Recalling last years State Of The Union Address one came away with a sense of pride and a feeling that somehow many Americans will finally be able to see an actual improvement in their lives and livelihoods. The harsh reality though was a past year filled with political gridlock, budget cuts that actually did more harm than good, and conditions that left millions of Americans wondering where their next meal is going to come from. In remembering those encouraging words of wisdom that told of a great revival of the American spirit propelled by a robust economy only to find a year latter beguiled by the rhetoric now frustrated that things have only gotten worse.
But, there again a great motivational speech of last year that filled the Capital with enthusiasm and hope that a new day is just around the corner. Now, only to find a year latter we as a country are worse off yet again poses some real pondering questions. If the State Of The Union Address is the one instance where a plan of direction is supposed to be laid out before the American public why hasn't there been a concise outlay of an agenda that details just how John Smith who is underemployed, with a student loan of over $50,000, whose house was foreclosed on and had his food stamps cut when he is trying to feed his wife and children ever see the light of day? Then there is Harvey Little who just turned 50, got pinked slipped, has a remaining balance on his mortgage that he now will not be able to meet and still can't find another job after 8 months of pounding the pavement.
When this President unveiled a plan that showcases his economic wizardly acumen in this years State Of The Union Address in mandating an increase in the minimum wage without the safeguards in place to keep other costs stable one can now expect many businesses across the country will have to make some real hard choices. And, these choices all will impact the economy. Do I lay off more employees or raise prices on the goods and services that are produced? Or do we do both lay off employees and still raise prices? It is a fair bet that this is going to be the fallout of an economic gamble that will end drastically. This is just a sample of what is in store if a substantial minimum wage hike is imposed. But, like everything else that has come out of Washington either by the President or Congress they have always put the cart before the horse analogy in every proposal they have come up with.
If the President is trying to sell the American public that a mandated substantial increase in the minimum wage is crucial for economic growth the way he is going about it we had better not buy into it. From a birds eye view overlooking the economic landscape of the country the President as with so many past State of The Union messages keeps failing to recognize what is actually looming beyond the horizon. As for the John Smiths of America they will again be faced with another year of heartbreak and continue to suffer from the failings of a State of The Union message that continues to ignore the root causes and the actual solutions to make the John Smiths a viable contributing citizen of America. In Harvey Little's case find a job that is comparable in wages and utilizes his expertise currently is still very remote.
This past year is evident that many of the Presidents points in last years State Of The Union Address as well as this one have continued to leave the John Smiths out in the cold. For too long and for too many like John Smith having to listen to the one time when a President has the opportunity to lay out a feasible workable plan of direction that will actually assist the John Smiths and the Harvey Little's overcome their financial hardships only to hear sound bites that have no real relevancy to their plight time and time again signals just how out of touch our elected officials really are and that includes the President.
The nations troubles especially for the John and Harvey's are only exasperated by our elected officials uncompromising party line differences. Evidence of which one only has to go back to this past years government shut down to realize that our government has ignored the plight of the very ones they are sworn to serve, the American Public. If the President this time continues to ignore the past policies that have only continue to jeopardize the economy when he should be focusing on real solutions that will stimulate economic growth and not just sound bites that tantalize the American public into believing all is well and good maybe we just might have a chance at uniting a real divided nation. But, using the State Of The Union Address to distance himself from Congress by issuing executive orders that only create more division let alone exasperate an already troublesome economy is just masking over the root differences that continue to divide a nation.
The solutions are not that complicated to offset our current wave of economic troubles. They are out there. But, the political will to implement bold reforms to secure the nations prosperity and security is the question that must be answered and what a better time to showcase the desired will to do so than with the State Of The Union Address. Unfortunately, the President missed again a golden moment to rally a nation to unite behind a plan of direction both for short term and long term. An agenda that spells out where this country out to be headed with a detailed road map of how to proceed. Something that has not been done since JFK.