Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The New York Times: President Obama’s 2016 State of The Union Speech
I believe President Obama, gave one of his best speeches tonight. Because it wasn’t a laundry list of issues that he wanted Congress to address and pass bills on. But instead he focused on issues where there’s actually bipartisan support in Congress. Criminal justice reform, mental health improvement, addressing poverty, to use as examples. While at the same time laying out the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Like gun control, to use as an example. The Affordable Care Act would be another, defeating ISIS. And giving Americans an opportunity to decide for themselves who has the better approach on the issues where Democrats and Republican disagree in 2016 to decide who should be in power next year. Who the next president should be and who should control the House and Senate.
A lot of what President Obama wanted to accomplish he already has and did it in the first two years as president. Dealing with the Great Recession, Wall Street reform, small business tax relief. And the next two years which were about the reelection and foreign policy he was able to address those issues without having to get much input from a divided Congress that still had a Democratic Senate, but with a Republican House. Like Libya, taking out Osama Bin Laden, ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The last three years really have been all about foreign policy and an expanded War on Terror. That now includes Syria and Libya will be next as ISIS is taking a beating in Syria and will move to Libya. And America will need to respond to that as well.
In 2015 alone he got Congress to end sequestration when it comes to the Federal budget and get that paid for. Was able to get a major trade bill passed out of Congress. Middle class tax relief made permanent. The American economy continues to grow and jobs continue to be produced. Unlike in Europe and even Canada now. So this speech I believe he wanted to focus on a few areas where he might actually get some bipartisan coöperation in Congress. Like criminal justice reform, additional Welfare reform, job training opportunities for the underemployed, unemployed, and low-skilled employed. Mental health reform, so we see fewer shootings that involved mentally impaired people in the future. And even regulation reform. And we’ll see what kind of success he has in these areas this year.
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