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SOTU: My Response

Okay, you heard from Obama, you heard from the GOP. Now it's time to hear from the Man-on-the-Street, namely me.

Look, god knows I love me some Obama. The man can make an intelligent, earnest, and well-presented speech, and his comprehensive vision for the U.S.A. leaves me ready to stand up and salute. But the fact is, the two sides of the aisle are still too divided and no real, meaningful change is going to happen in any of the domestic policy areas he highlighted last night: Budget, Education, or Energy.

His ideas for improving the educational system from Pre-School through University? Brilliant. Love them. But guess what? They're going to cost $$ and nobody wants to pay. Furthermore, most (many?) states are having severe financial problems. Just a few years ago Pennsylvania slashed it's education budget in HALF, and they're not the only ones to make such drastic cuts. But....nobody wants to pay and even if they did, we're not making enough money right now.

Energy independence and/or alternative fuels? I don't even wanna begin to get into this quagmire, but again, alternative energy sources are going to require major, major public/private investments on infrastructure and development before they can contribute in any seriously meaningful amount to the national power grid. And guess what? It's still more profitable for companies to stick pipes into the ground at this point than it is to build windmills or solar panels...unless, of course, the government could get involved?? But it won't because it's too expensive and you still have the old "Drill Baby Drill" crowd foaming at the mouth and crying "socialism" or Solyndra every time we try to advance in this area.

The Bottom Line: The U.S. needs to raise taxes, cut spending, and begin to advance a real, feasible, and effective Progressive agenda for the future. We are a nation swimming in a sea of debt and our politics are stuck in the 20th Century. Our economy is staggering through a barely perceptible "recovery" (really a non-recovery) and we're likely headed right back into another crisis that we'll have to borrow our way out of. The middle class tax base is being squeezed by a rising cost of living, increasing debt, and stagnant wages. What we truly need is an ideological revolution. It may be painful, it may be costly, it may cause us all to tighten our belts...but it'll be nowhere NEAR as painful and costly or belt-tighteny as what will happen if we keep re-arranging deck chairs on a sinking ship. 

So, despite the POTUS' proclamation that the U.S. is "strong" (when was the last time they didn't say it was strong?) I'm saying we're a little flabby and out of shape. We're trying to lose weight by taking diet pills with our Big Mac and jumbo soda, instead of eating healthy and working out; treating the symptoms but not the problem.


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