Thousands of Americans gathered around their televisions and radios on Wednesday night to watch President Barack Obama give the State of the Union address of the year. He called for unity amongst parties to repair the country and stated that there is not only a financial deficit but also a “deficit of trust” across the nation.
He spoke of the problems faced by Americans every day, eliciting much excitement from local residents when he said, “These struggles are what I’ve witnessed for years in places like Elkhart, Indiana and Galesburg, Illinois.”
Outside the arena of shout-outs, Obama stated that he realized he had not accomplished as much as many people thought he would in his first year, but he reminded the nation that he had known the change would not happen overnight.
His main focus was on the economy, jobs and fixing the system of big banks versus small banks.
“The markets are now stabilized, and we have recovered most of the money we spent on the banks. To recover the rest, I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks.”
He also said, “Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight.” These jobs, he said, would have their start in small businesses.
“Tonight, I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit — one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages,” Obama said.
Other goals included getting troops out of Iraq by the end of August and debt relief for students when they reach their tenth year after college. He also placed a great emphasis on the necessity to act now and wait no longer to implement new policies in the country.