President Obama delivered the 2014 State of the Union Address last Tuesday touching on issues like the deficit, health care, employment and foreign relations. He stressed his usual campaign promise on shortening the gap between the wealthy minority and the stagnant wages of the middle class. “The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all,” he said. With so much pressure on the job market, his only solutions were to raise minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and create treasury bonds for workers without traditional retirement options. However, Obama did not take that minimum wage stance to the federal level and instead urges for companies to do so themselves without any incentive besides verbal encouragement. I was hoping for some more helpful options to help fix employment benefits in the country, but with Congress wasting more money during the government shutdown than Obamacare could have even conceivably done future makes me thankful for any steps towards improving lives in America.
Obama has not been stagnant, though. He has been focusing on restoring the domestic workforce. “Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced,” said Obama wants to restore America’s position as the world’s leading manufacturer and I agree. As one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, I think that by providing federal support towards advancing medical and technological production and development can lead to more jobs for exporting goods that can help make a better world.
While Obama is centered on restoring jobs within our country, very little action on making these jobs sustain families and helping families pay for education seems to be taking place. Throughout his campaign, Obama has been unable to close loopholes for CEO’s and fossil fuel companies and continues to back a lot of his speeches with pathos rather than providing some significant solutions. Congress has resisted many of his proposals. “Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do,” adds Obama.
I’m disappointed that Obama didn’t mention the internet and issues with the NSA for spying on Americans and the rest of the world with programs such as PRISM. Ten days earlier, Obama made a press release on some major reform in the NSA. He mentioned that the government would not stop spying on Americans, all the data will move to an undisclosed location, and data access to that information will go through a secret court without representation unless it’s arbitrarily a special case. I’m hopeful of what Obama can achieve in the White House for this upcoming year but steps taken towards a more balanced government seem to few and infrequent and seem to come at a great cost to the national budget and the security of the America people.