Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Thoughts on the President's Address

For a text of his speech, click here.

My wife and I listened to his speech from start to finish. He said a lot of good things. Accountability, responsibility and leadership were the themes inside of his speech. His positive message, I believe, helped address the lack of confidence by the American people.

One of the things that I have mentioned repeatedly in my blogs is the lack of confidence. Employers who are fearful of the future have been laying people off. They are not building for the future and refuse to look beyond the next quarter or two to make plans. I have seen it in the businesses that I have worked for.

The country needs to be told that things will get better and that the government will work to make it better. After the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, the President, Franklin Roosevelt, led the nation in prayer. After talking with people who listened and participated in the prayer, they told me that they knew that things would be fine. It wasn't his speeches or this words. It was a prayer. Something inside of each American clicked and they knew that they would be fine.

I think that people need those words. They need to know that everyone is working together to solve problems. I heard a President who is dedicated to the task at hand. Although I'm a Republican, I feel that President Obama has been acting more like a Republican than the Republicans I voted for in November. I'm not happy with the all of the government spending and I disagree with the bailout programs. However, I do agree with him that we need to work together to move forward.

He talked about health care, energy and education. With health care costing about $8,000 per person per year, it is a lot of money for the average family. I had to give up my COBRA just to stretch my dollars a little longer to find a job. I postpone going to the doctor just so I can save some money. According to the President, every 30 seconds a family goes bankrupt over medical bills. This is very sad. I am certainly not recommending socialized medicine, but something has to be done to lower the costs on the American people. Why does it cost me $8 for water pitcher and $12 for a pill? Liability insurance? Possible.

Another point I would like to make is about energy. The US should be leading the way in creating renewable forms of energy. We should not be dependent on foreign oil. Take a look at OPEC's response when oil prices dropped like a rock? They cut back on production immediately. They are trying to push up oil prices. If the US, the world's largest supplier of food, were to do things like that, all of the nations of the world who depend on our food would be up in arms and pushing us to stop inflating food prices. Once again, we can do something about this. One of the interesting things that the President pointed out in his speech was the creation of batteries for storing energy. We have the idea, but have them built in Korea. More jobs going overseas. I know that labor is cheaper over there, but we are laying people off to save a few dollars. But, when you consider the money were are spending on unemployment, I honestly believe we are spending way more than we are making in profit. No one seems to think about the total cost. We all suffer when we send jobs overseas. I used the word, "WE".

The President reached across the aisle to the Republicans to help. I hope that my fellow Republicans can put aside their differences to help rebuild our economy. Let us resolve to work together.

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