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As promised, today’s article will focus on the Presidents State of the Union address that he made on Tuesday night.  Overall I was impressed with some of the things he said and wants to implement, but we will see if he actually follows through.  The statements presented are direct quotes from the President’s speech.  They are not presented in any chronologically order but according to the following way.  “The Good” focuses primarily on the points made in the President’s speech that I support.  “The Bad” focuses on the points made by the President that I would disagree with.  “The Ugly”are parts of the speech where the President is just plain wrong or characterizes the facts wrong.  I hope you enjoy.

The Good

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

 I can support this statement by the President for one reason.  We need to stop subsidies to ALL energy producers, oil, coal, gas, and green.  Only by knowing the true price of a product can the market actually decide on whether it should succeed or not.  If solar and wind power is cheaper it will win.  But don’t subsidize it to hide the true cost.

That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

As a teacher I agree with this statement.  There is much to be said on the effect of socio-economic status (SES) has on a child’s education.  But the parents need to be responsible to make sure their kids know how to read and do their homework.  This can be done whether your rich or poor.

So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years – without adding to our deficit.

Here, Here, Mr. President!  The tax code is too complex.  Also corporate taxes are rarely paid by the company but by the consumer in higher prices for the products and services they provide.

To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people.

I agree with the President on this in principle.But how many regulations are now being made with the  implementation of his health insurance and financial legislation passed this year.  How many regulations would be put in place because of a Cap and Trade legislation he wants to get passed?  These all hurt businesses.

This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit. Still, I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.

Good Mr. President, go after the waste, abuse and fraud in and you will find hundreds of billions in savings.  I am surprised he is going after the trial lawyers, but more power to him.  It has been touted that 25-40% of health care costs are related to frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits.  That would not only help out the government but the regular Joe by lowering his costs in health care free of the government.

We live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black and white TV. There are twelve different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different entities that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in when they’re in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.

I have been saying this for years.  I have a plan currently in process that I might post to this site in pieces over the next few months.

Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done: put that information online. And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.

The Obama did object to Bush trying to hide the ledgers that stated who he was visiting with.  Though when he came into office he defended the policy.  I would like to know this information.  Also I hope he can stand behind his pledge to veto earmarked legislation.  Bush promised that every year but was too much of a chick shit to actually do it.  If he did this he would have my respect, right off the bat.

And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans…. In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code.

Another great idea that people have been touting for years.  Let’s get it done.

The Bad

Our schools share this responsibility. When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test… we launched a competition called Race to the Top…  And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.

No Child Left Behind and any other federal education program is unconstitutional.  They should be eliminated.  The last thing education and schools need is another level of bureaucrats in the mix.  As a teacher I know how much bureaucracy kills teachers and schools.

And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college.

It is not the job of government to subsidize a college education.  I know I got a government subsidized loan to go to college, but that does not mean it was right or constitutional for the government to do so. 

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car.

Mr. President the one national passenger train system has not made a profit in years.  Americans don’t want trains.  Americans love the freedom of driving their cars not sitting on a train.  If anything up date the interstate system to handle more and faster cars.  Though infrastructure investment does not spur economic growth.  Japan tried that for years with no luck at spurring permanent economic growth.

The Ugly

Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

With this quote early in his speech, the President talks like he has been a nonpartisan leader instead of ignoring most of the suggestions of the opposing party.  This is the same president who over two years ago said to Republicans “I won” when asked about compromise on his stimulus package.  Where did this heart for bipartisanship come from?  I know from where, the massive electoral switch that was made in November. 

Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today.

You did not pass any tax cuts you merely extended the present tax rates to make sure you party did not get the blame for worsening the economy.

What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.

Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.

In the first paragraph the President talks about all these innovations, none of which were created by the help of the government but by private investment.  Research has moved to the universities because the government gives them money to do it.  So why should a company spend money on research if they can save the money and buy it from the group that gets it’s money from the government.  The Internet is a product of the government, but private enterprise is what made it the freest market in the world.

Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said “Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it.”

What President Obama fails to mention about this school is that they were able to free themselves from the district and state bureaucracy to make these changes.  They were able to avoid the entrapment of the teacher’s unions as well.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.

Why is it after two years you are finally open to actually enforcing the laws of this land?   First step, stop the lawsuit against the state of Arizona.

Now, the final step – a critical step – in winning the future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.

We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets.

But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.

So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.

What I find funny is NOW he wants to freeze spending after he has added more to the debt than all Presidents from Washington to Reagan.  NOW he wants to attack deficits after he has proposed deficits that are larger than all of the Bush deficits combined.  Get real Mr. President.  The fact is that your savings are a bit off.  It will save us a combined $20 billion a year to freeze our spending.  That is less than a drop in the bucket for our government spending.

Conclusion
Their were some bad things, all related to programs that don’t work  or are unconstitutional.  The Ugly aspects of his speech really worry me though because of just how wrong he is in those areas.  But if the president can deliver on the good promises he made in this speech he may even convince me to vote for him in 2012.  I know shocker!

Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  Class dismissed.

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