Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In Appreciation of President Obama's Address to Congress

Last night Address to Congress was everything that I had hoped it would be. As I previously stated, my initial reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Obama has always been a great speaker and I was confident that he would rise to the occasion yet again. Delivery is one thing. Content is another and there was a lot to like in what he said. What stuck with me the most was the middle section, which discussed energy independence, health care and education. These three things will do more long term good for our economy than any tax cut ever will.

Start with energy independence. The benefits are simply amazing. Starting with government investment, there is no doubt in my mind that the U.S. will become the leader in renewable energy. Sell this technology around the world, technology that is developed and made in America. Not only do we create jobs and new growth, but we begin to save the planet as well, leaving the Earth better for our children and their children. Oh, and it's good for the economy.

As for health care, well, we can debate this all we want, but I think that's the #1 killer of American business today. Maybe you've heard the story about how Starbucks spends more on health care than on coffee. I have personally heard stories of premiums of $400 per month followed by $2000 deductibles. How is that possibly fair to the working individual? What are they paying for? This country will be crushed by the weight of this kind of overhead. There's so much talk about protecting small businesses. I think they should start by fixing health care. Oh, and it's good for the economy too.

Finally, the President brought up education. I have thought about this for a long time. My thoughts are selfish. There is a distinct possibility that I will end up in a nursing home someday. I want the absolute best care and I don't want a bunch of nit-wits that can't read working on me. Even more important than that, we need to give our children the very best education simply because better educated citizens can do more. Smarter Americans equals a stronger America. Oh, and, yep, you guessed it, a smart America is good for the economy.

The one thing I have always liked about our President is that he tells it like it is. He never talks down to us and gives us credit for having the ability to think for ourselves. He can be brutally honest one minute and completely uplifting the next. Frankly, he's cool. But what I appreciate the most is his instance in thinking and planning for the long term in spite of short term gains.

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