If you didn’t get the chance to catch last nights State of the Union address you missed the President at his best, looking his best and sounding his best! During his speech President Obama touched on seven key points: the economy, clean energy, education, health care, government trust, national security and “don’t ask don’t tell”. Let me explain. (After the break)
- The President’s words were “jobs must be our number one focus in 2010”. Obama then announced the creation of a “new jobs bill” proposing to use $30 billion of the money paid back by Wall Street to help community banks provide credit for small businesses. He stated that the Recovery Act saved 2 million Americans from unemployment through new construction and clean energy jobs. He also stated that America is set to add another 1.5 million jobs by the end of this year.
- “The nation that leads the clean energy economy will lead the global economy”. The President called for building a new generation of safe and clean nuclear power plants, new offshore areas for oil and gas development, continued investment in biofuels and clean coal technologies and lastly, the passing of a comprehensive energy and climate bill.
- Obama called for an investment “in the skills of our people” by proposing a $10,000 tax credit for families paying tuition at a four-year college and increased Pale grants for students. Furthermore, Obama requires graduating students to pay 10% of their income on student loan debt, forgiving their debt after 20 years. Those who choose a career in public service will have their debt forgiven in 10 years. “Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college”.
Health Care Reform
- The President’s fight to push health care reform continued last night. He urged Congress not to walk away from this issue and revisit his plan. Obama said that the proposal created by his administration would protect Americans from the insurance industry, provide small businesses and uninsured Americans with affordable insurance and lastly, cover preventive care.
Trust in Government
- President Obama called to reduce the influence of lobbyists in Washington. He instructed that lobbyists disclose their contacts and that he would place strict limits on their contributions to candidates for federal office. He also impelled Congress to continue efforts on earmark reform. The President stated that all earmark requests should be published to one web site for review before elections take place. Furthermore he announced plans for a meeting with House Republicans and stated that he will begin monthly meetings with both Democrat and Republican leaders.
- “Put aside the schoolyard taunts about who is tough and do what it takes to defend our nation”. President Obama restated this promise to end the ‘War in Iraq’ , and said that all the U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of August. In Afghanistan, he hopes the transition of duties to Afghan Security Forces will begin by July 2011, allowing U.S. troops to come home. The President also warned Iran that if the country continued to violate international agreements in pursuit of nuclear weapons, they will face “growing consequences”. Additionally he addressed the Christmas Day airliner bomb attempt, he said that the intelligence community is looking to fill in “unacceptable gaps”.
“Don’t Ask Don”t Tell”
- Simply stated, Obama said that he will work with Congress and the military to repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve in the armed forces.
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