Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tonight's Challenge

It's that time of the year again. We're about to end the first month of the new year. And we're entering the sixth year of Barack Obama's Presidency.

So of course, we will all be treated to another State of the Union address. So what will be in tonight's speech? And what should President Obama say to Congress & to the American people?

Does the President need to directly confront Republican "leaders" over their record of indulging G-O-TEA obstruction fantasies? Does he need to "go big" and offer bold policy proposals that will probably never pass through this Congress? Or does he need to go beyond just the reputation of the 113th Congress?

Every so often, we're reminded that economic inequality remains a serious problem. And not only is it just any problem, but it's a particularly dangerous threat to the future of this nation. Why? Our economy is built on the foundation of a solid middle class. Without that, we've lost the foundation.

And now, that foundation is more unstable than ever before. And even more attacks to that foundation lie ahead. As Congress continues to tear into the very social safety net meant to keep Americans out of poverty, more Americans are now at risk of falling deep into poverty.

To be fair, not all the news on this front is bad. Thanks to Obamacare (aka the ACA), the poorest Americans will see their incomes rise due to health care savings. Lower unemployment obviously means more people are working today (than during the depths of the Great Recession 5 years ago). Hard fought tax reform in recent years is resulting in a more progressive tax system. And if President Obama indeed vows to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors, that will help in reducing extreme poverty & inequality.

Still, there's far more to do to restore the foundation of America's economy... And the American people's trust in it. That's tonight's challenge for the President. Can he rise to this occasion?

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