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Written by Matt Davis on January 25, 2012. Posted in News/Weather

President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address last night. Obama called for help for the nation’s economy and higher taxes on wealthy Americans.  He also urged lawmakers to do more for higher education.  And he discussed his plans for clean energy.  

The address was Obama’s last one before the 2012 Presidential election.  
The President’s speech was met with mixed reviews.  US Senator Johnny Isakson made the following statement on Obama’s State of the Union:  “Real ‘fairness’ would be government doing what American families have had to do:  sit around the kitchen table, prioritize spending, get their spending in line and not borrow too much money.  When it comes to taxation, we need a comprehensive approach.  The president’s own commission, Simpson-Bowles, recommended that we do away with many of the current tax expenditures and tax deductions, lower the tax rate on our taxpayers and produce more income.  That will bring capital off the sidelines and investment back to small business.  We need a comprehensive approach, not a winners and losers approach to tax reform.  Additionally, if on the one hand, you speak of more jobs for American and energy security, and on the other hand, you reject 20,000 jobs, which the Keystone XL pipeline would have brought about, and 70,000 barrels of crude from Canada, one of our best friends, then you are saying one thing and doing something else – that’s wrong for our country.  We need leadership on energy security.”

11th District Congressman Phil Gingrey also released a statement concerning Obama’s speech.  In it, Gingrey states, “President Obama had the opportunity to present to Congress and millions of Americans solutions to the many challenges our country faces.  He had a chance to offer bipartisan solutions to stimulate job creation, reduce the national debt, confront the ever-present threat of terrorism, and outline a plan to foster energy independence.  He had the chance to become the transformative figure he once promised to be.  Instead, we heard President Obama’s all-too-familiar campaign rhetoric.  He continued to blame Republicans for his failed policies and invoked class warfare to explain record unemployment.  President Obama said his focus was renewing American values yet continued resorting to the politics of division.  Americans are not better off today than they were three years ago.  Two million more Americans are out of work, nearly 46 million Americans rely on food stamps, and our nation’s debt has more than doubled.  It is high time for President Obama to work with us on solving our unacceptable economic crisis rather than playing the blame game.  This is the time for problem-solving, not campaigning – there is simply too much at stake to continue the status quo.”

One thing that united all lawmakers last night – Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ attendance at the State of the Union.  Giffords survived the Tucson shooting a year ago and is in recovery.  The Arizona congresswoman announced earlier this week her plans to step down from her position to concentrate on her recovery.

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