Tonight features Barack Obama’s last State of the Union as he reviews and evaluates his agenda for the past year, focusing on some of the key issues he even began pursuing seven years ago. The great thing about the State of the Union is that it gives people the opportunity to catch up before the year starts on most of the political issues, especially if they haven’t been reading the news.
Right now, the question is whether or not he will address any of the problems that he promised to. Overall, he partly or completely fulfilled 11 out of 20 of his goals from the 2015 agenda, which is not a bad accomplishment at all. Let’s recap on some of the issues that have been facing the country and what the government has done to look through it.
Unfortunately, quality child care has not become more affordable. Obama’s $3,000 tax credit plan did not make it past the floor.
Federal minimum wage hasn’t been increased due to backlash of opposing parties. Fortunately enough, though, states and cities have been able to use their jurisdiction to ensure that minimum was is still higher.
Republicans hate the concept of “free community college” – I’m going to have to admit that this plan was sort of a long-shot in the first place. Too many people think it’s a terrible way to spend government money.
America’s College Promise was another plan on the agenda to decrease student debt. However, as always, the Republicans kept pushing against it by promoting the Pell Grant (which I’m not sure is actually helpful towards a lot of people who need it).
The big party/political ideology divide exists on the topic of using forces against ISIS. Do you think Obama will be able to push this through by the end of the year? Well, it may take a little longer than that since terrorism will be taking some interesting turns within the next decade.
Obama scored a “partial” victory by gaining authority over big trade, especially concerning the negotiation of commerce with lawmakers.
Trans-Pacific Partnership is also at a partial success so far, which will help grow both the American and global economies.
Despite Republican backlash, Obama successfully negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, which will be fully implemented in a few weeks. Some people may disagree with me, but I feel so much better that this was a success.
A new international agreement has been negotiated on climate change. Even though this is a partial success, any step counts towards solutions to global warming. I’ll expand on this topic on more “Us + the World” category posts, but, overall, this is a huge situation that needs to be resolved and that many people don’t believe is an actual problem. Props to Obama.
How Executive Power Was Used: The reason why there have been so many misses, legislation-wise, is because Congress is filled with Republicans. Whether this is a good or bad thing, it’s withheld some power on the president’s part to actually enact something incredibly strong. So for those who do blame the president for doing nothing, we need to remember that the government consists of multiple branches.
Gun control has been such a huge debate in terms of the past shootings all over the world. It’s also sparked a lot of issues, specifically between the Republican and Democratic parties, because of certain wordings. When reading these laws, it’s essential to understand what is truly going on, even if that means reading the fine-print. Many people ignore “semi-automatic weapons” (these are the weapons that the terrorists used in Paris) in the legislation, which is causing a lot of backlash against gun control. But so far, Obama’s used executive order to ensure background cover checks, which is a step further.
Obama’s also used executive power to defer the deportation of immigrants. It’s important that we remember where our roots are from. Some of the most successful people in this world, such as Steve Jobs and Andrew Carnegie, were descendants of immigrants and people forget that too.
I apologize if my opinions came out a little too strong tonight, but please note that these are also my opinions. I do my best to simply cover the facts in this category, but when it comes to humanity and politics, it’s difficult to not include my thoughts as well. Overall, I can’t wait until tonight’s State of the Union (at 9pm whoo!).
So get ready!