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Mon Jan 19, 2015
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President Obama delivering the 2011 State of the Union Address
By: Chuck Kennedy
Don't ever think of telling President Obama he is a lame duck. He has too many things he still wants to accomplish before he leaves and beginning the process of lifting up the middle class is at the top of his list. This is not something that he will be able to accomplish himself, or even something that we will be able to accomplish in the next two years, but it is something we can do if we listen to the President and recommit to having a strong and lasting middle class in this country.
President Obama will be laying his vision of how we can accomplish this feat when he delivers his annual State of the Union address on January 20th. He has already broken with tradition and openly discussed many of his proposals, which include a call to make community college free, expanding the child care tax credit, requiring paid sick leave, and expanding tax credits for working couples. The President is proposing to pay for these things by closing tax loopholes and raising the capital gains tax to 28 percent. He is also calling to close a loophole in the inheritance tax that allows wealthy individuals to skirt paying capital gains taxes on stocks they inherited from someone else.
Each and every proposal President Obama will be discussing would undoubtedly be popular among wide swaths of America, but they will likely be wholly discarded by the new Republican majority in Congress. Their donors really like how the tax structure in America works for them right now and they would never want to anger the people who fund their campaigns.
This leads me to ask whether Republicans in Congress actually want to fix the middle class or if they are just fine with the status quo. Trickle-down economics has proven to be an abysmal failure and has completely obliterated our middle class. Instead of admitting defeat and working to fix things, Republicans seem to just dig their heads deeper into the hole and hold out hope that they will some day be proven correct. Sorry, but that day will never come.
The President knows that he will likely not get much of what he is proposing, but I feel that he is thinking much more in the long term. He is beginning the discussion about the heart and soul of America. Are we a country that only cares about appeasing the wealthy at the expense of the poor? Or are we a country who wants a thriving middle class and a fair tax system for every single citizen? I stand with the President in calling for a thriving middle class. Do you?
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1776 days ago