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By Keith A. Fournier

1/26/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

President Barack Obama delivered his second State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening

President Barack Obama delivered his second State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening, January 25, 2011. He called Americans to "Win the future" with the assistance of Government. The Republican response from Paul Ryan laid out a very different governing vision.

President Obama addressing both Houses of Congress in the 2011 State of the Union Address

President Obama addressing both Houses of Congress in the 2011 State of the Union Address

Highlights

By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/26/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: State of the Union, president Obama, Paul Ryan, Government, Win the future


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - President Barack Obama delivered his second State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening, January 25, 2011. He called Americans to "Win the future" with the assistance of Government. The speech was 62 minutes long and met with predictably partisan reaction. After congratulating the 112th Congress and the New Speaker of the House, he honored missing member Gabby Giffords which brought a warm and sustained response from the floor of the chamber. After claiming that the Nation was "poised for progress", the stock market was "roaring back" and the "back of the recession had been broken" he called the Nation to "win the future" through innovation, education and the rebuilding of our infrastructure. In the first half of the speech he also outlined a governing approach to accomplishing these policy goals which positioned federal funding and federal assistance as making it possible for us to "reinvent ourselves." The President told both chambers of Congress that we could be in our "Sputnik moment" explaining, "Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it's not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That's what planted the seeds for the Internet. That's what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS. "Just think of all the good jobs - from manufacturing to retail - that have come from those breakthroughs. Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnikł we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. The science wasn't there yet. NASA didn't even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn't just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs. This is our generation's Sputnik moment." His largest and most sustained applause came when he paid tribute to our troops and when he ended his address by pointing to examples of American innovation such as Brandon Fisher who was in the assembly. Mr. Fisher's company, Center Rock, designed and built the machine which helped to rescue the Chilean miners.  The president proclaimed "We do big things. From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That's how we win the future. "We are a nation that says, "I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I need to try. I'm not sure how we'll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but I know we'll get there. I know we will." Throughout the speech he called for the Nation to out innovate, out educate and out build the rest of the world. However, from the first half of the speech it appears that these big things will require Big Government.

The Republican response was given by Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman. While showing respect to the President, he laid out a very different governing vision stating, "We believe government's role is both vital and limited - to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense .  to secure our borders. to protect innocent life. to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights . to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity . and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves.  "We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility.  We believe, as our founders did, that 'the pursuit of happiness' depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.  Limited government also means effective government.  When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn't do any of them very well.  It's no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high."

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