President Obama started by saying things are great in the country. Unemployment is down, our troops are coming home, and the economy is growing. Later he talked about the problem of no jobs, American families losing pace, and manufacturing moving to more pleasant countries. Obama wants to increase research and development, step up education in math and science to train future workers for the high-tech jobs that will be available to them. Seem to me he’s saying his leadership has been a failure the past five years.
The President advocated raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. He also wants to extend unemployment benefits back to the 99 weeks which also was cut in the budget deal.
Obama then launched into a series of goals toward clean energy, less regulation, and better education to move the economy forward. If Congress doesn’t go along, he will move forward by Executive action. He told the Congress he wants to work with them, but only if Congress gives him everything he wants. This was typical Obama, the guy we have seen the past five years. The man has never learned how to play with others.
Obama’s discussion of energy was interesting. He began by saying global warming was settled science. Maybe I’ve been living in a cocoon, but I think it’s not settled at all. Obama wants the nation to move to natural gas. He wants fueling stations for a new generation of cars. He hinted at higher taxes for oil. The President wants the country to reduce or eliminate smokestack emissions from power plants. All worthy goals, but haven’t we heard all this before (like the last 5 State of the Union addresses).
During part of his address, the President sounded like a Republican. He called for reduced corporate taxes, with a reduction of deductions to bring manufacturing back home. He stopped short of calling for a revamping of the entire tax code, which I think the country desperately needs.
Health care was brought up rather deep in the speech. He said it was working wonderfully. The numbers he whipped out seemed to me to be inflated. It also seemed he took credit for those who reached retirement age and signed up for Medicare. I don’t understand how ObamaCare helped people who retired and went into another government program.
The President paid homage to our military. Keeping them combat ready with the most advanced weapons possible. For some reason, I didn’t believe him when he was on that topic. Of course, he didn’t call for restoring the 20% cut in retirement Congress just passed with the last budget.
Most of what Obama proposed, and what he discussed with the nation, was a top down system. He has this belief that for anything positive to happen, it has to come from Washington. And folks, that’s the difference between the parties. Democrats believe, they really do, that nothing can be done without Washington driving it forward. The rest of us believe that Washington adds costs, retards growth and stifles advancements. The private sector can do it cheaper, faster and better than government.