I kind of watched the speech last night... I had it on the TV while I was wandering around the internet. I heard bits and pieces, and applause in parts...when I looked at the screen, I could see the President, the Vice-President, and the Speaker of the House...all looking politically correct. :-)
Today, most of what I saw online and heard in the news about the State of the Union speech was more banter between the two main parties that control our future. The Democrats this, the Republicans that... it is the same endless cycle. In the middle of my Facebook and News viewing, I remember seeing comments and headlines about the Republicans flexing their power.
When I heard the glorious jobs report, with large numbers that were meant to signify America rising from the terrors of the recent past thanks to his administration, I wondered how they were formulated. It is easy to twist statistics to say almost anything you want them to, and I have considered Obama (including his administration) as being very creative in describing economic situations. I have always assumed it was part of his life as an activist, fundraiser, and politician.
One of the first Facebook posts I noticed after the speech was a cartoon about those figures...bringing up the large number of older workers who stopped looking for work and took and early retirement. They make it look like there isn't as much unemployment as there is.
Another way to flex employment numbers is to refer to part-time employment, temporary employment, seasonal employment. Brand new full-time positions are not that easy to produce. Rehires are not new jobs. No, I don't know if the figures were correct, but I don't think our economy is as great as it is pictured to be.
Some of the "new" spending during the recent holiday season could have been credit card purchases by over-extended budgets wanting to share in the Christmas spirit. It is hard to go without for long periods of time... it becomes more important to spend money you can't afford to bring some "normality" into your life, especially during a season like Christmas. I have noticed more than once that the focus in reports is on how much is spent, not always where it is coming from, or what it is compared to.
I suppose I have my own soap box... but I don't see America as Democrat, Republican, or other parties, I see it as a nation that needs to survive by the best solutions for everyone. I have spent many years thinking about the problems I encountered in poverty and in the governmental system/s... trying to decide if there are any solutions that would work on a national scale. Not knowing budgets or actual numbers, the only possibilities I could create were based on personal experience.
Changing any part of the government system is a major (lifetime) challenge. Systemic change on a whole lot of levels is pretty difficult to even comprehend. When I see the Bible's prophecies about the End Times coming true, there doesn't seem to be any hope for the change that would be needed. I began to change my focus from saving America to saving the Body of Christ. It's hard not to care about my country, so I do what I can with my words.
I've been writing to the "government" since I entered the Welfare system, and have seen changes occur along the way. I remember sending a whole packet of efforts to write about poverty issues to the Clinton White House... I gave up trying and sent my notes. Now I am learning about Facebook and Twitter and blogging and books and those who will violate anyone's rights to gain their desired end. I guess I learned even more deeply that money is either a weapon or a tool...and how you use it says a lot about your moral foundations...even when you are part of the Christian church.
I hope we see good changes in our government over the next two years. It is important to have the battles of opinion over important issues because no one has all the answers...other people see parts of the "elephant" that we don't realize are there. In the end, "working together" helps us find a solution that will help all of us.