On January 18, 2014, President Obama gave the State of the Union Address. This address is similar to others, specifically the SOTU Address in 2010, in quite a few ways. For example, President Obama declared that the state of the union is very strong, and the citizens keep it that way, never give up, and never let the hardships break their spirit. He then expressed his joy at the decrease of unemployment rates. The President made sure to explain how more people have jobs than before, and how to create more jobs. In 2010, he explained a bit on how the Recovery Act (or Stimulus Bill) helped people get new jobs, and helped others keep jobs they were previously about to lose. In 2014, he told of how the unemployment rates have gone down, and how he wants to create more jobs by having more things ‘made in the USA’. Also, in both addresses, he strongly expressed his desire to have the United States insource jobs, and for companies to be able to make profits when jobs were insourced, not outsourced. This would create thousands of more jobs for Americans. He also wanted to beat other countries, and move forward in the economy, so that the United States of America can be number 1.
Another topic the President talked about was clean energy and climate change. In both speeches, he expressed the country’s need for cleaner and safer energy, and he spoke of the numerous jobs it would create. In his speech in 2014, he said “the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact” (SOTU Address, 2014). He has mentioned the steps taken to reach that goal, such as the 100 billion dollars invested in natural gas companies for safer and better air, in his 2014 address.
Health care was another common topic between the two speeches. In 2010, he said that we could not walk away from reform and that we need to help those who need it most, such as those with preexisting conditions. In 2014, improvements were shown, such as the fact that people were no longer able to be turned down because of preexisting conditions, and women did not have to pay more just because they were women. The Affordable Care Act was put into play too, allowing those who cannot afford insurance be able to get health care.
Women and equality in work was also a topic in both addresses. In 2010, President Obama stated that he wanted women to get the same pay as men when they did the same exact job in the same, hardworking way. In the SOTU Address in 2014, he mentioned that the problem still exists. Women still hold the majority of low wage jobs.
The President also talked about the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. He stated that he wanted to get all of the troops home from Iraq by 2012 in his 2010 address. He also spoke of how we will support the veterans when they get home. In 2014, he declared that all of the American troops were out of Iraq, and 60% of troops were out of Afghanistan, with the rest staying as support. They will assist afghan troops and prevent terrorist attacks. The President also said that the US must only perform necessary attacks, and not the ones that the terrorists prefer from us, such as sending out many troops.
In the address in 2010, the President spoke of the importance of education, and the plans to reduce student loans. In 2014, he mentioned that more students are earning college degrees than ever before. He also wants to connect students to high speed broad bands. President Obama said that though education is better than it was before, “we’re still not reaching enough kids, and we’re still not reaching them in time” (SOTU Address, 2014).
Finally, the President spoke of childhood obesity, and the steps the First Lady was taking to prevent it. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, started a program to help prevent childhood obesity. In his address in 2014, President Obama proudly declared that the program was working, and obesity rates had gone down.
There are some topics that have changed over the years though. In 2010, President Obama spoke about the bank crisis and the ever hated bank bailout, and he spoke of his proposal to get back the rest of the money spent on banks. Newer issues spoken about in 2014 included Immigration reform, raising minimum wage to $10.10 (“No one who works full time should raise their family in poverty” (SOTU Address, 2014)), raising the debt ceiling, closing Guantanamo Bay, and gun violence. There is also the nuclear bomb problem in Iran. There is the Iran Interim Agreement, and it was said that Iran started getting rid of nuclear weapon agreement. The President also says that he does not want to trust Iran not to make nuclear weapons; he wants to make sure that they won’t based on long term evidence.
The State of the Union Addresses in 2010 and 2014 were similar in many ways, most of which was how much the USA has improved since 2010. There were also some new issues that now need to be solved, and the President states that he wants to work hard on solving them.
2014 SOTU Address
2010 SOTU Address (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/youtubeclip.php?clipid=87433&admin=44)