By far last night was the best State of the Union address Obama has delivered, and probably one of the top 5 of all times. He was cool, calm, funny and addressed issues that matter to you and me. At the end of the speech one thing became certain; “lame duck” is a phrase we won’t be hearing that much in the next two years.
A big part of Obama’s speech was spent on talking about important issues to working families, like fair wages, lower taxes and easier and cheaper access to higher education. That last one was one that set off Senator Rand Paul:
Mr. President, you can’t wave a magic wand and declare something free. Someone has to pay for it. #sotu
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 21, 2015
What the toupee Senator is talking about is Obama’s plan for free community college for all. What he doesn’t understand is that the plan would pay for itself. How is that? Simple. The average college graduate earns an additional $500,000 over their lifetime. Even if they loopholed their way down to paying only 10% in income tax, that still amounts to an extra $50,000 the government gets, which pays for an awful lot of community college. So President Obama’s plan not only provides a path to prosperity for all our citizens, but also a nice cash cow for the government. Everyone wins, well except Rand.
Then we get to the President talking about his tax plan of giving the struggling middle class some savings through the closing of loopholes and taxing items that only the top earners take advantage of. Again, a populace stance that even Republicans have been trying to take a hold of. I won’t go into detail on this, but rather just direct you to my previous blog post on the issue.
Out of all this, one thing was certain last night – Republicans really hate our President. Being a constituent of John Boehner, my eyes were of course affixed on him and his response. I counted no more than 6 times that he clapped for something the President said. Even when the President talked about our economy bouncing back from the biggest crash most of us have ever seen, the man in orange could not muster the decency to clap. This was of course carried over to his side of the aisle. One telling view was when President Obama addressed Martin Luther King, jr. The left side of the aisle took to their feet in applause, while the right sat on their hands. I began to worry about the Republicans, thinking they would suffer severe leg and arm cramps after the speech.
Of course the biggest part of last night was the President’s zinger at the GOP. When Obama said he has no more campaigns to run, the right decided to show they were still alive by clapping for that. The President then responded with “I know, because I won them both.” Instantly the GOP took to Twitter and social media to show outrage over this. I guess the truth really does hurt?
With President Obama now down to less than two years in office, I was dreading the winter depression of political junkies, when a lame duck President just rides out his days. After last night I am now excited over the next two years. President Obama showed that he just isn’t going to go the way of his predecessors, but continue to fight for Americans day in and day out. I think this approach has taken the GOP of guard, but once the veto pen starts flowing, they will quickly realize the reality that sits in front of them – they will need to work with President Obama or face down a very angry electorate come next year.