Wednesday, January 27, 2010
State of the Union Addresss: For Next Election or Next Generation?
On last night, Wednesday January 27, 2010, President Obama gave his first State of the Union Address to Congress. For 220 years it has been a traditional duty of the President to give information on the "State of our Union" (United States of America). You may or may not know, I majored in Pre-Law at Spelman College. I find pleasure in discussing Politics and hearing other's opinions. I also know that some of the political verbiage may sound like a foreign language to those who didn't study the subject, or those who never had an interest in politics. So I'm giving a overview of some keys points from last night's address.
"Jobs must be our #1 focus for 2010"
President Obama called for a new job bill that will add 1 1/2 million jobs by the end of the year. Here are some points from his speech on jobs.
- 2million Americans have gone back to work since he took office (200,000 construction/energy & 300,000. teachers)
- Economy growing after a 2 year recession (thanks to Stimulus Bill
- Proposed a New Job Bill
- $30 billion to give to community banks to help create small businesses and therefore creation of American based Jobs
- Tax credit to small business that hires new workers or increases wages
- Tax incentives for large & small businesses
- Create jobs that promote clean & efficient energy
- Slash tax breaks for companies that ship jobs over seas
"No interest in punishing banks, but an interest in saving the economy"
Financial Reform was another key topic in the address. The House of Reps has already passed a financial reform Bill, which lobbyist are now trying to kill (keep from passing in the Senate).
- Incentives for clean energy jobs & households
- Create Comprehensive Energy & Climate Bill
- Export more goods (sell more equals more $$ for new jobs)
- Create National Export initiative to support farmers and small businesses
- Enforce trade agreements & hold partners liable for its terms
- Open Global Markets (S.Korea, Asia, Panama, etc.)
"Best anti-Poverty solution is a World Class Education"
President Obama called for Education Reform. He spoke on investing in American skills and the education of our people. He will reward success in an attempt to raise student achievement.
- Revitalize Community Colleges
- $10,000 tax credit for four years of college
- Increase Pell Grants
- Graduates will pay no more than 10% of income on loans
- Student loan debt forgiven in 20 years, 10 years if you get a job in public service
- Lower the overall cost of higher education
"I will not walk away from those Americans and neither should this chamber"
President urged Congress not to walk away from Health care reform, and to finish the job for the American People. (The House & Senate both passed Health Reform Bills, however their terms were different. They now have to come into agreement on ONE bill to be submitted for law. *visit my earlier post from this year on the pass of Health Reform in the House of Reps. By viewing my list of previous post to the left side of this page*)
Obama also spoke about the nation's monetary defecit. We are currently $4 trillion in national debt. He confirmed that $1 trillion of that was added during his term. He emphasized the fact that he came in office during our economic bailout. "Federal government should tighten their belt & make tougher decisions, just as the American people are forced to do."
- 2011 freeze government spending for 3 years ( Social Security, National Security, Medicare & Medicad will not be affected)
- Eliminate programs not needed
- No tax cuts for those who have incomes over $250,000 a year
- Publish all Earmark request online so Americans can vote and see how their money is being spent
The address ended on a call to also eliminate the trust defecit that exist between Congress and the American people. Here were a few points from that address.
- Work together & stop competition between parties
- Begin to bring troops home in 2011
- Move combat troops out of Iraq by end of August
Improved U.S. efforts
- Support military families
- Stopped attempted Christmas terrorist attack
- Leader in fight against climate change
- Continued fight against HIV
- Repeal law that denies gays the right to serve in the Country's military
- Equal pay for equal days work
- Fix broken immigration system (secure boarders)
- Strengthen public health abroad
All in all, the address served its purpose, to give us an update on where we stand as a nation. We have made some strides, but we still have a way to go. Obama said he never said it would be easy. The American people still have a spirirt of determination for a life of Fundamental Decency.
Oh and First Lady Obama's hair looked great! I had to post a picture of her.
Did you watch the State of Union or address? Or did this post catch you up? Either way, how'd you feel about the current state of Politics?