Obama Misses Opportunities in State of the Union Address

Jan 25, 2012, 12:16 am EST
Obama Misses Opportunities in State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama’s third State of the Union address was disappointing, and not even a particularly good campaign speech. While he did provide the left with a nice list of small policy proposals, such as special tax rates for manufacturing, green energy and millionaires, he did not seize the moment to suggest any really big, new ideas.

One of the biggest differences between this year’s SOTU speech and last year’s was the rise in inequality as a major problem in this country. Sure, the Occupy Wall Street movement made headlines and provided great visuals, but more important, those protesters also gave oxygen to the idea that extreme inequalities of wealth are actually a problem for our democracy and for social mobility generally (a.k.a. the American Dream).

While Obama seemed as though he was going to use the speech to address inequality, he was vague at best and small at worst. The only thing he said about individual tax reform was a rehash of the millionaire’s tax idea: somehow ensuring an alternative minimum tax for people that make over $1 million annually and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those households that make over $250,000. Read 

Republican Governor of Indiana Counters State of the Union

Jan 24, 2012, 11:05 pm EST
Republican Governor of Indiana Counters State of the Union

The following is a transcript of prepared remarks delivered by Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, in response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday, January 25, 2012.

A full transcript of the State of the Union address by President Obama can be found here.

Below follows an advance copy of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ rebuttal. It is a complete transcript but was released in advance via Republican leadership, so may differ slightly from the live broadcast delivered Tuesday night: Read 

President Obama’s State of the Union Address 2012 – Full Transcript

Jan 24, 2012, 9:33 pm EST
President Obama’s State of the Union Address 2012 – Full Transcript

The following is a full transcript of President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address delivered Tuesday, January 24. This is an advance transcript provided by President Obama and the White House and may not reflect the exact text of the live speech.

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana offered the Republican rebuttal immediately afterwards. It is being included here, via the above link, in the interest of balance.

Here’s the 2012 State of the Union address from Obama, unabridged and unedited: Read 

Gingrich Continues to Ride South Carolina Wave in Florida

Jan 24, 2012, 1:21 pm EST

The South Carolina primary is known for being brutal and influential. This year was no exception. According to polling data, Mitt Romney was 10 points ahead of Newt Gingrich just four days before the South Carolina primary, yet when the final votes were tallied, Romney lost to Gingrich by 12.5 points. A 22.5 point swing in just four days.

How did this happen and what does it mean for Florida and beyond?

First, there were two debates in the five days preceding the South Carolina primary. During those two contests, Gingrich was able to convince voters that he was the most electable and most conservative candidate. With the help of Rick Perry’s endorsement, he also assured enough evangelical voters that despite his myriad personal failings he was acceptable to them. Read 

No Surprises in Romney’s Tax Returns

Jan 24, 2012, 12:44 pm EST

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s release of his 2010 tax return and details of what he plans to file this year were the public’s biggest letdown since Geraldo Rivera came up empty in his quest to find the treasure in Al Capone’s vault.

The Romney tax returns didn’t tell voters with a pulse anything they already didn’t know. First, the presumptive — at least for now — GOP nominee is wealthy. In 2010, he reported adjusted gross income of $21.7 million, not too shabby for someone whose full-time “job” for the past few years has been running for president. He earned about the same in 2011. He has set up a $100 million trust for his five sons, which represents prudent financial planning.

To be clear, Romney isn’t just a 1-percenter. He is a 0.5-percenter who enjoys a lifestyle that few Americans can imagine. The former financier has clearly benefited from the generosity of the tax code, as Martin Sullivan noted recently in Tax Analysts, a trade publication: Read 

Oops! 5 Facts the GOP Candidates Got Wrong in Florida

Jan 24, 2012, 10:59 am EST
Oops! 5 Facts the GOP Candidates Got Wrong in Florida

The Florida primary season kicked off yesterday evening, with an NBC-sponsored debate among the four remaining GOP presidential candidates. As is typical for many debates, the truth got pushed, pulled, stretched, and outright ignored by the candidates. In particular, these five claims were either incorrect or misleading.

1. Romney: Navy currently smaller than any time since 1917

In terms of number of ships in the fleet, this is untrue. The most recent numbers put the U.S. Navy’s total of active ships at 285, compared to 342 in April of 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I. However, there were fewer ships in the Navy during fiscal years 2005-2008: 282, 281, 278, and 282 respectively. Further figures can be seen at the Naval History and Heritage Command’s active ship force levels web page. Read 

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