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Published:January 29th, 2014 07:59 EST
Barack Obama`s State of the Union Speech Stayed Practical, with Tangible Goals Proposed!

Barack Obama`s State of the Union Speech Stayed Practical, with Tangible Goals Proposed!

By John G. Kays

 President Barack Obama gave a stirring and inspirational State of the Union (2014) speech last night, yet it wasn`t over-reaching; rather, it spoke of intended goals,  practical and tangible. That is, goals he can accomplish over this year, that will actually improve the lives of all Americans. With three years still remaining in his presidency, his idealism is somewhat muffled by this point, so it`s time to get a few more things done before he runs out of it. This is a good way of getting out from under people labeling him a lame-duck before it`s safe to do so. Two good examples, are his proposal for the minimum wage of federal contract workers to be $10.10 per hour; another one is, getting completely out of Afghanistan over the present year.

This raise in minimum wage needs to happen for all workers; Barack`s proposal will set a good example for employers in industry, especially the fast food restaurant sector, to go for this increase as well. No worker can afford to stay over at some hamburger joint making only $300 gross per week, if they put in 40. If their net take home is $250 per week and therefore their monthly take home is a whopping $1,000, then how are they going to pay their rent, bills, food and gas (and other expenses) without sinking horribly into debt? Even $10.10 per hour isn`t enough to get by, but it improves the living picture for this oppressed sector of the economy.

Barack used an example from industry, one John Soranno, who owns Punch Pizza in Minneapolis, and has led the way by increasing his employees wages to $10 an hour. The net effect of this, in my opinion, will be that employees will stay longer at his business and will offer his customers much better service. Also, they will improve their local economy, since they have better earning power; across the board, everyone benefits by increasing the minimum wage! Obama was wise in using the example of Costco, which pays higher wages to its employees; Costco is a very successful business model and this is because they treat their employees fairly. 

Barack also addressed the important needs of small businesses, which are the backbone of the U.S. economy. The tax codes need simplifying and these small businesses need to hire more workers, and so the President proposed cutting taxes for entrepreneurs who hire more workers, who stay here and punish businesses who ship jobs abroad (through the tax laws). Small companies are the largest exporters of goods also, so the President proposed the creation of new trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific, which will stimulate job growth in this country, and will result in the USA re-claiming its position as a preeminent manufacturer of goods and exports.

I`ll have to study over this MyRA proposal, since I don`t quite completely get it, but I do realize most workers don`t have a 401K plan available to them (at the small company they work for). This will function as a pension for this large body of workers, since we all know, Social Security won`t be enough to get by, as we drift through the life we lead in our senior years. I turn now to Afghanistan, since the President allocated a good portion of his speech to this thorny issue, which has been an albatross on our shoulders since right after the attack on the twin towers in NYC.

First off, we`re out of Iraq, which is an absolute blessing! We`ll be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, which is another welcome accomplishment. As I see it, and as the President mentioned, we`ll still be vigilant about terrorism, but we`re in a much better position to do so, since we won`t have ground troops in that country anymore. Conducting an endless ground war is exactly what al Qaeda wants us to do. It drains our resources, both men and money, and it makes us weaker so we can`t fight the real terrorists, who seem to pop up anytime, any place, all over the globe. And eliminating Afghanistan will strengthen our economy also. Obama`s speech gives us achievable goals for 2014.