“Obama, You are Promising this Again?”

In 2009, America basked in a revolutionary inauguration with a racial shift. This turnaround led to people beginning to perceive the future optimistically once again. The thought traveled through the minds throughout the nation that perhaps this switch could flip our economy back to normalcy.

Obama has had his fair share of State of the Union addresses. However, if you follow closely, you would be able to hear his similar approaches. Below are the timelines of the progress for readdressed issues and kept or broken proposals referenced in Obama’s State of Union speeches since 2010:

Economy

• (2010) Halting tax breaks for shipping overseas and issuing them for companies in the U.S. failed
• (2011) No change in tax system in removing corrupt loopholes
• (2012) Stopped the tax hike for 160 million workers and kept the taxes for the poor from increasing, which applies to 98% of families who make under $250,000 a year
• (2012) Did not heighten taxes on the wealthy
• (2012) Failed to train 2 million people for higher-skilled jobs
• (2012) Was not able to double the number of work-study jobs for students to work their way through college
• (2013) Did not raise the minimum wage from $7.25
• (2013)Paycheck Fairness Act not passed and women continue to earn less than men with the same occupation
• (2013) Five hard hit “promise zones” San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Kentucky, and Oklahoma were paired up with Obama’s administration and guided to economic recovery
• (2014) In the process of boosting minimum wage to $10.10 for future federal contracts
• (2014) “The lowest unemployment rate in over five years. A rebounding housing market. A manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. More oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world – the first time that’s happened in nearly twenty years. Our deficits – cut by more than half.” [ State of Union, 2014)

Military

• (2010)Effectively withdrew troops from Iraq
• (2011) Militia removed from Afghanistan
• (2011) Saddam Hussein captured and executed which weakened Al Qaeda
• (2013) Syrian crisis was dealt badly by the U.S. that sent a missile and by its own President Bashar al-Assad who used chemical weapons on his own people
• (2013) Relief efforts have been done to try and prevent the nuclear weapons in Iran
• (2014)Threatening uranium was removed from Iran, and surprise inspections ensure items like bombs aren’t in the making

Foreign affairs and Trade

• (2011) Obama established new alliances with Japan and produced 70,000 jobs. Free trade also trade instilled in South Korea, Panama and Colombia.
• (2012) Trade Enforcement Unit made to investigate corrupt international trading such as in China
• (2012) creation of Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) in 2013 which drove the U.S. on same rigorousness in trade as China, India, Indonesia and Argentina.
• (2012) Failed to double exports and support American jobs to catch up to the levels of markets in Asia
• (2013) Free trade in the Asia-Pacific still in the works
• (2014) “And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.” [ State of Union, 2014]

Education

• (2011) Time of baby-booming teachers and more maternity left positions offered in science, technology, engineering, and math
• (2011) The American Opportunity Tax Credit issued for help on college tuition expired
• (2012) Congress helped stop interests on tuition debt from doubling in July
• (2012) couldn’t persuade every state to require all students to remain in school until they graduate or an adult
• (2013) Early Head Start and Head Start attained $1 million to reimburse cuts for preschools, 30 states independently expanded access to preschools
• (2014) “Teachers and principals in schools from Tennessee to Washington, D.C. are making big strides in preparing students with skills for the new economy – problem solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering, and math.” [State of Union, 2014)

Advancements for the Ecosystem

• (2010) Bill for inducing high tech energy does not pass
• (2011) America failed to break dependence on oil
• (2011) Also, failed to invest in biomedical research and clean energy
• (2012) The tax benefits gained by oil companies were not cut
• (2013) Environmental Protection Agency placed new constraints on the maximum amount of greenhouse gases new power plants may emit
• (2014) Obama still hopes to completely replace oil with biofuel to preserve our air, water, and communities
• (2014) Every four minutes, an additional business or home installs a new solar panel

Other issues haven’t been dealt with much vigor as of yet; such as medical insurance which is slowly but surely working its way out of the ruins. Whereas other areas in question are gun control and immigration reform, where minimal or unsuccessful actions have taking place from 2012 until now. The ‘Fix-It-First’ program to promote jobs and repair 70,000 bridges around the nation was proposed in 2013 but was not enacted. The bridging issue has begun to take notice in 2011 and still continues to strike as a problem.

Many failed attempts to mend America’s problems were caused by clashes between the president and Congress, with the House of Representatives involved every once and a while. Although the changes are gradual here, this is how they are meant to be; the founding fathers created this friction for a reason. Obama’s legal decisions are not passed entirely on his approval, but is a compromise. Some fail to realize that when he may pitch a suggestion that seems set up for failure, it has such a small chance of passing through the legislatures; and the same goes for great ideas. You can’t blame the famed face of Obama without accusing hundreds of other people also in his very position.

Resources:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2011/01/obamas_2010_state_of_the_union.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-2011-state-of-the-union-address-an-accounting/2012/01/22/gIQA8bu6IQ_blog.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-2012-state-of-the-union-proposals-what-flopped-and-what-succeeded/2013/02/11/13ec115e-748d-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_blog.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/28/obamas-2013-state-of-the-union-proposals-what-flopped-and-what-succeeded/
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/28/politics/state-of-the-union-sales-pitch/

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