Obama’s speech was what many people have called surprising and defiant. Throughout his speech, the President took somewhat of a combative tone, reminding people that he had won two elections and that it was under his leadership that the war on terrorism was improving and the economy had recovered.
Now with the State of the Union Address over, he hits the road to promote numerous new government programs along with employee protections and tax credits, all paid for by high-dollar earners paying higher taxes while at the same time, new Republicans in Congress have the threat of vetoes hanging over their heads.
As part of his speech, Obama outlined his agenda, which middle class economics will drive. This highly controversial plan was first revealed this past weekend whereby over a 10-year period, more than $300 billion in tax hikes would occur. These hikes include taxes specifically for top earners on inheritances and investments. With this, middle class expansions would be funded.
In addition, funding coming from the taxes would provide a college education for students as long as they maintain a certain grade level. While outlining his agenda, Obama promised that GOP bills would be fought, those that chip away at the recent immigration actions, ObamaCare, and financial regulations, vowing he would veto any bills that put these things at risk.
Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage, as well as measures that would guarantee American workers paid sick leave. Pertaining to the proposed educational program, he wants students to have two years of free education at a community college.
There were other threats made by Obama such as new Iran sanctions being created by legislation, and roll back efforts pertaining to regulations for the environment. There was no question the State of the Union Address was a platform for the current President to let Americans know that he will not give in even though the Democratic Party experienced a loss in Congress.
According to John Boehner, House Speaker, Obama’s list of things he wanted before leaving office was just more of the same, saying that all of the programs being proposed hurt rather than hurt middle-class Americans. Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah agreed and stated that the President’s speech showed he was slipping back into the “campaigner in chief” role.
In one particular move, Obama downplayed the jobs impact of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL Pipeline being proposed, almost as if he knew it would irritate Republicans. Obama said more infrastructure spending was necessary and that the American people should have their sights set on something higher than just one oil pipeline.
It was obvious that Obama wants to spend his last two years in office on the offense and that the stage has been set for a serious legislative and political battle.