State of the Union: What Was And Wasn’t in Obama’s Speech

                                                          Click to enlarge the image

(Credit: Wordle)
President Obama’s State of the Union speech included more than 6,500 words, led by variations on “America,” “people,” “new” and “jobs,” with “future,” “work” and “years” also high in the word count. While word repetition doesn’t offer any deep analysis of the speech, the broad message is clear: “American people need new jobs and work in future years.”

State of the Union: Full text of the speech

House Speaker John Boehner’s reviews: The speech was okay.
First thoughts: An ‘exceptional’ speech

Obama said:
The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business, … rising powers like India and China were now highly competitive. Americans should not give up the fight. Yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us … We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world. We do big things. Our destiny remains our choice.

Yet no new initiatives were unveiled in the speech for immediate job creation, with the official unemployment pegged at 9.4% (some economists and statisticians believe this rate to be actually higher). The address was sparse on policy nuts and bolts, and the idealistic call for unity appeared at odds with ugly Washington politics.

President Obama did discuss the need to reduce the deficit and proposed a number of deficit-cutting measures, including a ban on earmarks and a five-year freeze in spending on some domestic programs. He called for a five-year freeze on non-mandatory domestic spending, a proposal he estimated would save $400 billion over the next decade. He said entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will need to be reformed without mentioning specifics. In other words, the government is thinking about cutting these programs to the bone.

What Wasn’t in Obama’s State of the Union:

(1) Gun Control : While Obama began his speech by paying tribute to Giffords, he did not address the issue of gun control.

(2) Climate Change/Global warming : While the President spoke about the need for clean energy, he did not mention global warming or even use the word “climate” once in his address.

(3) BP oil disaster : He also did not mention the BP oil spill, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

(4) Foreclosures : Obama talked about the economy but never mentioned foreclosures.

(5) Human rights and due-process :

Well, I listened to every word very carefully, and he has a great way of presenting himself, but there was so much missing and so many major disconnects. We’re at a time in our country where we need to define who we are, where we’re headed, what we have become. He didn’t mention human rights at a time when he has assassination lists for the first time in our nation’s history, that include U.S. citizens. No due process—we don’t just have indefinite detention anymore; we just go out, put their name on a list, and kill them. The invocation of state secrets, it’s absolutely obliterated any notion of checks and balances. Our courts have been removed from that equation, by and large, when it comes to torture, when it comes to warrantless wiretapping by our government. No discussion about that, of course. And we’re seeing, really, an institutionalization by this president of some of the worst abuses and what we, a lot of us, thought were just aberrations during the Bush years.

Watch the video:

Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City and the founder and director of
High Road for Human Rights.. Joan Claybrook, longtime consumer advocate and former president of Public Citizen.

(6) Debt Crisis : Just how bad is it?

Boston University professor Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff says, “It’s time to get real.” He says the Treasury and the government are fudging the national debt numbers, and the United States is bankrupt and we don’t even know it.

About benvitalis

math grad - Interest: Number theory
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