Addressing the True State of the Union


As he prepares for the first State of the Union address of his second term, it appears that President Barack Obama will shift focus back to where it needs to be: the economy. Months of political discussion have been dominated by gun control, immigration, and climate change; all of which are issues that deserve serious attention. Even in light of the circumstances  that brought those topics to the headlines, it must not be forgotten that President Obama was originally re-elected for the purpose of resurrecting the American economy.

This change of focus back toward domestic fiscal issues is welcome, if not essential. The wedge issues that are polarizing the nation will still receive their share of attention, both from Washington and the media, but hopefully the president will rebuff the demands of special interests and establish his prime objective as the economic revival he promised during the 2012 campaign.

In a preview of the speech, President Obama revealed a few of his planned talking points. One of the larger portions of the speech will likely include plans to end the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The war’s conclusion is long overdue, and it’s another step toward stopping the money being hemorrhaged for the defense budget. As the troops are brought home to safety, more attention and money can be rightfully directed back towards the welfare of the people living here at home.

President Obama also has also hinted that he will center his remarks on job creation here in America. Although this rhetoric is starting to feel cliché, it is the entire backbone of a solid plan for economic revival. The question remains: are the president’s plans to create more American jobs realistic, or are they smoke and mirrors?

As he has bought into the flawed idea of “free” trade more and more, President Obama has presided over the outsourcing of thousands of American jobs. GDP is directly linked to a country’s ability to produce, but how can a country competitively produce when all of its companies are shipping production to nations with cheaper labor? President Obama has publicly espoused the liberal ideology that claims corporations are getting rich while the rest of the country suffers. Yet his actions reflect a commitment to these same corporations, and Wall Street in general. By championing “free” trade, he allows multinationals to increase their global stronghold, while replacing respectable American jobs with low-paying menial positions.

The State of the Union isn’t always an accurate blueprint for the administration’s agenda, but it does give insight on which issues the president considers important. If President Obama does discuss jump-starting economic growth, it will be good news to see that his intentions are in the right place. But promises about ending wars and creating jobs sound all too familiar.

Mr. Obama must follow through on his now four-year-old promise to end this recession, and if he does not, the American people hold this president accountable for his broken promises. Regardless of our political affiliation or our stance of issues like immigration and gun control, we are all Americans first. And it is our job to make sure that our elected leaders do their job. Because simply talking about it is not enough right now.

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