the desire to see more clean energy development not only in regards to alternate fuels, but existing resources as well. "We do not need to choose between the environment and the economy."

He used the US Military at both the beginning and end of his speech as an example of how a diverse group of people could unite and accomplish many things, while also promising that the various branches of service would stay strong despite any possible budget cutbacks.

Then after the President concluded his State of the Union address, Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana, gave the Republican rebuttal.

President Obama has plenty of hopes, dreams, and good ideas, but is the first to admit that things are not getting done the way they should be. Several times he called for bipartisan cooperation between Republicans and Democrats. Although neither side is totally innocent in regards to obstructions and rhetoric, the party that hopes to put a new person in the Oval Office come 2013 has the worser track record.

He made several statements to the affect of  "Send me the bill and I'll sign it!" although also made his position clear that he would not support any legislation that attempted to reset things back to the way they were before he became President.

The divisions between the "haves and have nots", more recently labeled as the "1% versus the 99%" were addressed, with President Obama expressing the desire to not only move the country forward, but to make things more equal for everyone. "A secretary should not have to pay more taxes than the CEO she works for."

As you can imagine, there were a lot of moments during the State of the Union address where the Democratic members of Congress in attendance applauded more than their Republican counterparts.

The only thing I will give the Governor of Indiana credit for was managing to deliver that speech with a straight face.
Mitch Daniels, and by default the Republican Party itself, conceded that a lot of the problems facing America were already in existence before Barack Obama won the election in 2008 and was sworn in as President in 2009, but never went on record to admit who was actually responsible.

He recalled a time when America was "able to send a pension check to retired millionaires" and the (Republican) desire to support (big) businesses in order to make this country great again.


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