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International Issues/ Economy/ Foreign Affairs

Obama asks Americans to buck up!!

Barrack Obama started his State of Union Address with an update of the efforts taken as well reminding the listeners in his typical oratory style on Wednesday 27 Jan 2010 night ….”One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted – immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed. But the devastation remains. One in 10 Americans still cannot find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. And for those who’d already known poverty, life has become that much harder.”

Barrack Obama exudes confidence and determination to get out of the hole he is in. This reminds me of John F Kennedy speech on Jan 20 1961 in his inaugural address, ” Ask not What your country can do for you…” John Fitzgerald Kennedy spoke of free nation, liberty, progress and post civil war challenge in his address. Again, amidst trying times, Barrack Obama has inherited a nation as its president – that is deeply in debt, has high unemployment figures, unsuccessful foreign policy effects ( in Afghanistan and Iraq) , health care reforms’ incomplete plans, and increasing economic threat of other fast developing nations like China, India, Unified Germany, Brazil, South Africa. Of course, with global terrorism threatening peace and progress costing innocent human lives all over the world.

But he will not give up or quit! That is what he said. The first year was spent in rescuing the Big banks ( he hated doing it! ) in order to save an economy on the verge of collapse. And, he is going to charge a bank fee to recoup some of the taxpayers’ loss in doing it. His speech, third to a joint session of Congress, comes at a rocky point in his presidency, with many Americans – including some fellow democrats -complaining that the the President has lost his way in Washington! And the President admitted to some defeats, especially the Massachusetts seat, as deserved due to lack of focus from him. Barrack Obama campaigned on a promise to change the culture of Washington and to make government transparent. But, he admitted he had not done enough amidst the out sized influence of lobbyists. He talked about doubling exports to reduce trade deficits with china in particular, India, Japan and Germany. He voiced his fears ( or tried fear psychosis with the listeners) of losing the first place that US enjoyed to China or India. I liked his appreciation of Indian children being good in math and science.

His re-iteration of reducing tax benefits to companies outsourcing to India, did not really matter. The outsourcing process has become irreversible and in order to retain its competitiveness, the outsourcing companies would not mind their tax benefits being cut. And, in addition, even UK and Germany outsource a lot to India! Also, there is a growing widespread belief within US that this outsourcing cannot be stopped by Obama. So, it was only lot of drama!! With democrats standing up every time he dramatizes.

What I liked about his speech is his confirming that US will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, Iraq. I hope he will live up to the cause of giving him the Nobel Peace Prize. I am also glad he has his foot on the ground and realizes that US need not always be on the top. Nothing else to add..It is quite clear he will focus on US economy, domestic issues and job creation in the remaining three years.

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About Raman Ramamurthy

I am a Management consultant, an avid reader, play Lawn tennis in my leisure time and love Music. Presently, I am settled in India along with my wife and my son.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Obama asks Americans to buck up!!

  1. What can I say? He just froze some federally funded programs. He needs to reduce spending. He seems intent on reminding America that this is the situation he inherited, not created. The only reason he got elected is the people’s irrational messiah-frenzy that he will wave a magic wand. That being said, it has been only one year. I think Jan 2011 would be a decent time to evaluate his work.

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    Posted by liberalcynic | January 30, 2010, 7:22 pm
    • He has to engage market protectionism and build manufacturing activity, increase exports, create jobs within US, address domestic issues first, stay off spending on wars, rebuild the economy by tightening liquidity, and it may require more than a term. Will republicans let him do it? And, will other developing countries allow it?

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      Posted by rambuna | January 30, 2010, 7:33 pm
  2. The more he engages in protectionism, the less the chances and rate of recovery. He has to abandon some things. Let some companies fail. He has to cut off the federal funding for some programs and reduce spending instead of increasing it. The punishment for reckless business should be complete failure-not a bailout. People who had accounts in those banks can be bailed out, but there is no need to bail out shareholders of such irresponsible organizations. I find it hard to believe that there will be any major economic development in the near future. I hope Obama makes me eat my words!

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    Posted by liberalcynic | February 2, 2010, 3:01 am
    • Well, he bailed out the ‘troubled’ economy… though a lot more has to be done to sustain his efforts! the growth rate of 3% of the US economy is dismal…luckily it did not collapse.

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      Posted by rambuna | August 8, 2010, 7:23 am

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