Emma Brown
Emma Brown

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The President’s Plan

The President is a head of the state, and he is responsible for representing the nation. His main task is to present the main political ideas and goals of the American people. According to the system of check and balances, the President of the USA needs to report on his agenda as well as the condition of the state. Every year, he delivers the State of the Union Address. Barack Obama was recently reelected; that is why his Inauguration speech and State Address 2013 is worth comparing.
In fact, there are many similar ideas expressed in both speeches. For example, they are both focused on the internal problems such as state’s economy, taxes, ecological problems, employment, and education. In addition, they also include different foreign policy issues. Thus, Obama analyzes war in Iraq, international economy and its export and import goals, and highlights on the main areas the USA need to strengthen cooperation with.
First of all, Barack Obama begins his Inauguration speech expressing some basic ideas of the US Constitution. He cites the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (“Inaugural Address”, 2013). It is also essential to mention that the State of the Union Address also starts with the idea of constitutionalism. Thus, Obama cites John F. Kennedy who declared that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress” (“State Address”, 2013). In fact, it is necessary to start the speech highlighting the main standpoints of American nation.
Then, Obama covers important economical topics. In Inauguration speech, he stresses on economic recovery of the country. The same idea is expressed in his next speech where Obama informs about the economy progress, “We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty, our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before” (“State Address”, 2013). Nevertheless, he does not present any economical evidences of this progress. For instance, he could have given exact number of people who were able to purchase homes compared to previous years. Furthermore, such expression as “healing housing market” is very ambiguous and unclear.
In addition, right after discussing economical recovery, Obama starts to explain the main problems that need to be resolved. For example, in the State of the Union Address he describes an unemployment problem and poverty and states, “Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still cannot find full-time employment” (“State Address”, 2013). Moreover, he stresses that the new tax relief was established, but still families with more than one child which earn the minimum salary are below of the line of poverty (“State Address”, 2013). It is significant to notice that he does not give particular details on economical problems in his Inaugural speech, but he is rather focused on new goals. Thereby, the only economical issue Obama stresses during Inauguration is that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class (“Inaugural Address”, 2013).
Nevertheless, Obama characterizes the positive results of recent budget cuts. He notes that “Over the last few years, mostly through spending cuts and by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans; the country is more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction” (“State Address”, 2013). Again, Obama informs that they are still working on this problem and distinguishes some points of the tax code he proposes. For example, he claims that the tax code should be reformed in order to help small businesses (“State Address”, 2013). In fact, this proposition is quite controversial as it expresses the main goals of the Democratic Party. Thus, it will still be debated and can just remain a simple idea expressed by the President.
On the contrary, in his Inaugural speech he defines the main political goals rather than plans. For instance, he states that “Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security strengthen us, they do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great” (“Inaugural Address”, 2013). In fact, these words do not sound like some plan of action. They just describe general idea that lies behind the health care reforms which are to help poor people. However, in the State Address he clarifies his goals by planning to minimize taxpayer subsidies for drug companies and heighten for wealthiest seniors (“State Address”, 2013). These goals are more specific but also quite ambiguous. Again, Barack Obama does not provide any statistical information about social programs.
Moreover, Obama states some foreign policy goals. For instance, in his Inaugural speech, he claims that the country will show the courage to try and resolve the differences with other nations peacefully because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear (“Inaugural Address”, 2013). Again, in his State to the Union Address he gives more details, informing that today, more soldiers are coming back home after the wars. Nevertheless, despite these results there are no particular details which can firmly say that the US is not already engaged in the military operations.
Last but not least, Obama concludes both of his speeches with his ideas of citizenship. In Inaugural speech, he notes that Americans have the obligation to shape the debates of our time while in the State of the Union Address, he states that Americans are the authors of the next chapter in the story of the USA (“Inaugural Address”, 2013). It is a good way to finish the speech because this makes it clear that prosperity depends not only on politicians alone but on the help of citizens as well.
In conclusion, both Inaugural speech and the State of the Union Address 2013 highlight important elements of the US politics. In both of them, Barack Obama is talking about economy, healthcare reforms, taxes, foreign policy goals, or climate. Nevertheless, the main difference is that the Inaugural speech does not reveal any particular problems or plans. It is only a description of certain political goals, while the State Address is more specific. Despite this, Obama does not provide any viable political results backed up by statistical data; and the Address includes rather general information.
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