Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union kudos and questions

I heard a number of rays of hope listening to President Obama's State of the Union address yesterday. For starters, while it may appear to simply be cosmetic to many, I for one was encouraged to see the Republicans and Democrats sitting together. During this most challenging time in our nation’s history we do well to remember lessons from our history…. United we stand, divided we fall!

A few other things I appreciated from the President’s address to the nation:

• The importance of our “nation builders”… teachers!
• The continued critical role of innovation, a national attribute that is essential for our economic vitality
• Support of efforts to reduce the US's dependency upon fossil fuels
• The need for simplification of our tax code, both for corporations and individuals. Do our Washington politicians have the strength of courage to dismantle what their predecessors have assembled thanks to the powerful influence of lobbyist? Money still has a loud voice in DC.

A couple of bigger questions that the president didn’t address include the following:

• How can we tame our military-industrial-congressional-complex, which continues to be a three headed monster? In 2008 the United State's defense spending of 607 billion dollars was 41.5% of the total world's defense spending.  The US is also the world's largest military exporter.
• How can we incentivize personal saving and reduce excessive spending? We don’t hear any messages coming from DC to live more simply and spend less.

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