State of the Union - Still Looking for Leadership | An Independent Voters View

26 January 2011 – The President delivered his annual State of the Union Address last night. In recent months I have remarked about President Obama’s failure to provide the necessary leadership to move the country forward in these trying times. I was in recent weeks encouraged that after the election of November, the President managed to do a better job of this as witnessed by the passage of maintaining the current tax rates, the START Treaty, and even the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, was done by leading from the front and pulling together lawmakers to accomplish these tasks. Good job. His address to the nation at the memorial service in Tucson was commendable as well.

So a few words to the President on the speech last night –

Sir-

Last night you had the chance to build on your recent successes by taking a different tack to the normal State of the Union speech by laying out some defined goals, and limits to government. Instead you rolled along with the usual platitudes, about education, green energy, etc, etc, etc.., with no mention of how you would do that while reducing both the deficit and the national debt. Freezing spending at the current inflated levels is a load of old rubbish. Spending by the Federal government is going to have to decrease and significantly so. Is it reasonable to drop back to 2008 right out of the gate? Probably not; but keeping it at current levels is unacceptable.

You had the chance to tell the educators and the education system in America that in these times of personal spending limits, and reductions by the taxpayers; you are going to have to do more with less. If as you say our children are not testing as high internationally as they were before, than lets look at how we used to do it when we led the world. Lets return to an education methodology that worked; and was cost effective. One final word on education, I am not favorably disposed on providing any education funding for any individual that is not here legally.

You talked about green energy, and disparaged the oil companies. By that are you telling us that we should just live with $3.00 or higher gas prices when we have the resources here at home to fulfill much or most of our needs if they are used. Unacceptable. The lead-time on effective mass transit green energy is measured in decades. While that is in progress we need to support alternative transition fuels like natural gas, and while I applaud the fact that you mentioned it, you left the idea far short of the attention it needs.

Your tax talk has some potential, though I still think your fixation with the top 2% is bordering on the obsessive, and disingenuous when you call them all millionaires. If it’s $250K and above then be consistent and say so; If you want to slam the millionaires, then redo the math and use the right percentage. I personally think any income tax percentage above 35% is confiscatory and is not a good idea. If you instead want to flatten the tax by simplifying it, and closing deductions and loopholes, then rock on, as I’m all for everybody paying every penny of the rate they qualify for. Never the less you lost on opportunity to provide some real guidance and goals on tax policy. While failing to recognize the best way to increase revenue is to get out of the way of business and let them create jobs and get the country back to full employment.

The healthcare debate is going to continue and I commend you for offering a working relationship for those who want to change it. The fact is the courts are going to require it to be changed and in a significant way. Medical care and insurance costs have to be controlled in a free market way, and just as I mentioned education costs above, when everyone else has to cut back, we (the voting public) do not suffer price increases well. You could have focused some attention on that but chose to niggle away at the insurers and defend the piece of crap legislation you engineered last year. Poor choice.

You did mention an initiative to ‘streamline’ the government through consolidation. This might well have been the one bright spot in your ideas. I’m looking forward to actually seeing the hard data on this and evaluating your proposals. This is one of those things that comes up every now and again like waste fraud and abuse but never gets done. I’m skeptical but wish you well on the endeavor.

 I wrap this up by reminding you sir, that we the people can in fact come to compromise when the facts are laid out and you and the congress actually work out a plan to tackle our problems. We look to you for leadership in accomplishing these things and at this point I think you are letting your recent successes be frittered away by your failure to really take the lead and make firm proposals to accomplish our goals. You know what you need to do to make progress, get some hard numbers and show us the way forward. (By the way, leave the comedy for professionals).

JH Ellis Sr

Independent Voter

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16 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Bravo! Your commentary contained all the substance that the president's speech lacked. He would have been better off if you wrote the speech, that is, if he agreed with your excellent ideas. I think that''s doubtful. Voted up and awesome.


Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 5 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

Voted up and awesome...if only all of us in the US had this attitude it would be wonderful. Together we could make a change. If his office could be flooded with letters all repeating this it might make a difference...but to people who only hold their own venue and noone elses such as he does, I doubt it would work.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS WONDERFUL SYNOPSIS....KUDOS


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Excellent letter that covered the speech extremely well. I absolutely agree with your take on this speech and only see a man trying to set himself up to be re-elected.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Thanks Pop - I doubt he agrees with my ideas, though he seems to want create and to hold on to an illusion of physical responsibility. We'll see when the congress starts cutting.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

WMH - Thanks for your comment we need to spread the message beyond his office, we need to post it to every congressman and senator, we need to light up the switchboards, clog up their email, load up their facebooks etc, with the message that we insist they put out a plan and follow through, if the POTUS is not gonna lead then let's see who steps up.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Pam - No surprises there, re-election is what these guys do. All of em. Still we can try to hold their collective feet in the fire and make someone stand up and say let's try it this way. Thanks for stopping by.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

A vote up and awesome for you! A letter to the president that states exactly how I feel. I was so very disappointed in his State of the Union speech. Action! Take action Mr. Pres.... I thank you sir, for expressing your feelings and in such a great way!


Texasbeta 5 years ago

First, you additionally have to grow the economy. They who control the means of energy, always rule. That includes oil as well. Britain and the US ruled, even though we import the oil, because for the last 100 years we have installed and maintained pawns in the government who give us cheap oil (see Iran/Mogedesh). Whether you believe in green energy or not, it is clearly the next economic boom, like personal computers or the internet in the recent past. China, India...investing heavily in this field. Now, in 5 years if China figures something out...well, we are screwed for a while and we are now playing catchup. So, green energy is the near future economic boom. You can be a part of it, or you can be the ones purchasing it from people we can't push around.

Secondly, are you kidding me with the education argument? You want to keep your 3% tax cut, that adds $800 billion to the deficit, but you want education to accept the cuts and go back to teaching from the 50s? Are you beyond out of your mind? We need to spend more, get better teachers, more teachers, more resources, and also change our teaching methods by advancing not digressing. We teach a test because Bush put the entire funding based upon that damned test. If you value education so little, I fear you might not have had the benefit of it.

Gas prices? Grow up! Your entire hub is about YOU keeping things easy on YOU, and the country and our future can just suck it. Accept some responsibility. In order to progress, you might not get be to keep the cheapest gas prices in the industrialized world. Take a little consideration for the future of our country! You are acting like a spoiled little child.

Your argument about Obama not speaking towards tax policy is ridiculous. Obama talked about corporate loop holes and reducing the corporate tax.

Health care debate...you are again incorrect. The courts are not "inevitably" going to change key points of it. There have been 21 lawsuits so far, and only 1 has come back stating it was not entirely Constitutional...oddly enough, the judge does speaking engagements with the Heritage Foundation. Big shocker.

I say to you sir, that it is YOU who needs to look in the mirror. You are taking your luxuries as God given rights. You do NOT have a God given right to keep your measly 3% tax break. You do NOT have a God given right to keep your gas at $3 bucks. GROW UP! Take a few seconds to actually put the country's future over your personal luxury. You know who isn't cutting back? Goldman and Sachs, every major bank, and lobbyists. We have had 8 straight quarters of record aggregate profits in this country. If you want to get angry...remember that consumer demand generates jobs, not Presidential policy. Those execs who have increased their earnings while you have had to cut back, for causing this mess in the first place, all while not hiring because their profits are at record levels already...write them a hub. This is ridiculous.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago

I've heard it said that people hear what they want to hear. I wanted to hear good things from the speech. But I was disappointed in it.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

vocalcoach - Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think most people left and right were disappointed.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Texasbeta - So glad you found an opportunity to rant, you must certainly feel better by now. Now lets address some of your specifics,

First - How do you think we can grow the economy with $5-6/gal gasoline? Please recall that oil is not the prime source for electricity, it is the fuel of transportation. The nearest term substitute for oil in transportation is nat gas, not electricity (which primarily uses that dirty old coal for generation) the nearest term sub for coal is nuclear energy, solar and wind are decades away from producing electricity in any meaningful way. If we are going to achieve energy independence than we have to use all the resources we have and we have plenty.

Second - I do not profit in any way from the difference of 35-39% it's not my 3%. I still believe that best path for our economy is a reduction in government spending not confiscatory tax rates.

Third - Your rant in the education arena goes on to prove my point, had you done your homework, (Like we did in the 50-60's) you would have taken a moment to realize a couple of things, one of which is the two biggest projects of our age, Space Flight, and the Internet were developed using the slide rules, pencils, and paper that my generation was taught to use in our high schools. Our education system worked so well, the Japanese, Chinese, and others came over and copied it, adding an even more disciplined approach that fit in with their culture. We on the other hand went down a different road and cluttered our primary education up with 'cultural' studies and many more (I'm not picking on one group here just the first that came to mind) while lowering the standards to the degree that even most of our High School Graduates are not reading or writing at grade level. Seems to me sometimes less is more.

Now as to my hub being about me; if you had done your research you would have found out that I spent 22 years after high school defending your freedoms through my service in the Army, I have participated in three wars, multiple overseas tours and deployments while being paid 50-60% less than my civilian counter parts. Since my retirement I have found additional ways to serve my country, none of which have made me wealthy.

So I will wrap this up by reminding you that a Democrat a little over 50 years ago implored a nation to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." That is the walk I walk, I suggest you do the same.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Joni - Thanks for stopping by, I think most were disappointed.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

I voted you up Hammer Jammer. I see no leadership coming from a two party system that was bought long ago. This is America and Obama will not ruffle the feathers of the rich who are the problem in almost every case that can be brought up. Got a problem? Throw money at it. If it's not getting money- it isn't a problem. There has been enough money to build America several times over. But these two fake political parties will never hold truth for any time. America and the world will NEVER see a change until the worshiping of power is thought to be taboo. These two political parties are FAKE. They are lies. Their job are to get elected and re-elected. There will NEVER be a real leader to emerge from Harvard or Yale. There will NEVER be a lawyer to police the court-rooms of America where the injustice system of America that blunders and stumbles and corrupts. Not in 200 hundred years have lawyers run a court-room with ANY honesty and they will never straighten out a court-room that kills innocent people as they have and trampled over the innocent with imprisonment as they have. The courts are a travesty. If America was serious AT ALL about justice, fairness, America, and God- America would get shed of lawyers and NEVER EVER give one of them a job anywhere. Lawyers have proved their loyalty is money. Lawyers have proved for 200 years that they will corrupt the entire Earth for personal gain. The proof is in the pudding. The proof is in the results. I've had enough "results" to prove to me that the GOP is the RICH MAN'S party. The democrats have proven that their's is the RICH MAN'S party. You will know them by their fruits and these parties are nothing but toxic!


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Mic- I understand the rage my friend. But what I don't see is what to replace all the wrong stuff with. Do a hub on what you want to build I'm begging you. I really would like to read what your vision for fairness and good governance is. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

as always well written and something I can understand, you will have to forgive my ignorance about american politics, as I am from canada, but do the states not have a say in education as well?

Up in Canada, health care, and education are the part of teh responsibilites of teh provinces which also get help fromt eh Fereral government, so I am wodnering does that happen in teh States as well?


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Rebecca - Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are correct that the States and for that matter the county governments have what should be the biggest say in education K-12.

Since the creation of the Dept of Education in the late 70's the fed's have had a bigger and bigger role. The debate now is whether or not it's worth the money spent since the desired results are not being achieved.

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