Monday, January 23, 2012

If I were writing the State of the Union Address

The President will be delivering the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.  Here is some unsolicited advice of areas to focus on.

Affordable Care Act
The President should reinforce to the public the benefits of the Affordable Care Act already implemented such as:
·         Medicare is expanded to small, rural hospitals and facilities
·         Insurers are prohibited from dropping policyholders when they get sick
·         Insurers are prohibited from excluding pre-existing medical conditions (except in grandfathered individual health insurance plans) for children under the age of 19.
·         Dependents (children) will be permitted to remain on their parents' insurance plan until their 26th birthday and regulations implemented under the Act include dependents that no longer live with their parents, are not a dependent on a parent’s tax return, are no longer a student, or are married
·         Insurers will be required to spend 85% of large-group and 80% of small-group and individual plan premiums (with certain adjustments) on healthcare or to improve healthcare quality, or return the difference to the customer as a rebate
Iranian Containment
The President should share his success with containing Iran through the groundbreaking comprehensive sanctions package he is seen through including Iranian oil embargo by Europe and Japan and the sanctions against central banks that conduct business with the Iranian counterparts.  This use of international diplomacy and the show of might by our Navy’s Fifth Fleet when it passes through the Strait of Hormuz is the proper right-left combination of projecting power.  As long as Russia and China resist the international community, the greater the chances they will also find themselves isolated.  Yes, neocons, this is what you call a coalition and with it the flow of oil and goods continues to occur through the Strait of Hormuz.

GM Rebound and US Domestic Vehicle Demand
The President should note that the decision to save General Motors and Chrysler not only saved millions of jobs, but also saved Ford as all suppliers of critical and complex components would have gone out of business too.  They payback is already happening as GM regained the top spot in global sales, but the true payback is yet to come.  The average age of the US automobile is 10.8 years and the projected sales in 2015 will top 17million vehicles.  Doesn’t it make sense to have these cars built my US companies and US workers?

Employment Trends
While we have a long way to go, in 2011 the private sector added 1.9million jobs, many in the quality-jobs sectors of healthcare and manufacturing.  This is in stark contrast to when the Republicans ran the White House and we were losing 700k jobs/month.  Do you want to go back to those dog days of 2008? 

Combating China
Once again, the US without having to launch a war or overtly threaten a sovereign nation, has built a coalition in the Pacific amongst Australia, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and other nations to combat Chinese expansionism.  The best part, the US reaffirmation as a Pacific nation looks like it was the idea of the countries of Southeast Asian and Australia.  That is brilliant diplomacy that keeps the Chinese in check and on the defensive while keeping shipping unfettered.

Size of Government
The President should isolate and embarrass the GOP controlled House by stating how he has asked Congress for the powers to consolidate several federal departments and save the country $Billions.  He should note that while the GOP worries about going after Planned Parenthood and PBS, real tax savings for Americans and government spending reduction is being held up by partisan politics.

I would also suggest the President reinforce his commitment to the Middle Class, Woman’s Health, Free trade agreements, infrastructure, and tax reform.  Tax reform that eliminates the advantages the super-rich were experiencing under the Bush rules while preserving the purchasing power of the Middle Class.

That’s just my opinion, I might be…..right?

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