Since the early campaign days, President Obama has promised environmental reforms in the form of a market system. This system became known as “cap and trade.” The argument behind such a system is that a market should be able to lower pollutants based on the buying and selling of “credits.” Polluters would have to buy credits or lower emissions and “clean or green” companies could sell credits. Banks would act as brokers and collect a fee on the trades.
President Barack Obama told Americans the bipartisan deficit commission he will appoint won’t just be “one of those Washington gimmicks.” Left unspoken in that assurance was the fact that the commission won’t have any teeth.
Obama confronted some tough realities in his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, chief among them that Americans are continuing to lose their health insurance as Congress struggles to pass an overhaul.
Yet some of his ideas for moving ahead skirted the complex political circumstances standing in his way.
A look at some of Obama’s claims and how they compare with the facts:
Declaring “I don’t quit,” President Barack Obama fought to recharge his embattled presidency with a State of the Union vow to get jobless millions back to work and stand on the side of Americans angry at Wall Street greed and Washington bickering. Defiant despite stinging setbacks, he said he would fight on for ambitious overhauls of health care, energy and education.
“Change has not come fast enough,” Obama acknowledged Wednesday night before a politician-packed House chamber and a TV audience of millions. “As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may be, it’s time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.”
The nation cannot afford the spending Democrats have enacted or the tax increases they propose, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Wednesday in the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
McDonnell told a cheering crowd of supporters in Richmond, Va., that Democratic policies are resulting in an unsustainable level of debt. He said Americans want affordable health care, but they don’t want the government to run it.
“Today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much,” McDonnell said. “In the past year, more than 3 million Americans have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren.”
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he would seek the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that permits gays to serve in uniform as long as they hide their sexual orientation.
Obama, smarting from a political setback in Massachusetts that saw Democrats lose a Senate seat, sought to make good on a campaign promise that gay rights activists wanted in his first year in office.
In his first State of the Union speech and in the midst of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama called for ending the Pentagon policy that began in the early 1990s.
“This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are,” he said.