Local reaction to the State of the Union Address
By Fran Odyniec
Tuesday night, President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union Address to the 113th Congress seated in the House of Representatives.
While the address featured proposals for business and personal income tax reforms, stronger financial monitoring of Wall Street, increased funding for community colleges that serve as “career centers,” and relief for small business start-ups among other issues, local government officials were not overly enthused over the address.
“He sounded like a man who wants to be re-elected,” said State Representative Bob Hackett (R). “He is trying to tell Americans that there is a dysfunctional Congress.”
Hackett said that the president somewhat missed the point when he touted the deficit cut of $2 trillion.
“There will still be an increase in the deficit,” said Hackett. “But the president is cutting the increase by $2 trillion.”
U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R) had a smiliar take on the address.
“It’s the beginning of a campaign instead of a real effort,” said Stivers. “The president has some new ideas, but he didn’t say how we would pay for them.”
Both Hackett and Stivers were disappointed that Obama did not mention his $700 billion stimulus bill or his health care bill. They agreed that both of those bills fell short of what they promised to provide in terms of jobs and jump-starting the economy.
“Obama care is making health care more expensive and creating a drag on jobs,” said Stivers.
“The only thing we saw in Madison County was a replacement for a bridge on Old Xenia Road,” said Hackett.
State Senator Chris Widener said, “If the President is eager for good ideas on how to create an environment for job and economic growth, he need only look to Ohio.
“Over the last year, we have overcome extraordinary challenges to bring fiscal stability to the state and create a strong environment for job and economic growth. Ohio is now the top spot in the Midwest and ranked ninth nationally in job growth since Jan. 2011. We need strong and decisive leadership to restore prosperity and economic opportunity to our state and our nation.”
Asking Congress to send him immediately legislation that he would act on “tomorrow,” and promising not to let financial irresponsibility and unaccountability dip into the pockets of average Americans, Obama asked for reforms in the nation’s tax codes that currently reward businesses that outsource jobs and subsidize millionaires who pay as much in taxes as average Americans.
He also asked Congress for more funding for community colleges that engage in career-training as “career centers” that teach skills from data management to high-tech manufacturing.
Higher education would see less funding, Obama promised, if colleges and universities can’t stop tuition from going up.