By Kathleen Ellison
February 14, 2013
President Barack Obama described multiple proposals to complete the goal of $4 trillion deficit reduction Tuesday night, Feb. 12, in his State of the Union address. His proposals included increasing job opportunities, raising the federal minimum wage, better education, and tax reforms, in particularly closing loopholes.
“Why is it that deficit reduction is such a big emergency justifying making cuts in social security benefits, but not closing some loopholes? How does that promote growth?”
Raising taxes on the wealthy has contributed toward reaching over 2.5 trillion deficit reduction, and closing loopholes for the well-off and well-connected will help to save billions.
Tax reforms would also be directed at jobs sent overseas to encourage more job growth at home. Likewise Obama encourages the growth of jobs by proposing three more manufacturing innovation institutes such as the one in Youngstown, Ohio.
Additionally it is proposed that more focus be given to infrastructure to help create jobs and better the nation with a program to focus on our most urgent infrastructures in particularly bridges in the U.S. that are deficient or obsolete.
Obama encouraged raising the federal minimum wage to $9, bringing up the fact that a full-time working family earning minimum wage was still below the poverty line.
The education needed to take these future jobs will be supported through making high-quality pre-schools available to every child, and to better equip graduates for the demands of a technologically advanced economy
The need for cleaner and cheaper energy was raised. Although carbon emissions have fallen, Obama established that more is required for cleaner living and independent energy, such as creating an energy security trust to help shift the nation off oil for good.
It was also established that over 34,000 soldiers in Afghanistan will return. Precautions will be taken to train Afghan soldiers and to continue counterterrorist efforts.
Although deficit reduction is only half reached, it was mentioned that the economy has improved. Obama stated at the beginning of his speech “we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.”