State of the Union focuses on the future

When I parked myself on the red couch on Jan. 27, I was in a cynical mood; a mood for answers. What is the state of our union? Of course, we already know the answer, don’t we? Even those who don’t follow politics know, the state of our union is better than it was a year ago, but overall, still pretty pitiful.

It’s been a little over a year since President Obama took office and we’ve got a $1.6 trillion deficit ($1.2 trillion of which can be blamed on the backwards policies of Bush) a 10% unemployment rate, a seemingly never-never squabble over health care reform and a democratic super majority (well, not anymore) apparently impotent to pass their own party’s legislation. Does that sound harsh?

Well, I’m not a cheerleader. I’m an independent. You know, one of those drifters, the agnostics of the political arena. I’m one of many in that demographic that Obama is desperately trying to bring back into the fold.

Don’t get me wrong. I voted for him and I want to see him succeed (and yes I understand the less than ideal conditions inherited him by Bush) but like many independents and moderates, the imaginary money he throws about like confetti makes my stomach turn.

The State of the Union address covered a lot of points and, as far as approval ratings show, has successfully shown the populace that our ship’s not sinking, or at least that they’re pumping water out of the bilge as fast as they can.

The excessive spending by the Obama administration, our president assures us, has been a necessary investment.
The dividends of that investment, a pay-as-you-go program, a looming spending freeze and long term savings reaped from the health care plan, which has stalled in the senate, are meant to slowly pull us out of debt within the next few decades.

Now, be aware when watching Obama in action that the man’s got charisma. He’s got a voice like butter, a smile like sunshine, and a presence that is truly, for lack of a better term, presidential. Don’t be distracted by these qualities.

He’s got important things to say and you need to hear them. Sometimes the words come out like, “butter, butter, butter mmmmm. you taste so good.” When you feel this trance come over you, pull yourself back. Focus.

We have a $1.6 trillion debt. This is the largest debt since World War II. I agree with Obama that we need to invest in education, green technology, and infrastructure, though I do not agree with the extraordinary AMOUNT he is willing to invest.

He relies on the controversial health care bill to bring down the deficit by $1 trillion over the next two decades, but those numbers are shaky at best.

It’s a very loose estimate of what we can expect to save and let’s not forget that the health care bill is basically dead.

Obama’s address had many good points. The United States, not China, should be leading the world in green technology (but I don’t think we should drive ourselves bankrupt to do it). The $30 billion paid back by banks should go to community branches to free up credit for small businesses and homeowners.

And what about the scolding Obama gave to the Supreme Court (what an awkward moment that was) for rescinding legislature preventing corporations from investing unlimited amounts of cash into political campaigns? I totally agree with that. Shame on them.

In fact, I walked away from the State of the Union Address feeling generally all right or at least feeling that everything would be all right eventually. I managed to hang on to this feeling for almost a week.

On Feb. 1, Obama presented his budget to Congress. $3.8 trillion. The largest budget in history. I’m terrified.

Evonne Ermey is the City Times features editor

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State of the Union focuses on the future