State of the Union

U.S. Great Seal

Last night, President Obama offered his fifth State of the Union Address.

Within seconds of the President stepping back from the podium mic, the political pundits are dissecting, analyzing, fact-checking and rehashing the speech. And then 10 minutes after the President's speech comes the rebuttal from the opposing party, which this year was offered by Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

So, what did the President propose in this year's State of the Union? Here are a few highlights...

  • A call to put party politics aside to work for the good of the American people
  • Closing of tax loopholes and an end certain deductions as a means to increase tax revenue
  • "Modest reforms" to Medicare
  • A focus on bringing more manufacturing back to America
  • Reforms to battle climate change
  • Greater energy independence and less dependence on foreign oil by expanding renewable energy programs and increasing domestic drilling for oil and gas
  • A call to action for private business to help fund infrastructure upgrades that support the movement of American goods and services
  • High quality early childhood education (modeled after Oklahoma's Head Start Program)
  • Immigration reform
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Increasing the minimum wage to $9.00/hour
  • Reforms to the voting system
  • "Common-sense reform" for a reduction in gun violence

Whether one agrees with the President politically or not, the State of the Union typically serves as a call to action… and then we go to sleep, wake up and are more or less back to the pre-speech state of the Union (which in recent year's greatly resembles a holdiay gathering of an extremely contentious, dysfunctional family). Still, I'll reamin optimistic that this year will bring less gridlock, name calling, and sour faces and more solutions, positive outcomes and, dare I say, compromise.

For those that can't get enough of the speech and it's aftermath, here are links to fact-checkings of the President’s speech and running commentary from news outlets:

And finally, inks to Oklahoma Delegation responses and the Tea Party response: