President Obama with several questions to answer took to the White House floor to present his newest messages State of the Union Address last night. The packed room and the millions of Americans watching on T.V. were eager to hear what plans the president, as well as both political parties had in regarding to several different issues. Obama did appear to stress jobs, the current economy, the state of the middle class, military, and a very emotional stance of Gun violence in America.
He started his speech off mentioning how important the middle class is to the state of the nation’s economy. “The middle class is the true engine of America’s economic growth, it must be the North Star that guides our efforts,” Obama said.
As far as America’s $16 trillion debt goes, the president talked about the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect March 1, and how he wants to urges a “Balance” plan to reduce the nation’s debt. When the president brought up jobs, he said something I thought was pretty interesting regarding minimum wage. He mentioned how he wants to raise the current minimum wage of $7.25 to $9. I am sure a lot of workers would love a little increase in the money they make, but it bears to question if the increase would provide more or less jobs in the short and long term.
Keeping on the same page of money, the president mentioned that Social Security and Medicare recipients should bear the brunt of debt reduction, and that “the wealthiest and most powerful” should contribute as well. Of course both political parties are at opposite ends of this issue, as well as several others, but the president said that he wants to urge Congress to avoid past disputes over the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, and the budget that damaged the nation’s credit rating.
“The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to another,” Obama said.
Towards the end of the speech the president went into detail on three new Manufacturing innovation institutes he wants to see get done in the near future. He wants to develop new technologies, have a master teacher corps to improve math and science education, and develop an energy security trust with the goal of moving cars and trucks off oil.
The president finished off his speech telling the nation that he plans to pull 34,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan over the next year, which would reduce the American presence by about half as part of a planned overall withdrawal effort. “By the end of next year our war in Afghanistan will be over,” Obama said.
Although this war has taking countless American lives and has been a long enduring war, maybe Obama’s quote will bring a sense of satisfaction to thousands of military households all across the nation.
With emotions high after this topic, the president transitioned into gun laws which he called on congressional votes on proposals for universal background checks, a renewal of the assault weapons ban, and restrictions on the sizes of ammunition magazines. The entire room gave a standing ovation after his remarks, and most of the applauds where directed to the victims’, and victims families who were in attendance.
The parents of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old from Chicago who was shot in the back and killed last month in an apparent act of gang violence just a mile away from the Obamas’ house were in attendance sitting next to first lady Michelle Obama. A teacher from Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn was also in attendance, and members of the congress showed their support by wearing green ribbons in honor of the newton victims.
“The families of Newtown deserve a vote on gun legislation, as do other communities ripped open by gun violence,” Obama said.
It appears Obama answered and addressed a lot of the questions put on the table, but let’s just see if both Republicans and Democrats can get on the same page now.
State of the Union 2013: President Obama’s Complete Speech, With Annotated Analysis
President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Reporters and editors of The New York Times provided analysis of parts of the speech.
What Time is the State of the Union Address? 9PM EST On Major Networks or Watch Live Online
State of the Union 2012 Live Video Online With Times for Network Broadcasts
John Kerry’s Bruised Face & Black Eyes During State of the Union Raises Questions