Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The State of the Union

President Barack Obama delivered what I believe to be one of the best State of the Union addresses I have heard in years this evening - and I say that as someone who has been watching them since the days of Jimmy Carter. (Yes, I was a nerd as a kid.)

First, as a Detroiter, it was great to see newly elected Rep. Hansen Clarke at the State of the Union instead of his predecessor, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, mother/instigator for disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick.

As for the speech itself, I loved the fact that President Obama referenced the one million private sector jobs created in 2010. It's great to remind everyone that some good is happening, just not as fast as anyone would like.

I couldn't help but notice that when the President proposed a five year freeze in government spending hardly anyone applauded. That is a shame.

As a small business owner, I loved the President's idea of simplifying the tax code and lowering the corporate tax rate. I was also thrilled with his suggestion of getting rid of the 1099 requirement for small businesses.

I think his goal of having one million electric cars on the road by 2015 is a great. I also think that paying for it by eliminating subsidies to oil companies is even better.

I'm glad that the President included plans for immigration and infrastructure in the State of the Union as well. He was quite general in his remarks, but it shows that he will likely push for those issues, which is a positive in my opinion.

I was mildly disappointed that, when President Obama talked about the importance of technology and innovation, he didn't push the space program as more than example of what we did in the past. In my opinion, the space program is something where it's possibilities for inspiring innovation are only beginning. I feel it deserved a more prominent place and more emphasis should have been placed on the future of the space program instead of its past.

Finally, when President Obama talked about high-speed rail, I was quite excited. Although, when he mentioned that it would make some trips faster than a plane and enable it to happen "without the pat down" I suddenly became worried that we might not see Corinne Theile in a bikini anytime soon.

All in all, this was a great speech. Now, however, comes the hard part - actually doing all of the things that President Obama talked about this evening.

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