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UI Republicans: Thoughts on the State of the Union

BY GUEST OPINION | FEBRUARY 03, 2012 7:20 AM

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President Obama gave his third, and likely final, State of the Union address on Jan. 31. Rather than discussing substantive reform to solve our nation's economic troubles, Obama chose once again to waste an hour of our country's time with campaign slogans and empty promises.

The president should know by now that the American people are not looking for another four years of rhetoric; they demand results.

In contrast, Obama has been largely successful in managing our nation's decay while placing the blame on everyone else. In the address, whether by unattached ignorance or willful deception, Obama failed to be honest with the American people by feeding them more empty campaign rhetoric rather than the facts they deserve.

Obama failed to address the fact that the federal government's debt is spiraling out of control. On Inauguration Day 2009, America's total debt was $10.6 trillion. Three short years later, Obama has increased our debt to a staggering $15.2 trillion with no end in sight. Our president watches our debt climb $4.2 billion every day, $175 million every hour, and almost $3 million every minute.

Do you truly believe America can endure four more years of such mismanagement?

Obama failed to discuss the facts of entitlement reform. We cannot make an impact on reducing our debt without bringing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid into the 21st century. In just 15 short years, every cent of every tax dollar will be needed to solely fund these programs and interest on the debt. Without reform, these programs will fail.

Obama failed to mention the fact that unemployment continues to remain well above 8 percent. Since Obama took office, America has lost 1.7 million net jobs since 2009 while the percentage of Americans with a job is the lowest in decades. Now, the same young people that turned out in droves for the president in 2008 are now forced to confront their outrageous student loans with even less of an opportunity of gainful employment. Putting Americans back to work is the most imperative ingredient to ensure America's future success, and our president continues to be unable, or incapable, of providing solutions.

Obama spoke of "American-made energy" but failed to mention the fact that he single-handedly canceled the Congressionally approved Keystone XL Pipeline just days prior. In one stroke, President Obama turned his back on tens of thousands of ready-to-work Americans that the pipeline could have immediately employed while deliberately obstructing the will of the Congress. Our president prioritized the minority opinions of the far left, rather than create jobs and secure American energy independence. On top of this, Americans continue to feel the pain of Obama's energy policies on a daily basis. On Inauguration day 2009, a gallon of regular gasoline cost $1.85; today it is $3.39 — an 83% increase in just three years.

President Obama also failed to note the fact that his third State of the Union marked exactly 1,000 days since the Senate passed a budget. In 2011, it was on the floor of the Democrat controlled Senate that the president's own budget was unanimously rejected. Obama's estimated budget deficit this year will once again run more than $1 trillion, further compounding the problems we face as a nation.

Four years ago as a candidate, Barack Obama benefited from making lofty promises without a demonstrable record to the contrary. Today however, his administration's record stands diametrically opposed to the empty, prepared words he reads from his teleprompter.

The last three years have placed the state of our union in grave condition. Thankfully, Americans have the chance to right this course in November by demanding accountability and renouncing complacency.

— University of Iowa College Republicans


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