Last night, our President delivered his State of the Union Address and while I’m not the most politically inclined person on the planet, I still feel it’s our duty as American citizens to be aware of what he’s been able to accomplish from his 2011 goals and what he hopes to cross off his to do list in 2012.
Seeing as how this is the last year of President Obama‘s term (unless we re-elect him), it’s important for us to know what he has planned and how it will effect us. Here are three points from the State of the Union that you should be aware of, either for water cooler talk or just to be in the know.
Economy: This has been a pressing issue for the United States even before President Obama was elected. Last night, this was the star of the speech. The President wants to provide programs to improve education and job training. There’s a gap in the skill set between under-trained, under-educated and unemployed Americans and the jobs they’re not quite qualified for. Realistically speaking, Obama knows that it’s going to take time to get the almost 50% of Americans who’ve been without a job for 6 months or more back to work, but is determined to make that happen within his term and hopefully within the next.
He also wants to provide a tax break to companies who “insource” jobs back to the United States. With this break, companies are rewarded for hiring U.S. citizens. He also wants to see U.S. exports increase and is willing to travel all around the world to open up new markets for U.S. products.
And what about college loans putting students further into debt? If the President’s intentions come to pass, congress would prevent student loan rates from going up, extend a tax credit for college tuition and double the number of work-study jobs in the next five years.
Energy: President Obama wants to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and would like to develop every available source of American energy, from using our natural gas resources (he noted that he wants all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use to avoid health risks) to new technology in the clean energy sector.
Clean energy is key in the preservation of our world as we know it. “I’m directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes. And I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense, working with us, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history — with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.”
**read the rest here**