College student reacts to State of the Union speech: ‘He doesn’t believe in us, and I don’t believe in him.’
I was a freshman in high school when I watched the State of the Union address in 2010, during which President Barack Obama proclaimed that the Affordable Care Act “would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan.”
Today, as a freshman at The George Washington University, I was anxious to see if the Commander in Chief of the free world was a big enough man to own up to his mistakes.
All the president did Tuesday night was tout the few silver linings of Obamacare, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and staying on your parents’ healthcare plan until age 26.
But there was no mention of the 5.3 million cancellation notices sent to unsuspecting Americans because of the new health care law. No mention of the Americans who abruptly learned over the last few months that if they liked their plan, they couldn’t keep their plan.
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” was the PolitiFact 2013 Lie of the Year. Those Americans deserve an apology for being lied to. Unfortunately, we didn’t see that tonight. Where was the apology, Mr. President?
As a college student, I was also incredulous as I listened to the president lay out his desire to improve students’ access to higher education, but never once bother to mention skyrocketing tuition costs, which have inexplicably risen far beyond the rate of inflation under his two terms, burdening young people with massive student debt.
And I’ll tell you why he didn’t touch that issue – because he has done nothing to quell the real problem surrounding higher education – higher costs.
Journalists and political analysts will tell you that a State of the Union can’t change the direction of a presidency. #SOTU2014 didn’t deter from that proclamation. In past SOTU addresses, President Obama has gone with the route of empty rhetoric and broken promises. This year was much of the same old, same old.
One of the first things President Obama said he wanted to do this new year is “reverse the trends” of unemployment and economic instability, and create “new ladders of opportunity into the middle class.”
Unfortunately, these negative economic trends have persisted throughout his presidency. How will a new year change anything when he just wants to use the same approaches and policies? After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The president called for more “investment” to rebuild America’s infrastructure – something he has mentioned in each of his SOTU addresses, but has never delivered upon, except for failed federal bailouts.
Unfortunately, President Obama wants to circumvent Congress to take executive action (“without legislation,” in his words) in implementing his desired policy initiatives, such as immigration reform. The bottom line, Mr. President, is the Constitution is in place to prevent you from doing whatever you want. It’s meant to prevent tyranny.
President Obama also took credit for the winding down of the Afghanistan War, when in reality he simply used President George W. Bush’s timeline for an exit strategy. He was dishonest tonight when he took credit for that.
President Obama also called for “prudent limits on the use of drones,” but failed to elaborate on how he intends to quell the anger and violation other nations feel when the United States violates their sovereignty by launching drones within their borders.
Finally, President Obama committed himself to “slashing the backlog” for veterans’ benefits. But the problem is, this backlog has only increased since he’s been in office. If it were really a priority for him, why didn’t he address it before?
In the words of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA): “We are not defined by our limits, but by our potential.”
Sadly, President Obama does the opposite with the country he leads, defining us by our limits and never giving us the opportunity to rise to our potential. He doesn’t believe in us, and I don’t believe in him.
College Fix contributor Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.
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