2012 SOTU Address: Response

President Barack Obama, the 44th President of these United States, delivered his 3rd SOTU on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. An audience within the Congress floors as well as the television audience listened as America’s first African-American president gave a speech filled with the very essence of which he won his presidency in 2008 and that is the essence of hope. President Obama opened his speech to acknowledge the fact that U.S troops were no longer in Iraq fighting a war that start in 2001 as a reaction to the 9/11 attacks of the World Trade Center in New York; a very honourable and noteworthy topic to speak on, which may/may not have lead to the troubles which plague America’s economic woes.

Personally, I agree with President Obama’s plans for the taxes of businesses. Tax revenue is one of the largest components of Government revenue, therefore it is not justifiable for businesses to receive a tax deduction for outsourcing jobs overseas. That says to the business: “It is okay for you to take away jobs from the citizens of your domestic country and we will increase your profits as well for doing so.” Maybe that is a certain part of politics that I will never understand but as an economics major, I know that it is NOT rational.

President Obama made a very interesting statement in his 3rd SOTU. He said, “Higher education can’t be a luxury.” I found this statement intriguing because at one point higher education was in fact a luxury choice. It was not mandatory nor was it imperative for an individual to seek an education past their high school diploma. Today’s society demands that employees have at the bare minimum a Bachelor’s degree and in order to move up the corporate ladder the individual should seek a Master’s degree as well as have years of experience. All of which prove to be much more costly than ever before as tuition costs continue to rise each year. The fact that in this country a household owes more in college tuition debt versus credit card debit displays exactly where lawmakers and school officials place their preference in debt collection.

As an international student in this country and a young woman, President Obama hit two challenges I face in the closing of his speech. His proposal to allow those who were brought to this country as a young child, and those who recently migrated to the country for higher education, the chance to obtain citizenship in this country without the hardships of the current process has special importance and interest with me. However, what exactly will be done in this election-year is yet to be known but I do hope that the process is made more accessible to those of us who are seeking better opportunities for our families by way of our versions of the “American Dream”. Additionally, he touched on an issue that has been in the labor market since women were allowed to work outside of the home; that issue is the equality of pay between men and women. Hopefully, this is not a topic that is a talking point to gain women voters and that President Obama and his administration actively seek out this policy.

On the surface President Obama’s 3rd SOTU address has many great ideas and possibilities. However, it is highly unlikely that too much will get done in this election year. There are barriers not only in politics but in economics and sociology that may hinder him from achieving the goals he has set in this year’s SOTU address. However, I am hopefully that change will continue to overcome in this nation as the dream started with those African-American leaders before President Obama who wanted an America that was not racially divided but racially integrated.

The full text transcript can be found here.

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