Commentary: State of the Union unrealistic

Last night the President gave the State of the Union Address and showed he has failed to meet the needs of the American people.

The President discussed energy independence, but we are left to wonder if his words will prove hollow. President Bush also discussed health care, but his plan does not expand coverage to the majority of Americans.

He once again failed to recognize the importance of international diplomacy, leaving us with the failed policy that has brought about Iraq’s current situation. The American people deserve real answers to future pressing concerns and the President has failed to give them.

The core of America’s challenges in the 21st century is to provide the energy needed to drive our economy. These energy sources will determine our economic success, national security and the status of the environment. Bush took an important step last year in acknowledging the problem by saying, “America is addicted to oil,” but has done very little to change the energy equation. While he mentioned the energy alternative – ethanol – questions remain as to its viability and more research must be done. The nation must commit to increased research, while cutting current energy use through hybrids and conservation.

The President and Congress should make it a high priority to provide every American with health care coverage. What the President proposed last night is not realistic. It would not help the growing and significant number of Americans in dire need of care. The President discussed tax deductions for those who purchase health insurance. This proposal helps those with higher incomes who have the money to put toward care. As a nation we need to focus on providing care to all, especially those who can least afford it. Most importantly, we must work to decrease costs by promoting preventative care, which will reduce the number of major illnesses in the long run.

As America faces national security concerns in Iraq and around the world, we must better use diplomacy in dealing with international disputes. It can calm disputes before they become armed conflict, allowing us to understand our enemies, such as Iran, so we can defeat them. Iraq is the culmination of our wrongheaded approach and we must try to turn the tide. We must progress in the right direction. As a nation, we should measure our success by how well we make Iraq more secure and move toward a political resolution to the civil war. We cannot allow ourselves to remain in Iraq indefinitely and as a nation we must take the steps to ensure we move toward a solution.

The President discussed many important issues to America but provided many of the same “solutions” that do not solve the problems. The speech showed he is out of touch with America. Bush must realize that the time has come to work with Congress and find real solutions to the many challenges facing the people of the United States.

– Joshua Robin and Burke Campbell are President and Communications Director of the Northeastern University College Democrats.

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