President's arrival: Still a little too hysterical. I like his "cool" demeanor.
The speech: Starts off on the right tone. Acknowledges where we are.
Now where are we going? ARRA is law. Jobs to be created / saved. Taxes cut. College credits.
"A plan this size carries with it the responsibility to get it right." Accountability.
ARRA is only the first step. No recovery unless we clean up the credit crisis that caused the problem. Swift/aggressive movement to restart lending. Lending fund to provide loans to consumers/entrepreneurs who keep economy running. Housing plan to help responsible families to pay mortgage. Support banks to assure they do not fail and will be there for the people.
Plan may cost even more than set aside.
Must reduce dependence on oil, improve schools, provide health care.
Budget is a vision for America. A blueprint for the future. Doesn't deny the present reality/problems. During economic upheaval, we took bold action. Government catalyzed private enterprise. We see promise amid peril.
We must be that nation again.
Priorities: Energy; Health care; Education.
Energy - We started this technology. We've fallen behind. "It is time for America to lead again." Focus on renewable energy. Research funding to spur new discoveries in all areas of technology. Put Americans to work in being more energy efficient. Clean, renewable energy needs to be profitable! Renew auto industry: "the nation that invented the automobile should not walk away from it."
Health care - Can't afford to put health care reform on hold. Health care for children (the Dems really like that one; GOP not so much). Preventive care. Comprehensive reform. Must have affordable health care for every American. Vital to bringing down the deficit. Won't be easy. A century after Teddy Roosevelt called for reform, we need to do it now.
Education - Most valuable skill is knowledge. Highest HS dropout rates of developed nations. Too many fail to finish college. Access to complete and competitive education. "Dropping out of high school is not just quitting on yourself; it's quitting on your country." By 2020, America will have highest percentage of college graduates. [Yes!! Americans love a challenge!] If you are willing to volunteer, you will be able to afford a college education. "Responsibility for our children's education begins at home."
Deficit - Must bring deficit down. Goal: cut deficit by half in four years. No payments to agribusiness that don't need them. Eliminate no-bid contracts in Iraq. Reform defense budget. Root out waste, fraud, abuse in Medicare. Fairness in tax code. Bring back jobs from overseas. Roll back tax breaks for those with incomes over $250K. Tax cut for 95% of working families.
Medicare/Social Security. Health care reform will help Medicare. Tax free universal savings accounts.
Restore trust. Budget will include cost of the war. We won't hide its cost. Responsibly ends the war in Iraq. New strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
[Biggest ovation of the night.] Unyielding support for military. Expand benefits they have earned as a result of their service to America.
Uphold American values: close Guantanamo. "Living our values makes us safer."
"USA does not torture." [McCain stands!!]
We are called to move forward with other countries. "Strengthen old alliances, forge new ones."
"In our hands lies the ability to shape our world, for good or for ill." "Hope is found in unlikely places."
"We are not quitters."
Generosity. Resilience. Willingness to take responsibility.
"Every American loves this country and wants it to succeed." That must be the starting point. The basis on which we will find common ground.
"An America that does not quit."
Without denying the difficult times we are in, he hit the right note of challenging America to move forward and do what needs to be done to address our problems.
I like it!