On Wednesday, Jan. 27, President Barack Obama stood before Vice President Joe Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests and American citizens to deliver his State of the Union address. Obama spoke of the economy, health care reform, creating jobs and the war on terror. While Americans watched his speech in anticipation, most wondered if he was going to accomplish what he promised when running for the presidency in 2008. Many Americans are expecting the promises he made two years ago to be fulfilled, making this speech one full of pressure for Obama. He addressed the change that he guaranteed and said that change is not easy, but he will continue to pursue it.
The main dilemma for America and Obama is the economy and the increasing deficit. The steady loss of jobs and a growing recession are the hot topics on most citizens’ minds.
“Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression,” he said. “So we acted, immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.”
Later the president announced his plan to rebuild the economy, including taking $30 billion of Wall Street’s money to help give small businesses the credit they need, doubling the United States exports in the next five years and freezing domestic government spending for three years to pay for the $1 trillion that it took to rescue the economy last year, starting in 2011.
Besides the economy, the war in Iraq has posed many questions for Obama. The president announced that he is confident that the United States will succeed in Afghanistan; efforts to locate nuclear weapons have been made and the troops in Iraq will be home soon.
“We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August,” the president said with confidence. “But make no mistake: This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home.”
By the end of Obama’s State of the Union address, many viewers were concerned with the promises he continues to make. Many supporters, both Democrat and Republican, are becoming skeptical of Obama’s abilities to accomplish what he has set out to do. Over the last year in office, Obama has fulfilled or begun to fulfill each promise he has told the American people; such as fixing the economic crisis, creating jobs and ending the war in Iraq.
These skeptics need to give Obama some credit; he has to fix a nation that has been on a steady decline for eight years. The problems that face America cannot be magically fixed overnight; they take time and Obama is taking the time to make sure it is done correctly. The same “Yes, we can” attitude that Obama carried with him through elections can now be seen as he leads our country out of economic turmoil, war and health-care havoc. The closing remarks with which Obama ended the State of the Union address sum up the core of his speech.
“We don’t quit,” said Obama. “I don’t quit. Let’s seize this moment, to start anew, to carry the dream forward and to strengthen our union once more.”
– Heather Shupe
Freshman journalism major