The State of the Union

This evening will be President Obama’s last State of the Union address.

The media has been full of summations, speculation, and punditry about the last seven years and the one remaining in the Obama presidency.

There have been major economic improvements. The unemployment rate is about half what it was. The US auto industry is doing well after almost going under in the financial crisis. The budget deficit is much lower than it was under the Bush administration.

Many more people have access to affordable health care insurance. The country is generating less pollution and more renewable energy.

There have been gains for diplomacy, such as the Iran nuclear deal and the recent international climate agreement in Paris.

These and other achievements will be remembered and studied by future students of history.

The tragedy is that so much more could have been accomplished if Congressional Republicans had decided to cooperate in governing rather than obstruct it.

There could have been needed tax reform, immigration reform, and criminal justice/sentencing reform.

There could have been mandated background checks for all gun purchases to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, traffickers, and people intent on harming themselves or others, a measure that has overwhelming public support.

If the Congress would vote on the president’s nominations, there would have been a surgeon general in place during the ebola scare, a full complement of judges in the federal courts to deal with the backlog of cases, an ambassador to Russia during the Ukraine crisis, and a current ambassador to Mexico to work on the extradition of El Chapo to stand trial in the US.

The military prison at Guantanamo would have been closed.

There would have been greater progress on updating our crumbling infrastructure.

So much lost opportunity.

I hope that, as the United States progresses through this election year, we pledge to vote for elected officials who are dedicated to serve the common good, to “promote the general welfare”as it is termed in our Constitution.
*****
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join us! Start out by visiting here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/12/just-jot-it-january-12th-skulls/

JJJ 2016

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Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

15 thoughts on “The State of the Union”

  1. Great post, JC… I worry about the direction this country is headed in. So many lost opportunities. So much good that could have and should have been done. I don’t see anyone on either side of the political race who will get anything progressive accomplished. I fear if we end up with a Republican president with a Republican controlled Congress, we are truly lost. Sad times we live in.

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    1. I am a progressive who finds Bernie Sanders is closest to my own viewpoint. I think that any president will have the same difficulties that President Obama has encountered until we elect members of Congress who know how to compromise for the good of the country. Most of the Republican field are running as “outsiders.” If we did wind up with the nightmare scenario of a President Trump or Cruz, the Congress, even if the Republicans were in the majority, would be forced to act like the responsible adults in Washington in order for the country to function. I hope it doesn’t come to that, though.

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      1. I do like Bernie Sanders. I have for years, long before he decided to run for president. I just don’t see him being elected, sadly. I hope you are right about the Republican congress. I have so many doubts though.

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        1. It’s an uphill battle, for sure. I thought the speech was very strong in calling things out. There is at least some hope with Ryan as speaker. I don’t think that Ryan’s budget proposals are sound or fair but at least there is a hope that the House may get more compromise bills to the floor.

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            1. Ryan’s policy prescriptions have been untenable and his attraction to Ayn Rand is creepy, especially because it is directly opposed to both Catholic social doctrine and US values, which he also says he espouses. Still, he managed to get the omnibus budget passed with a minimum of poison pills involved. He wants to run for president some day, so he ought not alienate millions of the electorate by being a divisive Speaker. Gingrich tried it and we know how that turned out.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yeah, it is the Ayn Rand connection that puts me off with Ryan, and many politicians like him who subscribe to her viewpoints. I really do hope he proves to be a better Speaker of the House than Gingrich was. Now that man gave me the creeps!

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