State of the Union 2012
At least nobody shouted "You Lie!" or threw a shoe during the speech...
Still, it wasn't difficult to distinguish party affiliation during the hour long oratory. Most Republican's remained seated for most of it with politely folded hands and a 10000 yard stare.
With at least a cursory level of decorum on display in the House chambers last night we witnessed the 2012 edition of the State of The Union with President Barack Obama presiding.
The economy took precedence as the primary focus of the speech with new tax incentives for companies that create jobs domestically while removing them from those that create them elsewhere. A new investigative unit called the Trade Enforcement Unit is charged with investigating unfair trade practices and monitoring the flow of counterfeit and unsafe products into the U.S.
Free trade agreements between the U.S. and South Korea, Colombia and Panama were also touted as helping to increase trade and move American products into foreign markets.
The president also encouraged private/public partnerships to retrain unemployed workers for technical jobs that otherwise remain unfilled. He went on to cite the example of a single mother displaced from her job as a mechanic in North Carolina.
" Jackie Bray is a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte, and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackie’s tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant."
The cost of higher education was also addressed with an admonition to post secondary institutions to keep tuition costs down or risk the loss of public funding.
There was also mention of the need to address immigration issues regarding foreign born students studying in the U.S. who are deported because of their technically illegal status. The President used this as an example to highlight the need for immigration reform. From the Speech,
" The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country"
The President also encouraged support for small businesses by allowing easier access to financing and tax incentives for providing better wages and job creation. He went on to propose the elimination of unnecessary and cumbersome Federal regulations exemplified by the example of dairy farmer's requirement to comply with federal regulations regarding cleanup after a milk spillage because milk was classified as an oil.Continued on the next page