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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Soundbites: Jan. 27

CON: Empty speech filled with hypocrisy

President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday night was one of the dullest State of the Union speeches in memory. While it had a few moments of surprise, it was mostly dominated by empty rhetoric, hypocrisy and unintended humor.

It is always nice to see our politicians use humor. The president mocked the TSA pat down screenings, made fun of overblown bureaucracies that regulate salmon, and tried to crack a few other jokes. However, his funniest moments came when Obama was apparently trying to be sincere.

Obama attempted to take credit for the success in Iraq when it was he that led the charge against the surge of troops that won the war.

He called for a five-year spending freeze. This, after spending half the speech pontificating the need for more stimulus spending and embarking during the last two years, on the largest spending binge in American history. It should be noted that in last year’s State of the Union speech, Obama called for a three year spending freeze. What happened?

The president also stated, “”Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today,”” yet the only “”tax cuts”” that were passed were actually tax rate continuations that the president vehemently fought against. He later denounced small business owners and said they should pay higher taxes, which in no way will lead to job growth.

Another humorous moment was when he vowed to veto any bill that contained earmarks. This one even made Joe Biden laugh. President Obama has signed countless earmark-filled bills without any regard. There is no doubt that this will be the first promise of the speech that is broken.

Finally, the president continued this call for bipartisanship. While the seating chart was one worthy of the Clarence W. Dupnik Center for Civility, the past two years shall not be forgotten. Obamacare was passed via reconciliation. That was not bipartisanship. President Obama has led the most partisan agenda in recent history. Now he calls for a truce? Not a chance.

— Trey Terry is the communications director for the UA College Republicans.

PRO: Criticism of speech shortsighted

During Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama spoke openly of the competition the United States faces in the 21st century from countries like China and India. Both nations, while less developed compared to American standards, have seen rapid economic growth over the past decade and have invested a considerable amount of money into research and education. Today, China is an extremely modern country with a growing middle class and has become the world’s second largest economy. During his address, President Obama stated that America needs to invest in its future if it’s to compete with the countries of the developing world. He called for an increased focus on education and commitment to recruiting more teachers, lab researchers and engineers. All of these things are exactly what the United States needs if it’s to remain in a dominant position.

However, Republican leaders have spoken out against the president’s call, claiming it to be just another example of big government spending. Unfortunately, the Republican Party couldn’t be more shortsighted. They will continue to speak out against large deficits and government waste, but will ignore the legitimate challenges our nation faces over the next century. The deficit is certainly an issue that shouldn’t be ignored, but it also shouldn’t be the main focus, especially when compared to issues such as education. It’s interesting that Republicans are so concerned about the deficit, yet they insist on adding over $36 billion dollars to it by extending the tax cuts for the wealthy. The truth is that the investment the president called for in his address is not just some ploy from a tax-and-spend liberal, but a necessary step if the United States is to make the 21st century as great as the 20th.

— Andrew Shepherd is a political science senior.

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