Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Few Thoughts on the State of the Union

Obama hit all the right chords last night, and his plea to the Congress was simple. Let's quit acting in the best interest of our party and start acting in the best interests of the people. Not a hard concept to grasp, is it?

This nation is in trouble, deep trouble, and holding on to the status quo is not going to get it. Clinging to the old ways is simply clinging to the anchor that is slowly and inevitably pulling us under. We need serious changes to the way we operate the system.

Equalizing the tax codes and eliminating shelters will create an influx of income to the government that will allow us to create jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, and restore our economy. Strict and enforceable regulation of the financial institutions and Wall Street, not to mention the practice of insider trading by members of Congress, will help to restore the confidence of the American people and force those institutions who received bail out money to repay it to the American people and not stuff their own wallets and accounts with money they did not earn.

A favorite of mine the President did not mention is reforming the Social Security System to restore the rightful benefits to people who have paid into the system all their lives. Rather than raise age limits and reduce benefits, the Social Security System could be saved by removing the employee wage cap on Social Security deductions. Persons earning more than $108,000.00 a year would continue to contribute at the established 6.4%, while employers would contribute their share up to that amount.

Our education system is broken, and we cannot fix it with mandated tests that lead schools to forsake real world education in favor of required scores. Our teachers and school administrators need our support in turning education back to the purpose of preparing our children to succeed in the modern world. Our students and parents must be actively involved in maintaining discipline in our schools and ending the distractions of drugs and violence that serves only to alienate and sway us from the true course. We must work with our educators to build a system of support that provides the finest education we can give, and if we apply ourselves, we can give the finest education in the world.

In short, we must restore the ability of America to provide the American Dream to every man and woman who wants to participate in the economy. We must restore the faith of the American people in the vision of America conceived by our forefathers and their legacy, a nation where discrimination and separatism are never tolerated, where people of all races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, and genders are treated with respect and dignity, a nation where a man is truly free.

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