20 JAN 2015 :: US State of the Union

I should probably wait until the speech is over to enter a post, but the only State of the Union speech I remember listening to was an Obama one some years ago. It didn't seem to be a description of the issues America was facing, it was more like a report on what the Obama administration had accomplished and/or the Democratic agenda.

I suspect this one will be an overview of the Democratic and Republican struggles to govern since the healthcare mandate was forced through Congress with a Democratic majority.  I don't know if I will be able to listen to the whole speech.

What is the condition of America, its citizens, and its government? The following observations are from my view.
  • Our massive debt has crippled our ability to flex with unexpected disasters and economic uncertainty. I call it "max-ing out the credit cards" and it means there won't be anywhere to go except bankruptcy. Still, the government spends like it always has...because it would make us seem less powerful as a country.
  • Mandated healthcare is setting the stage for government mandated controls of all of our lives, including life and death, business philosophies, and religious freedoms. 
  • Technology is creating an increased dependence on surveillance methods to inform (traffic and weather) and  "protect" (traffic, crimes, terrorism) us.  Some use technology to commit hidden crimes.
  • Our freedoms are disintegrating, and our votes are being eliminated if they don't agree with those who have the power to further their own agendas (marriage).
  • In our economic distress, we are becoming fearful of all immigrants, even when they could help improve our country's problems.
  • Education is at a major crossroads because of online options, rising costs, system failures, and family poverty. Technology is reducing the need for teachers, schools, libraries, paper and other school supplies, administration, and anything else related to operating education systems.
  • Energy changes are affecting major industries. The development of alternative energy like solar and wind allow individuals to reduce or eliminate their dependence on traditional methods...and the costs associated with them.
  • Taxes are the only method the government has to increase its income, and in order to spend more it needs to increase taxes.  The need to create a permanent limit to taxes is growing... and so is the rebellion of taxpayers.  The government is meant to serve and protect the citizen, the citizen is not meant to provide for the whims of government.
  • Jobs are disappearing because technology is replacing them. Entire industries are being replaced or are greatly reduced. Education requirements for technology positions are creating huge problems. Older workers are being let go for lower-cost younger workers, destroying retirement plans and previous income stability.  
All of these situations affect the economy, which affects the government and its operations through tax revenues. Every citizen is also affected by the economy and the actions of government. We are all suffering, and we are all struggling to survive these changes.

I'm not sure our government can solve all these problems fast enough.