How did you all feel about last night's State of the Union Address. Four thoughts immediately came to my mind listening to the president last night.
1.) I cannot understand what the point of forgiving college debt after a certain time is. Where is the incentive for me to pay off my own? Yeah, it might hurt my credit score, but I will never have to pay off any more! Right now, I still owe about $11, 000 to Sallie Mae. I wouldn't mind saving that money. But if I do not pay for it, who will?
The only possible benefit I could see to such a program is that those whose debt is forgiven might spend their saved money, helping the economy to grow. Somehow I doubt that this will work out.
2.) Why on earth did President Obama call out the Supreme Court? It was a cheap political shot and frankly I don't blame Obama for looking away from the justices in attendance when he spoke. He should have been ashamed. The court's recent ruling, relaxing limitations on what corportations and unions can spend on election advertising, was an excellent one. No, I'm not a big fan of money in politics. It obviously has a corrupting influence. But as Obama said, the reason he opposed the ruling is because "elections should be decided by the American People" not corporations. Well, Mr. President, I certainly could not agree with you more. I fail to see how this ruling changes that, however. The only way this can be a game changer is if the American people are too stupid to realize when they are being sold propaganda in commercials and other advertisements. Besides, I have a hard time listening to someone lecture me on money in a political race, when he outspent his main opponent in the 2008 election by a margin of nearly 2.5/1. A whopping 730 million to ensure his election to the presidency. Yup, let the people decide.
3.) I strongly support a spending freeze like the one the president proposed. But what the president proposed last night was a spending freeze that does not include the military industrial complex, Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. Yet, in the same speech he spoke of the deficit that was created by two wars and an expensive prescription drug benefit from the Bush administration. He is right of course about the major source of our national debt but he is not really addressing the problem. We have to cut defense spending in our country. The pentagon must be reigned in. Secondly, medicare and Social Security are eating up our entire federal tax revenue. They are simply too expensive. Either the SS tax has to be increased, or the age for receiving benefits must be pushed back.
4.) I wanted to commend the president on the call to Congress to begin governing. I suppose you could blame the sound byte, sour grapes, partisanship, whatever you choose...but the current crop of Republican Senators and Representatives have largely been an embarassment. They have acted like stingy school children. Now, largely I agree with them on what they have said "no" to. But it might seem a bit more genuine if they had ever stood up to President Bush when he was spending us into oblivion. I generally hope, along with the president, that Washington can again begin, not necessaily to set aside differences, but to actually debate the merits of policy. That is what a deliberative body like the Senate is supposed to do.