Tonight's State of the Union Address recapped much of the Americans Job Act as President Barack Obama laid out the progress from his first term. Here are the highlights.
Obama welcomed our soldiers coming home. For the first time in 9 years. No American is currently fighting in Iraq.
- Obama presented a new model for America. Americans should establish a brother and sisterhood much like military members who believe in having one another's back and not leaving one another behind. Partisanship does not play a role in the military.They work together as a unit and look out for their fellow soldiers.
- He discussed fairness in America. Everyone should be participating in their fair share. We should change the tax code so he and members of Congress pay their fair share. Anyone over one million dollars in income, should at least be paying 30% in taxes. And if you are making less than $250,000 a year, your taxes should not go up. A few most affluent citizens are getting tax breaks and tax loopholes that no one else gets. i.e. Warren Buffet pays less in taxes than his secretary; he made 46 million and his tax rate was 17.7%. But his secretary made 60,000 and pays 30% in taxes. We need to stop tax hikes on 160 million Americans while economy is still fragile. And we need to pass the payroll tax cut with out delay.
- He mentioned that there is corrosive money in politics. People that contribute to members of Congress should not be allowed to lobby Congress. If Congress sends him a bill that bans insider trading, he will sign it tomorrow.
- There was a comparison to today's economy to the economy after World War II. At the end of WWII, we had the strongest economy and middle class, the world has ever known. And those same elements that allowed us to succeed post World War II could allow us to excel today. There were manufacturing and high tech jobs then. And he feels the key to our future is bringing back these sort of jobs, with high pay. He feels that an economy built to last, requires hard work and responsibility. Our country thrived in the midst of the auto industry and saving the auto industry back in 2009 allowed "General Motors is back on top as the world's number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories".
- Obama claims that six months before he took office, America lost 4 million jobs and another 4 million before the Obama Administration policies took effect. He feels that we are on the right track. In the last months, we gained more than 3 million jobs by businesses. The state of union is getting stronger. Last year we incurred the most jobs since 2005. American oil production was at its highest than its been in 8yrs. And last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in 16 yrs. Currently, we have a gas supply that will last us 100 yrs. We have been subsidizing oil companies for a century and they are making billions in profit. And we should be closing the door on companies that are able to stand on their own and doing well.
- We have more than enough incentive to become energy efficient and less dependent on foreign oil. This would allow us to be in control of own energy. But we have to look at clean energy and not sacrifice Americans. He is requiring businesses to disclose the chemical they use when developing new energy resources. Obama feels that we should not have to trade our lives and health for the economy. He promoted passing clean energy tax credits.
- We have to turn the pages on predatory lenders. Banks made bets and bonuses with other people's money, which is why he is enacting watch dog agencies and units to regulate companies from unfair practices at the expense of consumers.
- Other units he would like to set in place are those that regulate trade agreements. China has become far more expensive to do business with. The CEO of Masterline says he has an incentive to bring jobs back home in America. Obama wants to put a halt to businesses getting tax deductions for outsourcing. Companies should be rewarded for hiring here in America. We could expand tax relief to businesses who create new jobs. He has approved the removal of three regulations that didn't make sense. Unfair regulations should be removed from the books so that American businesses could do well at home and hire Americans.
- Everyone should be able to afford school here in America. The middle class should not consider going to school as a luxury.
- We should reform immigration policies. He feels immigrants who have done everything right should have an opportunity for citizenship. Students who go to school here, learn a skill and trade, have been deported soon after, just to take that skill to another country. If Congress comes up with a bill that could reform our immigration , create pathways to the right to citizenship, he would sign a bill right away.
- In the following weeks, he will be signing an executive order to clear the way to for new construction projects.
- His defense agenda is to ensure Iran does not gain access to nuclear weapons. And he is focusing on instilling an iron clad military. Also, we need to secure our country from growing dangers in cyber threats.
He left us with a final note. As a Democratic president, he believes in a quote made by a Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, ,"The government should do for people only what they can't do better by themselves, and no more".
Obama's moderate ideas and plans left little room for Republicans to react to this address. But they did tonight. I believe Indiana Republican Governor, Mitch Daniels made an error in responding to Obama's address by stating that we should be going up on taxes on the wealthy. So what does this mean for Republicans who are currently running? Republicans previous message has been against going up taxes on the wealthy. So what was the change? I am only wondering if Republicans changed their tuned after Mitt Romney released his tax returns. His tax returns disclosed that he paid 13.9% in taxes in 2010. He has held Offshore accounts in the Cayman islands and Swiss bank accounts. Or maybe Daniels made a huge error. This error may not be good for their party.
Daniels-- "It's absolutely so that everyone should contribute to our national recovery, including of course the most affluent among us. There are smart ways and dumb ways to do this: the dumb way is to raise rates in a broken, grossly complex tax system, choking off growth without bringing in the revenues we need to meet our debts. The better course is to stop sending the wealthy benefits they do not need, and stop providing them so many tax preferences that distort our economy and do little or nothing to foster growth".
Obama has stated that our economy is doing better and that anyone who says that America is on a decline, does not know what they are talking about. But he has to know that many of these new jobs has been attributed to the most recent holiday season and the recent oil boom in North Dakota. But how far will that take us? And he knows as well as anyone else, that if we have not installed new infrastructures, we will face a far worse crisis. Governor Daniels mentioned the crisis going on in Europe. And we could be in some dire trouble. And I agree. Our trade and dollars are tied globally, so we will be effected. But Obama will continue to instill these positive messages. I don't know if they are effective. But he will not stray away from that, unless he is backed into a corner. Our president has been fortunate enough, that our employment rate has increased slightly. But he has more work to do.
Currently, there is no Republican running for office that has any sense. This current president hasn't been exactly sitting on his hands his entire term, or simply been playing 90 rounds of golf, as Republicans spill it. He has been getting some work done. But he could be doing a whole lot more. And I commend Obama for attempting to stay in the middle while pushing moderate agendas, but he better start acting on behalf of the people, and stop attempting to appease Republicans.
- Whitehouse.gov, Obama's Third State of the Union Address 2012