State of the Union is more of the same

Published 9:56 pm Friday, January 31, 2014

The most interesting part of President Obama’s State of the Union address did not come from the mouth of the president. Rather, it was in the reaction of the partisan audience to what Obama said.

After Obama finished making a point, the camera would pan across the audience in the U.S. Capitol. The difference in the reactions between the Democrats and Republicans was striking. Democrats stood and applauded nearly everything the President said. Republicans sat motionless in their chairs.

This is telling heading in to an election cycle. Any hopes that Americans had about the country’s leaders banding together in the spirit of bipartisanship were squashed when Republicans failed to embrace any of the president’s key policy points.

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Obama used his address to focus on the problem of income inequality in America. While this is a noble goal, we have heard this platform from Obama again and again. Obama even promised to close Guantanamo Bay yet again. Obama initially made this promise when he was campaigning for the presidency in 2008.

In his address, Obama promised to increase the minimum wage for workers of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. He also said he plans to address the wage gap between men and women. He also plans to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to more Americans In order to accomplish these policies, Obama said he will use executive orders to bypass Congress.

So far, Obama’s presidency has been a lot like this last State of the Union address—full of pomp and circumstance but lacking any real substance. Maybe the President and Congress will prove us wrong, and the President will achieve some of the benchmarks he has laid out in his speech. But, in an election year, don’t count on it.