Last night, Jan. 28, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address – a tradition coined by former President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 as the “Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union” – to a whopping audience of 30 million (probably students earning extra credit in social studies). The State of the Union address began under President George Washington to ensure the transparency and accountability of the executive branch, and it is now used to test the ability of the vice president (Joe Biden) and speaker of the House (John Boehner) to stay awake. I kid.
In case you missed yesterday’s State of the Union, 4E is here to fill you in with the President’s major points (with a few jokes laced throughout):
Jobs: “Insourcing” is the new outsourcing, just like “Scandal” is the new “West Wing” (not sorry about it). Obama aims to co-invest with American businesses in American-made technologies and rewrite tax laws that make outsourcing feasible.
Housing: President Obama is handing over $15 billion to create new construction jobs and to help recover foreclosed properties.
Minimum Wage: Things are looking good for entry level workers: The president proposed a federal minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $9 by the end of 2015 with adjustments according to inflation.
Gun Control: Background checks and mental health services are part of Obama’s plan to combat gun violence.
Afghanistan: 34,000 U.S. Military forces are coming home.
Immigration: President Obama wants new legal citizens, and he’s willing to develop new pathways to achieve it, but until then, the 11 million immigrants in the U.S. … can wait? Work? But not illegally!
The Ladies: Obama stated that all American women should be protected and promised to investigate and prosecute instances of sexual assault or domestic violence under the Violence Against Women Act.
Early Childhood Education: The executive hopes to make preschool available to children of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Trade: Hey European Union … lemme get wit you …
Federal Budget: We’re aiming at a $4 trillion deficit reduction, but take a load off, we gave ourselves 10 years to reach that number.
Energy/Climate Change: The plan is to implement tax credits on the production of renewable energy sources.
Education: Mo’ high quality high schools means mo’ college students … and mo’ money … and mo’ problems? Or maybe just more education.
Well, that’s the SOTU in a nutshell for you. For a more detailed analysis of last night’s speech, head here. In the meantime, keep checking in for the next installment of Poli Sci for the Average Guy.